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Joy reigns as military excel at Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021

Military units excel and take home a number of trophies from the Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021.

The saluting battery of Her Majesty’s Household Troops, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery were just one of several military units delighted to be back competing at this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show after it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

The Woolwich based Gunners, who were excited just to be back in the arena, were thrilled to discover that their A Sub Gun Team had been chosen to receive the first ever Best Gun Team award at the show and that it would be presented by Her Majesty The Queen.  

The Plate is awarded to the most consistent and impressive Gun Team over the year and is inlaid with a golden Drivers Whip to represent the whip carried by drivers in a Gun Team. The A Sub Gun Team is made up of Sergeant Jenks (Lead Driver), Lance Bombardier Kelly (Centre Driver), and Lance Bombardier Bunker (Wheel Driver).

She is a very impressive soldier and her kit was truly outstanding, quite far the best I have ever seen. Major Tom Mountain, Squadron Leader, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment

In another first, Her Majesty The Queen presented the Richmond Cup to the first female soldier to be awarded Best Turned Out Trooper from the Household Cavalry, an annual award that recognises the extremes of military ceremonial excellence honed by a unit whose attention to detail equally makes them unmatched in operational reconnaissance. The Richmond Cup was presented to Trooper Dickinson of 1 Troop Blues and Royals, who comes from South Africa. 

Celebrations continued for the Gunners of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, who went on to sweep the board with first and second in the Land Rover Services Team Jumping, winning Her Majesty The Queen’s Challenge Cup, Best individual Shod Horse and Best Shod Team.  

Challenge Cup Winners (Military Working Horses) were Staff Sergeant Kershaw, Sergeant Oldfield, Bombardier Kelly. 2nd Place in Land Rover Services Team Jumping was awarded to Lance Bombardier Brasher, Lance Bombardier Robertson, Gunner Mitchell. Best Shod Horse and Best Shod Team were Sergeant Frost, Lance Bombardier Rowe, Lance Bombardier Dunn, Gunner O’Niell, Gunner Saddler.

The King's Troop and the Queen

The Troop is honoured to enjoy a particularly close personal relationship with their Captain General, Her Majesty The Queen. After the show The King’s Troop RHA had the honour and privilege of a personal visit by The Queen. Her Majesty met and spoke with the Soldiers and Officers of The Troop and met the horses.

One of them, Firefly, is a six-year-old part-bred Cleveland Bay mare which was bred by The Queen and gifted to The Troop. She completed training in just 10 months, was on the Queen’s Birthday Parade last month and was in one of the Gun Teams at Royal Windsor Horse Show this year; a remarkable achievement for any horse in such a short space of time and testament to her character and natural abilities.  

The Royal Windsor Horse Show exceeded all expectations for the King’s Troop. The energy and excitement only built throughout the event and it was clear to see in everyone, either those involved in organising, competitors or visitors, the joy in being part of something so memorable and significant – signalling the end (we hope) of the impact of COVID on the Equestrian world Major Victoria Flood, Commanding Officer, King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery

The Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021

Soldiers from the Household Cavalry, The Royal Logistic Corps and Royal Corps of Signals also competed at the event which is the UK’s largest outdoor premier horse show and takes place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle. The Show hosts International Show Jumping which this year featured members of the Team GB Olympic Squad, as well as International Dressage and International Carriage Driving. There are also national classes in Show jumping, and Windsor is one of the UK’s premier Showing events. 

As well as world class competition, there were displays from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery who performed the Musical Drive with fast paced death-defying scissor movements of horse and Guns across the arena; and The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, who thrilled audiences with their elegantly complex Musical Ride display.  

Competing in shows such as this is not only a great way of building fitness, extending soldiers’ range of abilities and equestrian expertise, it fosters team spirit, camaraderie and boosts mental health. Nothing can compare to the thrill of a clear round in front of an international audience, and the memories of meeting the Queen will last them a lifetime.