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After a 12-year hiatus, the Puissance returned to the Royal Windsor Horse Show Thursday, and the Castle Arena hosted a thrilling five rounds of jumping.

It’s important to note that this Puissance competition did not have to last five rounds, as the iconic red wall raised with every rotation of competitors, and any knockdown resulted in elimination. Not only did this Puissance reach its final height of 2.10m (That’s a massive 6’9″), but two combinations managed to clear it—and make it look easy.

Guy Williams and Joseph Stockdale put on an absolute spectacle of sport and deservingly shared the Puissance title—the first at Royal Windsor since 2009. Their horses displayed a superior quality of power, and it was fun to see two vastly different combinations achieve the same result.

Williams and the 12-year-old Chacco-Blue gelding Mr Blue Sky UK entered the event as heavy favorites, having previously won Puissance events at London Olympia, Rouen, Liverpool and Birmingham (twice). The brilliantly scopey grey was well aware of the task at hand and visibly displayed why this event has become his specialty. A clear performance was never in doubt.

On the other hand, the 21-year-old Stockdale—the youngest rider in the class—was contesting his very first Puissance. Not to mention, he had never before competed aboard his mount, Florida VDL. But the pair had done some practice at home, and they gave off the appearance of being seasoned partners. Stockdale rode with confidence and fierce accuracy—and he put the pressure on Williams when he and his mount were the first to clear 2.10m. Let’s hope this pair gets to stick together for a while, because they were simply a joy to watch.

The field for this Puissance was strong, and after early exits from Elliott Smith (Flambouyant III), and David Simpson (Mysao des Roches Rouges), the remaining four riders advanced through the third round, held at 1.95m. It was Round 4 at 2.05m that caused problems for Shane Breen (Can Ya Makan) and Robert Whitaker (Major Delacour), before Williams and Stockdale breezed through the final round of jumping.

The Puissance is a legendary event in the history of show jumping, but as the sport has modernized, fewer of these events remain on the calendar. Yet, these events’ optics and easy-to-understand format make them fan favorites. Kudos to Royal Windsor for bringing their Puissance back. It was worth the wait.