Free Thursday admission to 2018 Hickstead Derby meeting

For the first time ever, Hickstead will be offering free admission on the Thursday of the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby meeting next year.

Following in the footsteps of the successful introduction of a ‘shopping day’ at other equestrian events, Hickstead will be allowing free general admission entry to spectators on the Thursday of the show, which is the fjrst day of international competition .

“We have more than 150 trade stands in the Charles Owen Shopping Village at our June meeting, and we want to encourage as many visitors as possible to come along and browse the fabulous selection of shops,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn.

Free Thursday entry to Hickstead next year

A small booking charge will apply plus a £10 charge per vehicle for car parking, and tickets and parking must be reserved online in advance.

There will be a total of seven rings in action during the show, with thousands of competitors ranging from tiny riders and ponies competing in the NSEA Hickstead Mini Challenge right up to Olympic showjumpers and some of the sport’s best horses.

Thursday’s showjumping highlights include the Stoner Jewellers’ Vase and the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard. Other highlights include the Driving Concours D’Elegance, the British Private Driving Derby and a whole host of national showjumping qualifiers.

As well as equestrian action and the extensive Charles Owen Shopping Village, the show offers a range of bars, restaurants and eateries. A new Family Zone will also be introduced to the showground, featuring local entertainer Tomfoolery, while Fun Fair rides will be offered at half price on the Thursday and Friday of the show.

Top show jumping action during the day

The feature class of the June meeting is, of course, the famous Al Shira’aa Derby, held on the Sunday afternoon of the show. This year a host of national and international stars will return to the All England Jumping Course in the hope of taking the title, which was won last year by Nigel Coupe and Golvers Hill.

It is the second year that the fixture will run under the title sponsorship of Al Shira’aa. Tom O’Brien, the UK Manager of Al Shira’aa, said: “We’re delighted to be entering our second year of sponsoring this iconic event, and indeed the whole Hickstead Derby Meeting. It’s a fantastic date in the showjumping calendar and with so much on offer it is definitely four days not to miss out on. We are very excited to see whether the 2018 Al Shira’aa Derby can top the first win by Nigel Coupe in 2017.”

Tickets for the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting are on sale now, with discounts applying to all tickets bought online in advance of the show. Purchased tickets can be immediately downloaded and printed, making them ideal for last-minute Christmas gifts.

Another new option for 2018 is the chance to upgrade to the forward car park, which is situated close to the open and covered grandstands, right  behind the International Arena. Upgrading your parking pass to this area costs an additional £10 to the standard £10 parking charge, and is available from the Friday to the Sunday of the show.

To purchase tickets and for more information, contact

Photo caption: The Thursday of the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting will now feature free general admission entry to spectators

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