RWHS


Here are a few more photos, some rather close-up and detailed, from the trade-vehicles class at last week’s Royal Windsor Horse Show.

A couple of these are a front-on and then a side view of the same vehicle, so you can see both the pony and the vehicle itself.

Enjoy!

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I’m getting ready to head over the showgrounds for marathon day in the FEI driving competition.

Yesterday, a few members of our group met with fellow CAA member Tommy Fawcett for a walking tour of today’s marathon obstacles.
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While we were out, the competitors went out on their official course walk as well. Bicycles only, apparently.
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Here’s a view of one of the new obstacles, with some of the RWHS “fun fair” visible in the background.
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Yesterday was our group’s first day at this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show, and a full, beautiful day it was.

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As I headed out from our hotel in the morning, I saw a man coming over the Thames footbridge with a hand-cart stacked with small beer kegs. And when I got over the bridge, to the Windsor side, I met this …

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Naturally, I had to stop to take a few photos and have a chat. The man you see here is the driver of this beer dray (the horses are Major and Tommy), and he said they do horse-drawn deliveries of this local microbrew, to Windsor and a few other nearby towns.

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Over at the horse show, it was a glorious, sunny day … if a bit warm.

But it was a good day to be a sleeping trade-fair dog.

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… Or to stick a cookie in your mouth, and run around with your bunny. This little guy was running laps around his family while they sat by one of the show arenas.

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… Or to watch the trade-vehicles competitors gather for their class. Would you just look at that glorious blue sky!!

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I’m still going through the bulk of the trade-vehicle photos, but here are a few of the awards presentation.

The Carriage Association had sponsored this class, so the CAA’s president, Dr. Thomas Burgess (in the tan suit), and his wife, Gloria, were on hand to present the awards.

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This pony and Pickering Float won the two-wheeled division …

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And this funeral vehicle, put to a pair of Friesians, won the four-wheeled division, plus the overall trade-vehicle championship …

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Later in the afternoon, before heading over to the Pimm’s party that our CAA group is invited to each year, I stopped off at the FEI-driving arena to watch a few of the four-in-hand competitors’ dressage tests.

I don’t often get the chance to actually watch dressage, as I’m usually photographing it. But I had filled up my camera’s memory card with photos from the trade-vehicles class, so I watched every bit of Chester Weber’s gorgeous test … except for the brief moment when I snapped this photo with, if you can believe it, my phone …

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After this brilliant test, which earned him a score of 31-point-something, Chester’s in the lead among the four-in-hands. We’ll see what happens in tomorrow’s marathon!

I’m getting ready to fly “over the pond” to England this weekend, where I’ll join all the others who’ve signed up for our CAA trip to the Royal Windsor Horse Show. (Hint: stay tuned for reports and photos from our trip and from the show, starting early next week.)

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In the meantime, I came across this cool overhead-cam video of the combined-driving marathon course from last year’s Windsor event. After the video finishes, you can click through to watch any of four different “tailgate cams, which were shot at four separate marathon obstacles.

Enjoy … and stay tuned!

I apologize for the delay in bringing this to you, but Jill had little to no time to write a report, Internet-connection issues, and then computer issues. And then when I got her report (written on Saturday morning) by email, I had no Internet connection at the time and no way to share it here.

At any rate, here is Jill’s report from the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Saturday …

“After record-breaking heat at the beginning of the week, we are now back to ‘normal’ Windsor weather — showers one moment and sun the next! It’s really hard to dress in the morning for the whole day!
 
“I took quite a large group on a ‘walk-about’ of the show grounds on Wednesday morning. Although there was no driving that day on the show schedule, we did see the FEI vet inspection and some outstanding show jumping. That evening we enjoyed a rousing welcome party in our hotel which involved singing and a late night!
 
“The next morning, I led a much smaller group (with others choosing to sleep in!) around the show grounds. This day (Thursday) there was driving: the Hackney ponies and horses both competed, the FEI driven dressage started with pony fours and then horse fours, and of course the very popular Trade Vehicle class took place in the Castle Arena. There were thirteen vehicles showing in that class, and it was a great sight.
 
“At 4:00 p.m., we were treated to a private tour of the Royal Mews at Windsor Castle (not open to the pulic). Terry Pendry, stud groom, showed us about. Everyone was thrilled to see the Ascot Landaus and Rolls Royce cars, plus the horses and ponies of HM The Queen and the Fell ponies that Price Phillip drives. Also temporarily housed in the Mews this week is the King’s Troop, and we all enjoyed watching them prepare for their dress rehearsal that evening.
 
