The 80th edition of Royal Windsor Horse Show will feature top-class international equestrian sport, alongside traditional favourites and a range of spectacular new acts and events.
Unique entertainment will come from the Equestrian Federation of Azerbaijan, with their performance ‘Land of Fire – Azerbaijan’. The performance, choreographed specifically for Royal Windsor Horse Show, demonstrates the strength and bravery of the Karabakh horse – the native horse of southwestern Azerbaijan – and the courage, peacefulness and heritage of the Azerbaijan people. The display will showcase the exceptional bond between the horses and their riders, featuring fast-paced movements and acrobatics, intertwined with the unique Sarhadchi dance ensemble, who will perform traditional dances from the region.
Looking ahead to the return of the act to Windsor, Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward said: “We are really excited to welcome the Equestrian Federation of Azerbaijan back to Windsor. We have always enjoyed their performances in the past, including when they were part of the Bafta award-winning celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations in 2016, so we can’t wait to see what they have in store this year.”
‘Land of Fire – Azerbaijan’ will complement more traditional performances from the ever-popular Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Regiment and The Musical Drive of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, who will also be performing at the Show.
At the forefront of the new additions to this year’s Show will be the Champagne Pol Roger lawn, a public champagne bar overlooking the Frogmore Arena, where spectators can watch and celebrate the action in style. Champagne Pol Roger will be the Official Champagne of the Show for 2023, as they extend their affinity with the world of equestrianism to include one of the most anticipated annual social spectacles.
Brooks-Ward, said: “The presence of Pol Roger as an Official Partner of the Show will provide an enhanced guest experience to everyone attending, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming them onsite in May.”
The Defender CDI4* FEI Dressage returns to the private grounds of Windsor Castle for 2023. The Defender CDI4* FEI Dressage, which was last held at the Show in 2019, will host some of the world’s best Dressage riders as they look to impress ahead of the European Dressage Championships selections later in the summer followed by the Paris Olympic Games in 2024. The Grand Prix will take place in front of a limited audience on Wednesday 10 May, with the Freestyle to Music set to be in front of packed crowds on Thursday 11 May. The Dressage will enhance an action-packed competition schedule, which also includes international Show Jumping, Driving and Endurance taking place across four days from Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 May 2023.
Furthermore, this year’s Show sees the addition of numerous Showing sections, with the Show hosting over 140 Showing classes. The new schedule now sees the inclusion of a range of Amateur Mountain & Moorland classes, from Leading Rein and First Ridden, to Small and Large Breeds, topped off with a new Amateur Mountain & Moorland Championship. Also new to the Show will be an Amateur Show Pony class, Amateur Show Hunter Pony, Amateur Intermediate and an Amateur Championship.
The new schedule, participants and onsite activities will support an already diverse range of action taking place across the four days of the Show, which also features a luxury shopping village and an array of delicious food outlets. With so much going on, and with the Show hosted on a greenfield site, organisers have made a concerted effort for 2023 to be the most sustainable edition yet. By signing up to the Net Zero Carbon Events Initiative, the aim is to reduce the use of natural resources and avoid wastage whenever possible. Through working with all suppliers and stakeholders, and with the engagement of a measurement programme, sustainability is a part of every decision. Whether that be through recycling initiatives, moving away from printed material, stopping single use plastic or encouraging visitors to use public transport and suppliers to think about low carbon transport options, the Show is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.
Brooks-Ward said of the initiative: “Royal Windsor Horse Show is bigger than ever in 2023, however it is crucial that our presence in these beautiful grounds has a minimal impact on the environment. We are working with all suppliers and stakeholders to make Windsor as green as possible, without compromising the quality of what is offered throughout the Show.”