What to Wear at Royal Windsor

9th May 2022

History of the Horse Show

The Royal Windsor Horse Show was first held in 1943, set up by Count Robert Orssich and Geoffrey Cross who wanted to help raise funds for the war effort. The two men were inspired by the ‘Wings for Victory’ campaign, which was a British National savings campaign that ran during the Second World War. The aim was for a Royal Air Force aircraft to be sponsored by a civil community.  

Each county was set a target to reach and were rewarded with a plaque to commemorate their fund-raising efforts. Initially, the show was called the ‘Windsor Horse and Dog Show’, and helped the Royal Borough raise £391,197 in total, enough money to buy 78 Typhoon fighter aircraft, which in 2022, is the equivalent to over £19,000,000. The show has run every year since and is currently the only show in the UK to host international competitions in Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving and Endurance. 

Since its inception, the show has grown from a one-day event in 1945, to two days in 1946, three days in 1947, four days in 1967, and five days in 1977. The importance of the show has also continued to grow, especially internationally, with the show comprising of a wide variety of equestrian sport. From the breath-taking Land Rover International Carriage Driving Grand Prix, national and international Show Jumping competitions, to extensive showing classes and captivating equestrian displays, there is something for everyone! 

The Royals

The first ever show was attended by the key members of the Royal family, including King George VI, Queen Elizabeth I and their daughters, Elizabeth, and Margaret. Queen Elizabeth II has always been a keen horsewoman and won the Pony and Dogcart class in 1943. Since then, many of the Queen’s homebred horses and ponies have entered the show, with the Duke of Edinburgh being a regular competitor in the International Driving Grand Prix, until his retirement in 2003. The British Royal Family continue to show their support for the show, and it celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2018. 

The show helped the Royal Borough raise £391,197 in total, enough money to buy 78 Typhoon fighter aircraft, which in 2022, is the equivalent to over £19,000,000.

The Events

International Show Jumping

Show Jumping is designed to test the accuracy and athletic ability of both horse and rider. Horse and rider are required to jump a series of obstacles, which at Royal Windsor range from 1.20m through to 1.60m, with the aim of clearing all of the fences in the fastest time.  

Royal Windsor hosts some of the highest-level show jumping in the UK, with spectators spoiled by 5* show jumping on three days of the show. The show jumping events conclude with the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix on the Sunday. Young riders and national classes offer visitors the option to see the most up-and-coming talent.  

The Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix

Driving is a broad term used to describe the hitching of equines to a carriage, wagon, sleigh, cart, or other horse-drawn vehicle via a harness, and working them in this way. One of the most important driving events in the UK, the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix is a three-stage team event, which also acts as an FEI World Cup qualifier. The first stage of the competition takes place on the Friday and involves the team driving a set series of movements. This is followed by the marathon stage on the Saturday, in which the competitors must drive at speed around eight obstacles. Sunday sees the final stage of the competition, in which teams must drive through narrowly spaced pairs of cones in a set amount of time.  

International Endurance

Endurance is a real test of skill and stamina for both horse rider. In an endurance event, riders must follow a specified route, that is a set distance, meet specific speed requirements, and register at checkpoints along the way. Before the event, competitors are provided with a map which they must study and measure, in order to ensure they pace themselves correctly, and finish the event in time. Horses must also be vetted before, during, and after the event. The course takes 3*, 2*, 1*, and YJ1* competitors across a multitude of terrains, including through Windsor Great Park and Ascot Racecourse. 

Showing

Arguably Crufts for horses, showing is an event in which horses of different breeds or types are split into classes, and are judged on a variety of factors. Showing at the Royal Windsor Horse Show kickstarts the showing season and offers spectators the opportunity to see potential champions for the first time of the year. Highlights of the event include the Mountain and Moorland Supreme Championship and the Hunter, Cob and Hack Championships.   

What to Wear - For Her

Ladies attending the Royal Windsor Horse Show are encouraged to wear skirts, summer dresses, or well-cut trousers, as well as suitable shoes. We have chosen our favourite country accessories to add some glamour to any Windsor outfit!

Shoes

Fairfax & Favor

The Valencia Wedge Sandal - Mango

£155.00

Fairfax & Favor

The Brancaster Sandal - Tan

£145.00

Fairfax & Favor

The Monaco Wedge - Cornflower Blue

£155.00

Fairfax & Favor

The Brancaster Sandal - Black

£145.00

Bags

Fairfax & Favor

The Highbury Clutch - Tan / Navy

£125.00

Fairfax & Favor

The Fitzwilliam - Tan Leather

£320.00

Hicks & Brown

Chelsworth Clutch Bag - Maroon

£49.00

Hats

What to Wear - For Him

Gentlemen attending the Royal Windsor Horse Show should wear a tailored jacket and tie. Here are our favourite men’s accessories to take your outfit to the next level.

Ties

Clare Haggas

Spur Of The Moment Tie - Navy

£89.00

Clare Haggas

High Flyer Tie - Cobalt Blue

£89.00

Clare Haggas

Bruce Tie - Red

£89.00

Belts

R M Williams

Stone Hut Belt - Tan

£85.00

Mackenzie and George

Marlborough - Natural Grained Mahogany

£89.00

R M Williams

Drover Belt - Mid Brown

£80.00

Mackenzie and George

Drayton Feather Belt - Chocolate

£99.00