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Comment 10 MAY 2012

World's most regal rider to be thrilled with 'spectacular' horse pageant

10 MAY 2012

It has been described as "a spectacular programme of horsemanship, military displays, music and dancing".

The Royal Cavalry of Oman are thundering into town to perform at an international horse pageant organised for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

 

 

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CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR FULL GALLERY

 



Two hundred soldiers dressed in dazzling costumes will command 112 pure bred Arabian horses, specially transported from the Gulf kingdom.

Members of the Omani cavalry are renowned for their show-stopping equestrian performances, which include martial arts, folkloric dances and acrobatics all performed on horseback.

 

 

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Her Majesty – herself a keen rider – is already acquainted with their breathtaking skills.

Oman's Sultan Qaboos surprised her with an 800-horse pageant when she made a state visit to the country in 2010.

And the sovereign's delight on that occasion was clear: "I had a lovely time" she said.

 

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The two heads of state are old friends, and Sultan Qaboos pulled out all the stops for her trip, even postponing celebrations of his own 40-year reign to accommodate her.

As well as the lavish horse display, he showered the Queen with exuberant gifts including a Faberge-style egg and gold vase, pictured above.

The Sultan's own portfolio includes the world's only camel-mounted bagpipe band.

A self-confessed Anglophile, sending his cavalry to perform for the Diamond Jubilee makes perfect sense.

Performers from around the world will also appear at the extravaganza, with the Chilean Huasos and Pakistani Presidential Bodyguards also set to showcase their mastery.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show begins on Thursday and runs for four days, with the Queen attending Sunday's closing ceremony.

The Queen: celebrating a royal life

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