I have always said I would really like to visit the Royal Windsor Horse Show, but like Badminton the event seems to creep up on one, and suddenly it has passed.
I decided I would definitely go this year because eight Indian Marwari horses, like the ones I rode on my sponsored challenge, were booked to give a display.
When the day came and L and I set off in pouring rain I did wonder if my enthusiasm had been misplaced. As we got near Windsor I said it did not matter because we could sit in our pre-booked car park place, and while waiting for the rain to stop, could mull over the programme and decide what to watch.
“The signs for the P1 car park seem to have disappeared,” said L. “And we’ve passed the show ground.”
At traffic lights I wound down the window and called to a policewoman. “Oh, P1 is closed,” she said, breezily. “It’s flooded. You’ll have to find your own parking space, sorry.”
“I felt sorry for the wet, bedraggled contestants and horses”
We did eventually find a car park which demanded £12 for the day but the machine only took coins, no cards or notes, and did not give change. When we finally entered the show ground the grass was soaked and muddy. Plastic netting had been laid on the pathways but when walked upon, it sank down into the mud forcing water up and over our feet. I did feel sorry for the wet, bedraggled contestants and horses, trying to look happy and do their best in front of equally damp judges.
Still, the rain did stop, every now and then, and L and I actually began to enjoy ourselves. I tried to keep away from the trade shops because I have this addiction to buying riding jackets and polo shirts. Daughter C is a bit worried that I will be on The Hoarder Next Door and have to face a hangar full of fleeces. I was very controlled and only bought one stripy shirt and a pair of riding gloves.
As well as the Marwari horses there was an exciting display by Chilean riders on black horses, swathed in cloaks and looking very menacing under their sombreros. But the best performance of the day for me was the musical ride by the Royal Canadian Mounties. I cheered them like mad as they streamed out from the ring and I caught the eye of one. The wink and smile he gave me made up for all the discomfort of the day.