CHELTENHAM Gold Cup-winning trainer Henrietta Knight has accepted an invitation to judge at this year’s four-day Balmoral Show, where she will be joined by Scotland’s Angus McDonald in the P & O Ferries Arena when the show opens on Wednesday, May 15th.

Knight, who was granted a licence to train again in mid-December, having retired 11 years previously, last judged at Balmoral in 2016. Then, she assessed those horses forward in the breeding and youngstock classes, which she will again be doing on this occasion.

Hunters will come under the scrutiny of England’s Oliver Hood and David Ingle, who will judge in Arena 1 for much of Wednesday until moving to the Main Arena in the late afternoon for the small hunter championship. The supreme hunter championship will be judged in the Main Arena on Thursday afternoon.

Sue Deakin and Michelle Underwood will judge the ridden Irish Draughts in Horse Ring 1 on Wednesday afternoon and will be joined by Co Cork’s Denis Dullea for the performance Irish Draught classes in the Main Arena on Thursday morning.

Anne Leaver will be busy, as she and Vicky Smith are to judge the cobs and maxi cobs plus the ladies’ hunters (both astride and side saddle) and the riding horses. Leaver will also judge the coloured horse class, along with Katie Duxbury.

International event rider and working hunter producer, Hayden Hankey will judge the working hunter horses and cobs, with Scotland’s Andrew Bowie; Co Kildare trainer Arthur Moore and Co Down’s Peter Buchanan will judge the racehorse to riding horse class; Lt Col Tom Freyne will judge the ‘Balmoral Star of the Future’ performance horse championship (for which qualification starts today at The Meadows); and the Clydesdale classes will be judged by Lanarkshire’s Robert Morton.

Andrew Bowie’s name appears in the pony showing section as well, as he and Joanne Pybus are to judge the ridden ponies, while Jackie Beatham is to judge the new Mountain and Moorland classes plus the working hunter ponies, along with Louise Gaunt.

Scotland’s Kay Gibb has been announced as judge for the Connemara working hunter classes, while the flat classes, both in-hand and ridden, will come under the scrutiny of Sweden’s Madeleine Beckman, owner of the Carnaby Stud in Falkenberg.