“Following our Mews visit, we all tromped down to the show grounds again and were treated to a Pimm’s party (a ‘Pimm’s cup’ is a special English drink involving alcohol, lemonade, and fruit!) at the Bowman and Fawcett camp. All FEI competitors stay in their vans, RVs, trailers, or tents and set up camp right beside the River Thames. The Bowmans, Tom Facwett, and the Woods park in a large U and set our their awnings to create a comfortable home for the week. It was great fun.
 
“Friday started out overcast, dull, and threatening rain. Today was the big day for the coaching. As there is only the one class for coaching, all participants ship in for the day and work out of their vans in the parking area. So it is customary to walk about and see them. As I was doing that, the sun came out and it remained sunny for the day. Eleven coaches participated: Park Drags, Road Coaches, and military vehicles. Two entries were from the U.S.: Misdee Miller of Kentucky & Florida, and Jim Fairclough of New Jersey. I saw them all drive off (after a late start because of a medical situation with a guest on John Brown’s coach — all ended well, but it involved ambulances, etc.!). The coaches made their way across the street from the parking area and through the town gate into Windsor Home Park, and then they enjoyed a spectacular drive through the private grounds, down the Long Walk, and back to the show ring for final judging. Colin Henderson, the judge, had given them a close look at the start, watched them along the route, and gave them a final look in the ring. Mark Broadbent won the coaching championship again, plus the Jack Pemberton trophy for the best turned out. Misdee received a well-earned third place and Jim was fourth. [You can see a few photos from Friday’s coaching marathon in the previous post, from earlier today, and on the CAA’s Facebook page.]
 
“Then the ladies of the World Coaching Club (Misdee Miller as president) met in the Members Enclosure for a champagne reception and at 6:30, we all attended the FEI Driving Competitors party in the Royal Enclosure. Half of the CAA group had purchased tickets for the evening concert in St. George’s Chapel to celebrate the Queen’s sixtieth anniversary. One of our group told me she was moved to tears by the performances.”
 
To see scores from the FEI driving event, be sure to visit www.hoefnet.com/.

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And here is Jill’s report from earlier today …

“The last day of the show started out sunny and warm and several of us sat ringside to enjoy the classes in the Castle Arena. Then it got wet and cold and so back indoors we came. Sunday evening we all enjoyed a Sunday ‘roast dinner’ in our hotel and, judging by the lively conversation, everyone had thoroughly enjoyed the week.
 
“This morning we said goodbye to most people and then twelve of us traveled three hours northeast to Norfolk to spend time at Swingletree Stable. Today, several people had driving lessons while others toured the stables and viewed the carriages. Tonight we will enjoy a dinner together with some British guests.”
 
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I now have a bunch of photos from the CAA group’s visit to this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show. In the three photos below, I believe the first one is of Mark Broadbent, who won the Coaching Championship and the Jack Pemberton Trophy for being the best turned out. The second and third photos are of U.S. drivers: Jim Fairclough and Misdee Wrigley Miller, respectively. It looks like they had perfect weather for the event (unlike last year, when the ground was so muddy from the previous days’ heavy rains that the coaching was canceled!).

To see more photos, click on the link (at right) to visit the CAA’s Facebook page.

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Jill is leading this year’s CAA trip to the Royal Windsor Horse Show, as she’s done every May for the past twenty or so years.

She sent this report from the group’s first day …

“Tonight the CAA group was joined by several guests at The Christopher Hotel in Eton for a ‘welcome’ reception and dinner. Patti Wolf of Texas (the lucky winner of the CAA trip to Windsor in a contest drawing held last year) was generous enough to host tonight’s champagne reception. We had hoped to be able to enjoy our reception on the outside deck at the hotel, but the weather turned cold on us. So we all got cozy in the hotel’s pub before Grace Yaglou (of Mass.) sounded her coach horn to call us all in to dinner.

“The group was very lively, with our British guests sitting at various tables. We enjoyed a scrumptious meal, washed down with plenty of wine, and three hours later the group reluctantly departed for bed.

“Many of the group went to the show today, and I was pleased to note how many people were in attendance.

“Rumor has it that Jimmy Fairclough of New Jersey is over and has leased a team and a coach for the popular coaching marathon on Friday. Misdee Wrigley Miller (of Kentucky and Florida) is also here for the same event. So there is plenty for us to see and support!

“For the first two days I was here, we had sun and record heat. But now the heat has broken and today was overcast and cooler. I must say, this is more like you would expect, weather-wise.”

… Jill’s hoping to be able to send photos, starting tomorrow, from our guest photo blogger, Finn.

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