IT WAS a successful start to the Royal Windsor Horse Show for the Bahraini contingent yesterday as Khalid Al Khatri took third place in the Land Rover Grades B and C Handicap Jumping event.
Al Khatri finished the 12-jump course aboard his horse Basheer without any faults and in an impressive time of 68.46 seconds, bettered only by runner-up Geoff Lukett on Constant and winner Nicole Pavitt aboard Our Duchess.
There was a star-studded field of 76 starters, including British jumping legend Pippa Funnell, who took seventh place, and Al Khatri's Royal Show-jumping Tem-mates Hamad Al Fakhrawi, Adnan Al Alawi and Shaikh Hassan bin Rashid Al Khalifa, for what was one of the highlights of the opening day of the five-day festival.
Next up for the Bahraini show-jumpers, who will participate under the banner of the Bahrain Military Show-jumping Team, will be the Services Team Jumping event on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Bahrain Royal Endurance Team yesterday stepped up its preparations for Friday's Royal Windsor Endurance Event as they took part in the official introductory ceremony.
Led by Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and featuring Supreme Council first vice-chairman and team captain Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Raed Mahmood, Abdulrahman Al Zayed, Shaikh Isa bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Jaffer Mirza and Abdulrahman Al Saad, the team also took time out to survey the vast and beautiful venue as well as chat with event officials and members of the public.
Bahraini interest on day one didn't end there either, as spectators outside of Bahrain were introduced to an array of Bahraini Arab horses for the very first time.
Examples of the Kuheilan Al Adiyat, Al Hamdani, Mulolshan, Al Tuwaisan, Al Jellaby, Al Saglawi and Kuheilan Afes strains from the stables of the Royal Family took part in the first of a series of displays over the course of the five-day show.
The impressive 'Kingdom of Bahrain' stand, run by the Economic Development Board and the Ministry of Culture, also opened to the public for the first time.
Patronised by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, who was present yesterday to see her own horse, 'First Love' participate in the Tattersalls and Ror Thoroughbred Ridden Show Horse Class, the Royal Windsor Horse Show is this year celebrating its 70th anniversary.
Among other highlights over the course of the five-day programme are displays of The Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry and The Shetland Pony Grand National.