A Walk Down Memory Lane

 

This year, once again Daniel will be a part of the shopping village at The Royal Windsor Horse show, who is also celebrating this year, respectively 75 years.

 

Once called ‘The Windsor Horse and Dog Show’, The Royal Windsor Horseshow has come a long way from its humble beginnings. First conjured up in the minds of Count Robert Orssich and Mr. Geoffrey Cross who were inspired by the ‘Wings for Victory’ marches; a fundraising event for bombers. The horseshow was first a means to help the war effort in 1943, with the aim of raising money to purchase Hurricanes and Spitfires for the Royal Air Force.

It first iteration was a horse and dog show but that came to an abrupt end after an amusing event, a contestant (in this case a dog) decided it was lunch time and stole chicken off of King George V’s plate. So from this incident onwards dogs were no longer allowed at the event. Beside this small bump in the road, that first year, with the combined support of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, they managed to successfully raise over £300,000 which made it possible to buy 78 Typhoon Fighter Aircrafts.

Since that first event the charitable history of the show is now the country’s largest outdoor horseshow maintains its long time objective of raising funds for the ‘ABF, The Soldiers Charity’. Alongside an equestrian charity of their choice, to show support to the animals that play a large part in the history of this event. ‘The Free Spirit Horse Memorial Project’ is this year’s choices, who are fundraising to create a memorial to represent the critical service horses have played to mankind.

The dog anecdote isn’t the only part the Royal Family has played in the history of the show, from the very beginning they have supported, hosted on the Windsor Castle private grounds and even participated, take for example, one of the first competitors was The Queen who competed in the ‘Single Private Driving Class’ and magnificently won the event; having also attended every year since its founding.

While these might only show a tiny bit of the changes, when you look at the numbers you see how much the event has developed and grown over the years. In 1943 the duration of the show was only two days but now spans a week of events, boasting 120 showing classes which has allowed the event to move on to the international circuit. The prize funds has also grown, now-a-days it’s around €300,000 while way back when, in the following year after its creation, the top prize was only £15. With this growth in incentives of course came more competitors, starting with a messily 884 entries to now a whopping 3,300. And as you can imagine the audience has also grown along with all this. Spectators at the time only came to 8,000 while just last year 55,000 people had pilgrimaged from all over to enjoy the competitions.

With this year being marked as their diamond anniversary, the event will be paying homage to the past. The design team behind the show will try to re-create particular components from the founding year, so that means 1940’s décor, everything from a tent pole, bunting, straw bales and festoon lighting, accompanied by themed clothing, music and food. Concessions will also be presented in vintage vans. But before all of this guests will get a chance to take a walk down memory lane or more of a walkway through their archives to give guests, a context and summing up with a full-scale replica of a Spitfire, hinting at what started this all. Alongside will be a small exhibition in the prize tent, featuring a timeline looking back at milestones and memorable moments that have made the show what it is today.

While Daniel hasn’t been part of their history for that long, we have been on and off a presence in the shopping village for the past 10 years, and this year is no different. So to celebrate we selected a range of unique products that will be at The Royal Windsor Horse Show on Wednesday 9th May through till the 13th, feel free to browse and we hope to see you there!