The Household Cavalry will be performing on the Isle of Wight for the first time ever. Headlining The Royal Isle of Wight County Show on Sunday 30 June, the Queen’s ceremonial regiment will be putting on a spectacular mounted display, with lots of pomp and pageantry.
The Cavalry are an important part of every Trooping of the Colour, Royal Wedding and Coronation, and now you can see them up close for yourself. The team of 28 horses, 28 riders, four musicians, and four grooms, will be making the 100-mile journey from their barracks in Hyde Park to the County Showground in Northwood. They will be performing a 20-minute spectacle known as the ‘Musical Ride’. This is a traditional series of manoeuvres, set to music, that dates back to 1882 – it’s precise, coordinated and breathtaking to watch. The performance is designed to demonstrate the skills used by the regiment in the days when it still fought on horseback. The elite soldiers will be dressed exactly as they are for full state ceremonial events – in striking red uniforms, with tall, tasselled helmets – but carrying lances instead of swords.
Competition to get into the Cavalry is fierce. All successful applicants have to go on a five-month riding course, and then they train intensively for at least a month to prepare for the Musical Ride. Graham Biss, Chairman of the County Show, says: “It’s an honour to welcome the Household Cavalry and what a spectacle this is going to be! It’s also very fitting that the Queen’s regiment are coming to our Royal County Show, as Queen Victoria was our first patron. Animals are always the star of our show, plus there’s so much else to do this year, including tractor rides, handling pigs, driving a 4×4 and clay pigeon shooting. That’s all included in the price – so get your tickets now!”