How To Judge: Show Cobs

In this series, we take a look at the Royal Windsor Horse Show judges’ notes to see exactly what we’re expecting from our Champions!

The Cob is a type rather than a breed. A short-legged animal, with bone, substance and quality, capable of carrying a substantial weight. The Cob should be well mannered and ideal for nervous or elderly riders. Cobs should have sensible heads, (sometimes roman nosed), a full generous eye, shapely neck, well-muscled, and well defined wither. The Cob should also have clean, strong hocks and all the attributes of a good hunter; low movement and a comfortable ride.
Virtual Windsor’s Cob Class, Class 13, is open to all animals who fit the above description, both ridden and in-hand.

Chief Virtual Windsor Judge, Nigel Hollings, says, “For centuries this all-rounder has been one of the glories of England. He is the ‘John Bull’ of the equine world – stocky, powerful, of a round symmetrical form, without the speed or elasticity of the Hunter nor the elegance of the Hack and yet ever willing and reliable with an individuality of his own.

Many years ago the average man was shorter than he is today and men of the leisured class were also likely to be overweight since most of their long social hours were spent consuming large, heavy meals and copious amounts of alcohol. Consequently their horses could not be too large and yet had to be strong, easy to mount and of an extremely sober disposition.

The movement had to be soft and smooth, an easy walk at over 4 mph, a square trot at 5 mph and a perfect slow canter. It had to be a most attractive animal and of a good colour and commanded the highest of prices – and so the Cob required by these gentlemen was what it is today; a Show Cob.

In short the Cob has to have the strength Dray Horse, the quality of a Racehorse and the manners of a perfect Gentleman.”


‘Master of the House’
Owned by Mrs J. Byford
Exhibited by Oliver Hood
2019 Winner of the
Martin Collins Enterprises
Cob Championship


‘Whitegate Dazzler’
Owned by Susan Benson
Exhibited by Anne Leaver
2018 Winner of the
Martin Collins Enterprises
Cob Championship


‘Randlestown Rolex’
Owned by Mr Paul Mortimer
Exhibited by Robert Walker
2017 Winner of the
Martin Collins Enterprises
Cob Championship