HPower Group entrusted Arena Group to supply Royal Windsor Horse Show and The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations which marked her historic reign and love of all things equine at Windsor Castle, 11-15 May 2016.
Bradley Merchant, Arena Seating’s project director and his 20-strong team were pivotal in the transformation of the Windsor Castle grounds into a venue fit for a momentous occasion in Royal history. Event organizers H Power called upon Arena Group’s 250 year heritage supplying ceremonial and iconic events, acknowledging an occasion of such global interest could only be delivered by the most trusted suppliers in the events industry.
Befitting the prestigious nature of the event, it was paramount the delivery was of the highest quality, and Arena Group’s expertise was called upon from the start of the design process to elevate spectator and hospitality experiences to new heights. The precise logistics of this large-scale undertaking were expertly handled, as Arena’s 11 in-house CAD designers and structural engineers worked alongside project managers, seamlessly integrating CDM regulations in to the process whilst efficiently delivering a cost effective design-led installation.
Facing the main stage on the Castle Arena, three covered temporary tiered grandstands were installed offering spectators optimum views of the largest UK outdoor equestrian show. 4,274 spectator seats were installed across the West and North Stands, with the East Stand providing 1,239 Clearview™ seats. Additionally, Arena Group built and fitted out all hospitality and sponsor boxes to the rear of the East Stand complex. VIP, sponsor and Royal Box seated areas were integrated into the grandstand; including the installation of 696 VIP upholstered seats and 40 Royal Chairs into the Royal Box. Each of the three tiered grandstands were completed with Arena Deck wheelchair viewing platforms with glass hand rails and accessibility ramps.
Arena Structures installed over 3,800sqm of temporary structures, including a 40 x 15m triple deck hospitality structure for VIP dignitaries and a 40 x 15m double deck Members Enclosure with accompanying walkways and entrances. A 6 x 6m judging area, two Kitchen structures covering 450sqm and a 6 x 6m roof-only dining area were also installed. The temporary installations were fitted out internally to the highest of standards, befitting of their audience.
Bradley Merchant comments: “As a UK based company it was an absolute privilege to be involved in such a prestigious moment in our monarch’s reign. With these momentous celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, we worked closely with the HPower team to deliver the range of temporary installations which reflected the sheer scale of the occasion, upgrading and developing the event’s offering from previous years.
“This was one of Arena Seating’s most logistically challenging events and the culmination of six months planning, our teams worked seamlessly with HPower, to ensure the design matched aspirations and builds were completed to the highest of standards within very tight timescales. This year in particular provided the added complication of flooding on the grounds resulting in the show cancelling the opening day for the first time in its 66 year history. All our installations remained unaffected by the torrential downpours, including our new Arcus 20m span grandstand roof designed to offer additional rain protection from previous years.”
Nick Brooks-Ward, Project Director, adds: “This years’ Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations brought a particular focus on bringing the highest possible quality to all elements of the production and infrastructure that H Power implemented at Royal Windsor Horse Show.
“That is why we turned to a trusted supplier like Arena Group for seating and structures. The combined comfort and weather protection afforded by the covered grandstands, the pristine interiors of the structures, alongside the incredible level of finish the Arena team achieved across the whole project was exemplary. Particular credit is due to the project managers Bradley (Merchant) and Kerry (Glyn-Bristow), who really went beyond the call of duty to deliver the best and most complex site I’ve ever see at Windsor.”
Over 3,000 horses and ponies took part in more than 250 jumping, showing and carriage driving classes during the five day Royal Windsor Horse Show which took place during the day. In the evenings the event played host to The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration in its main arena; a show that featured 900 horses and 1,500 participants from around the world, storytelling Her Majesty’s birth, WWII, her marriage, Coronation and 60 year reign. The equestrian, military and musical extravaganza culminated with Sunday evening’s show attended by Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh as well as other members of the Royal family. The show was hosted by Ant and Dec, and included performances from Take That, Kylie Minogue, Katherine Jenkins, Beverley Knight and Dame Shirley Bassey amongst others.