The Victorian Pageant, held in the private grounds of Windsor Castle on the evenings of 9, 10 and 11 May, has announced that three additional world-renowned international equestrian acts will be travelling over 5,000 miles to be part of the spectacular event.
Making the journey to the iconic setting will be performers from Oman, including 40 musicians playing alongside The Oman Royal Cavalry trick ride, while from the United Arab Emirates, and performing at Windsor for the first time, the Dubai Mounted Police will bring not only their 40-horse Musical Ride, which jumps through fire, but also the world-renowned Dubai Police Pipe Band. The line-up of international acts will be further complemented by the exceptionally talented Hungarian Csikós, who will also be performing at Windsor Castle for the first time.
The 90-minute evening show will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria and will be staged by a BAFTA award-winning team. The Victorian Pageant will transport the audience back to the Victorian era, drawing on some of its typical characters and characteristics, such as, the sing along Music Hall, Gilbert & Sullivan, and Charles Dickens’ Oliver. Some 400 horses, 40 carriages, dancers and musicians will make this an event to remember.
The relevance of these newly announced international displays to Queen Victoria’s 63-year reign was the importance she placed on the Empire and the Silk Road. Along this epic route, merchants began their journey in the Far East before heading West towards Europe, travelling through the Middle East. In ancient times, this journey could take up to two years, and of course this voyage was all carried out on horseback. The Victorian Pageant will celebrate the undeniable impact that horses have had on the development of society, as we know it, through performances from international equestrian acts from countries that featured along the route.
Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “This will be the first time that the Dubai Mounted Police has performed in the UK and we feel truly honoured that they have chosen to display their act for us. They, along with the Oman Royal Cavalry and its Mounted Band, and the Hungarian Csikós, are three of the world’s leading equine acts, and I have no doubt that they will treat the audience to some enthralling and unforgettable moments.”
The Oman Royal Cavalry and its Band’s performance differs from the Dubai Mounted Police in that it has a more traditional focus. The march is filled with the bright colours of the red, green and gold silks of the Royal Cavalry, The cavalry has strong ties with events seen by the Royal Family, having performed to great acclaim during Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration at Windsor in 2016 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at The Pageant in 2012.
The Dubai Mounted Police will stage the largest Musical Activity Ride at The Victorian Pageant with 40 horses. They are well known in the Middle East for their panache and riding skills and will be accompanied by a large Pipes & Drums Band. This is the first time that a British audience will have seen this famous equestrian display.
The final international act to be announced are the Hungarian Csikós, a collective of traditional mounted horse-herdsman. There are only ten of the original Csikós riders in the world, of which six will be at the show. Their horses are trained to lie down for long periods of time on the Hungarian Plains and this will be demonstrated, along with the Puszta Five. Three horses in the lead are controlled by one rider who stands on a further two horses at the back. The gallop down the arena will be breath-taking.
Spokesperson for the Hungarian Csikós, Péter Szladek, commented: “Tradition is a big part of life in Hortobagy, the largest National Park in eastern Hungary, and means everything to those involved in the display, so to be able to perform at this incredible setting in Great Britain, a nation that values equestrian tradition as much as our own, means so much.”
The event is also delighted to host another first; the Csikós National Champion in horse archery. Be prepared for a real thrill, as he will demonstrate firing arrows from a cantering horse at targets held up by his assistants. This is one display not for the faint hearted.
Tickets for The Victorian Pageant are on sale now and visitors may purchase them online at www.windsorpageant.co.uk or via the box office on 0844 581 0755. Local Windsor residents may purchase their tickets at Windsor Information Centre located in Windsor Royal Shopping or by telephone on 01753 743589.