Could your horse jump the Royal Windsor working hunter track? Walk the course and find out
Working hunters kicked off judging in the Castle Arena at the 2023 Royal Windsor Horse Show. Both lightweight and heavyweight competitors were treated to a flowing rustic course of 12 fences constructed by leading designer Lisa Kelly and her team, but could your own horse take on the challenge?
12 lightweights jumped clear rounds, while only three heavyweights returned home with a clean score sheet. Taking the championship was Eleanor Hirst, riding her own Noble Gladiator.
Walk the course and see if your horse has the makings of a Windsor working hunter contender:
Welcome to the 2023 Royal Windsor working hunter course. Horses and riders entered on the left rein and approached this neat oxer with a brush filler to the front. There was some foliage to the sides, too, so the horses needed to be uber-focused from the off. Four horses had this down.
One mother duck and her two ducklings dressed the second fence. Despite it arguably being the most spookable fence on the course, each combination cleared it fault free.
Continuing with the animal theme, two rabbits framed the third fence, a skinny upright which was slightly wider at the base than on top. Careful riding was required and six horses made errors here.
A nice trio of upright planks heading towards the gate. Just two unlucky combinations tapped it.
5. (A & B)
The first of two doubles which caused minimal problems aside from the odd role of a pole.
A mushroom-themed oxer marked the half way point. Six horses blotted their score sheets at number six.
No working hunter track is complete without a water tray. This fenced provided a triple threat, with a tray under the fence and two trays to the left. The stone grey design was also something different for the horses to look at. There were a couple of stops here.
A large, poley fence embracing the mushroom theme. A handful of horses knocked it down.
An attractive bridge sat at number nine and only two horses rolled the top pole.
Three from home and horses were hit with a bright marble fence. It was unproblematic, with only one horse having it down.
Everyone kept their knees up at number 11, with each combination clearing it with ease.
12. (A & B)
Going towards the gate, the final effort of the course required just one stride. Another fault-free element which suited every horse who attempted it.
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