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New Equine Display Arena At Royal Show

Horse and pony enthusiasts can look forward to a jam-packed program of stunning displays in a new arena dedicated solely to equestrian demonstrations at this year's Royal Show.

The decision to convert the use of the ring, which was originally built as a show jumping arena was made by organisers after last year's show.

Equine feature co-ordinator, Emma Dineley said: "The arena was given over solely to displays for the show following feedback from our visitors. Staging all our equine displays in one area means it will be better for audiences and we hope to catch the interest of non-riders."

Show jumping classes have now been moved to the larger Equine Arena 1 situated north of the Grand Ring.

A packed program of demonstrations in the Equine Display arena covers all four days of the Royal Show starting Sunday, 4th - 7th July.

Highlights include:

Ascot Park Polo Club
Mornings will allow visitors to "have a go" at learning how to swing a stick and hit a polo ball, starting on rates progressing on to a highly trained polo pony. Afternoons at the show will see a display game of international polo players competing for a challenge trophy in the Show's 9,400m2 Grand Ring.

Pony Club
The Pony Club, the biggest youth organisation in the country, catering for both boys and girls will be bringing its 75th anniversary celebrations to Stoneleigh Park, presenting 40-minute displays on each day of the Royal Show.

The Saffron Walden Quadrille -
The Saffron Walden Quadrille Team has won the title of BRC Quadrille of the Year at Olympia an unprecedented 4 times. Last year the team led the 'Knights of Camelot' gala display at the International Dressage Championships at Hickstead and was also a popular exhibit at Burghley.

This demonstration has evolved from the Olympia competition where a team (usually comprising of four horses and riders) performs a themed ride in costume to music. The display aims to give an insight into how a quadrille is put together as well as exhibiting several of the winning displays.

British Native Breeds
Showing the Best of British Native Equine Breeds. The display will incorporate some driven ponies from Hackneys and a musical ride to native Mountain and Moorland ponies. The whole display will be performed in proper showing dress.

Percheron Breed Show
For the first time ever the British Percheron Horse Society will be holding their National Breed Championship Show as a 'Show within a Show' at the Royal. With classes for both pure and part bred Percherons, and also ridden Percheron classes, the Show is sure to contain a plethora of Percherons.

Supporters of British Breeding
This year the Supporters of British Breeding have chosen to highlight Eventing stallions in their display. Britain has long been acknowledged as the most consistent source of top class eventers in the world and this parade will feature some of the best-known Eventing stallions and their progeny under saddle, alongside some up and coming sires for the future.

Gary Docking Carriage Driving
Carriage driving star Gary Docking will be sharing tips and advice with crowds aimed at encouraging riders to get involved with the grass roots pleasure end of carriage driving.
Gary Docking is one of carriage driving's most colourful characters who has earned himself the title Mr Private Driving. Giving two demonstrations at the Royal Show, Gary will be introducing the basics of carriage driving, including vehicles to begin on, pony breaking and harness up.

British Harness Racing Club
Returning to the Royal Show after an eight-year absence, the British Harness Racing Club will be introducing audiences to the Sulky (the carriage used in harness racing) and the versatility of the Standardbreds used in Harness Racing. Highlights include a demonstration race and proof that the horses not only run fast, they can jump too.

Western Riding
David Lloyd of the Western Equestrian Society will be introducing one of the UK's fastest growing equestrian disciplines to riders. Using two horses as part of a 40 minute display, David will be dispelling people's perceptions of movie rodeo riding.

David Lloyd said: "Lots of people are coming over to Western riding because we're not pulling the horse around. We show people that weight distribution, voice commands and leg pressure are all you need to control the horse through walk, jog (trot) and lope (canter)."

David's display will include Reining, an event requiring speed, accuracy and total control of the horse by the rider. The discipline was officially recognised for the first time at the last World Equestrian Games in 2002.

Now in its 166th year, the Royal Show attracted 160,000 visitors and around 800 exhibitors in 2003.

Ticket hotline: 0870 3666 544 or visit www.royalshow.org.uk, Advance rates:
Adults £12.50, senior citizens and children (5-15) £9.00, family ticket - 2 adults plus 2 children - £36.50. On the gate: Adults £15, senior citizens and children (5-15) £11, family ticket £44. Under 5s free. Dogs are not permitted except for registered assistance dogs.


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Updated: October 2005.