It was with great sadness that The Organising Committee of Royal Windsor Horse Show learned today of the death of its President, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG KT.
The Duke has been integral to the development of the Show since he became President in 1991 and he particularly showed a keen interest in growing the sport of competitive carriage driving at the event.
He started driving competitively in 1972, which was the beginning of many years of competitive driving. In 1973 he competed as an individual for Britain in the European Driving Championships which were hosted by the Show. In 1982 he won the Horse Teams Class in the International Driving Grand Prix with HM The Queen’s team of Bays and again, in 1989 he won the Pony Teams Class.
At the horse show he never missed the Pony Club Games final. He created The Prince Philip Pony Club Games and the nations competition at Windsor was a highlight and demonstrated his interest in youth development.
He was a much respected figure in the driving community and in the wider equestrian world. His was a familiar face around the Showground where, in later years, he spent many hours watching the sport he loved and meeting old friends from the equestrian community.
He had a watchful eye and would often make suggestions to the Committee on ways to improve the show and its competition. His were wise words and his contribution to the Show cannot be underestimated. He will be a great loss.
Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “ HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s contribution to the equestrian community cannot be underestimated. He was President of the FEI, wrote the international carriage driving rules, was a brilliant polo player and was a force for good at Royal Windsor.
He was a huge support to the show and encouraged initiative and creativity at every juncture. We will miss His Royal Highness’s visits to the office, watching him driving his fell ponies on a regular basis and for his down to earth, practical advice in the management of the show.
Many will not realise that he wrote and typed up the foreword himself for every souvenir programme while he was President. They are his words and demonstrate that His Royal Highness knew and took a very personal interest in the Show.
We cannot thank The Duke of Edinburgh enough for his guidance and wise counsel over so many years. The Horse Show Office will miss him greatly.”