Royal Windsor Horse Show, May 16 – 19, 2004
By Pat Roberts
Earlier this year, Monty was invited to take a major part in the very special event, the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee. Monty was asked to demonstrate a Join-Up® each day during the Royal Windsor Horse Show. This meant that Monty had to fly directly to London upon completion of his 2002 German and Austrian Tour, where he would meet me as I was flying in from California. We were invited to stay with the Governor Sir Richard and Lady Elizabeth Johns in their residence in Windsor Castle in the restored Norman Bridge Tower apartments.
The demonstrations were particularly good and were held in the middle of the specially constructed horse show ring located on Windsor below the north towers of the Castle. Ian Vandenbergh procured three outstanding horses and they were excellent demonstrations of Join-Up® by Monty for the audiences. Ian also provided the rider, Grant Basil, who works with Ian in Oxford.
On Wednesday, May 15, the first complete practice for the All the Queen’s Horses spectacular was held in the early twilight. Monty rode that evening and each evening after with other celebrities in an elegant carriage during the All The Queen’s Horses Equestrian Extravaganza..
Saturday evening was the highlight of the week when Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip attended for the final performance that was perfection in its execution. It was one that shall never be forgotten with the entire show ring filled with color, pageantry, horses and people in costume. There were riders from all over the world contributing their presence on this most momentous occasion. For the first time since 1977 the Royal Golden Coach was brought out for display from Buckingham Palace and Her Majesty, The Queen will ride in during the Golden Jubilee celebration activities in June.
An intimate reception followed the Sunday horse show performance was attended by Her Majesty and Prince Phillip and other dignitaries. A special bonus was the presence of Sir John Miller, The Queen’s retired equerry who traveled to California in 1989 to meet Monty at Her Majesty’s request. Monty and I cherished the time spent with Sir John that evening, catching up on recent events.
For both Monty and myself it was an incredible experience we will never forget. We cannot imagine that this huge production will be seen again anywhere in the world in the future. It was an amazing time with 1,000 of the Queen’s horses and 2,000 people gathered in that magnificent setting all coming together honoring Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee.