Hickstead has exciting season ahead

HICKSTEAD has an exciting season ahead, as this year marks 60 years since Douglas Bunn first opened the All England Jumping Course.

It will also be the 60th running of the Al Shira’aa Derby, which was first held in 1961. There are plenty of things in store for this special anniversary year and newsletters will contain more details.

Hickstead has an update on its Arena Polo fixtures and is taking a look at which riders are in action at the Al Shira’aa International Horse Show, There is also a prize giveaway from Equisupplies for everyone to enter.

It may be only January but Hickstead is already counting down the weeks until the start of its international show season.

Shane Breen en route to winning the Hickstead Derby
Photo: www.spidge.co.uk

Tickets for the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting (June 24-28 ) and the Longines Royal International Horse Show (July 21-26 ) are on sale now, with discounts applying on all advance ticket sales.

If you’d like to make your visit truly special, consider booking one of Hickstead’s luxurious hospitality options, including the Al Shira’aa Suite, the Members’ Restaurant or a private box. Bookings for hospitality open on February 3.

For more details contact https://www.hickstead.co.uk/hospitality-events

Georgia Tame leads under 25 British Championship Olympia qualifier

Twenty-four talented combinations competed in the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship Qualifier and it was 22 year-old Georgia Tame from Horsham, West Sussex who came out on top in the impressive Olympia Grand Hall.

Georgia was on board Quintella, an 11 year-old bay mare owned by Old Lodge. Each and every one of the starting field had been invited to compete in this thrilling two round qualifier at Olympia, the London International Horse Show and they were all focused on achieving a top ten finish.

Securing a place inside the top ten would ensure a coveted spot in the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship Final which will run on Sunday December 22 at 6pm.

The twelve fence track set by Course Designer Alan Wade set a stiff challenge with just four able to find the key to jumping clear in the first round whilst six of the starters jumped for just four faults to give us the top ten overall. Those who jumped clear were invited back into the arena for the jump off and two went on to bag a double clear.

Georgia Tame riding Quintella DS

Following an impressive first round, Georgia showed off Quintella’ pace and scope in the jump off when the pair delivered a double clear in 32.21 seconds, a result that they will be hoping to emulate in Sunday’s Championship Final.

Sixteen year-old Oliver Fletcher from Faringdon, Oxfordshire was runner up on Temple Rebus, a 12 year-old chestnut gelding owned by Graham Fletcher. They delivered the only other double clear in 35.37 seconds after two foot perfect performances.

Third place went to 20 year-old Charlie Jones from Lutterworth, Leicestershire who was first to go in both rounds on Dexter, an 11 year-old bay gelding owned by Ardencote Stud. The combination had just a single pole down in the jump off in 35.45 seconds.

The other representative in the jump off was 20 year-old Harry Charles from Alton, Hampshire on Valkiry de Zance, a 10 year-old chestnut gelding owned by Irina Abramovich. They also picked up four faults and jumped round in a time of 42.20 seconds.

The top ten from this qualifier now advance through to the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship Final which will run during the evening performance on Sunday 22nd December at 6.00pm. Faults will not be carried through from today, so each rider will start on a score of zero and riders will be jumping for the lions share of the £13,000 prize pot on offer. With a start height of 1.45m, the class runs over two rounds with the top five progressing through to the jump off before the eventual Champion is crowned.

In addition to the four horses and riders above, the following combinations have also qualified for Sunday: Jack Whitaker & Scenletha, Jodie Hall McAteer & Salt˜N Peppa, Millie Allen & Quinu de Pravia, Flo Norris & Con Pleasure 5, Scarlett Charles & Lordanos Junior and Jessica Mendoza & Dublin.



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Rory is winner of Hickstead ‘s Roger Stack award

Working Hunter supremo Rory Gilsenan was the winner of this year’s Roger Stack Award at Hickstead.

An Oxfordshire-based show producer. Rory was announced as the recipient of the Roger Stack Award at Hickstead’s Showtime Ball  on  November 16.

The award is presented in honour of Hickstead’s former Showing director Roger Stack, who died in 2016, and is given in recognition of the standout showing performance of the season.

Rory was an extremely worthy winner of this year’s award, having completed the HOYS/Hickstead double by winning the Charles Owen Supreme Working Hunter title at the Longines Royal International Horse Show in July, while battling an aggressive brain tumour.

The popular Irishman had celebrated winning his first Working Hunter title at the Horse of the Year Show in October 2018, when his diagnosis came just a few weeks later. Following months of arduous chemotherapy treatment, Rory showed his tenacity by returning to the saddle in time to win the championship at Hickstead.

Following a period of remission, unfortunately the tumour returned and Rory has recently undergone another operation. Sadly, he was not well enough to attend the ball in person, but his close friend Lee Middleton from Equine America accepted the award on Rory’s behalf.

Rory Gilsenan, winner of Hickstead’s Roger Stack Award

“We cannot think of a more deserving winner of the Roger Stack Award than Rory, who spent five years working for Roger at the start of his career,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. “Rory’s performance this summer with Atlantic Slim was pure perfection, especially considering how he beat the odds just to compete at Hickstead, let alone pick up one of the most coveted championship titles of all.”

Now in its fifth year, Hickstead’s annual Showtime Ball saw around 130 members of the showing community gather to celebrate the end of another successful season. Profits from the Ball are put towards improving the showing facilities at the showground, with a total of £9150 raised during the fundraising auction.

This year, a decision was made on the night to put the £2,000 proceeds from the raffle towards the #RootingforRory fund, which has been started to help Rory Gilsenan during his treatment.

Williams and Whitaker share puissance win

The Ripon Select Foods Puissance, the class everyone had been waiting to see at Horse of the Year Show, was finally here. Showcasing an impressive line-up of international riders, including last year’s joint winners, Alfie Bradstock and Guy Williams, as well as Geoff Billington and Robert Whitaker who have both won multiple Puissance classes in their careers.

The riders did not disappoint, performing some breath-taking rounds to entertain the packed-out crowd on Saturday night at Horse of the Year Show. By round five, the 12 starters were whittled down to four to tackle the big red wall, set at an impressive height of 7ft2” (2.20m).

Robert Whitaker was up first riding Major Delacour who had never jumped a Puissance wall before tonight’s class. The 11-year-old chestnut gelding brushed off the pressure clearing the wall in remarkable style.

The win was just out of reach for Simon Buckley and Nano Healy who had each shown great courage to make it through the earlier rounds.

It was all down to Guy Williams to see if he could match last year’s win. A wave of suspense spread around the Andrews Bowen International Arena as he approached the wall riding last year’s winning horse, Mr Blue Sky UK. With experience on his side, the fearless grey gelding took off stride-perfect to take a joint win alongside Robert Whitaker. An exciting end to a crowd favourite at Horse of the Year Show.

Guy Williams has won four out of the four Puissance classes with the striking Mr Blue Sky UK, who is owned by Caroline Phillips. He said:  “He’s a really good horse and he just takes you to the fence. It’s almost like the bigger it gets, the better he jumps.

“He hasn’t done a Puissance since Olympia last year, it’s not something you want to do too often. In a Puissance it is really tempting to attack the fence early on, but I try and hold them until the last round. It’s a fun class to ride in and the audience really enjoy it which makes you want to win. ”

Guy Williams and Robert Whitaker in action Photo: Julian Portch

Robert was delighted that Major Delacour, owned by Clare Whitaker and Elaine Wood, had won his first ever Puissance: “I just knew he’d be a good Puissance horse. I’ve been riding him now for about a year and he is a very brave jumper. I couldn’t have asked any more of him tonight, he felt better and better each round.”

He added: “I’ will probably do the Puissance at Olympia and see if we can win there too.”

Ripon Select Foods are food ingredient manufacturers based in North Yorkshire. Headed up by Martin Wood, the Wood family have supported Horse of the Year Show for several years through their sponsorship of both the Supreme Horse of the Year and Children’s Riding Pony of the Year.

As a company, and a family, they are delighted to extend their sponsorship to cover the ever-popular Puissance class for the first time in 2019.

Simon is new Senior Foxhunter Champion

Simon Crippen has won the Equitop Myoplast Senior Foxhunter Championship riding Tim Peake’s seven-year-old gelding, Premier Titanium, at Horse of the Year Show 2019.

Often described as the class everyone wants to win, Tim himself had been placed in the Championship many times, coming closest in 2010 when he took second place with Wembley III. The Foxhunter Championship started in 1954, it is one of the longest standing Championships at HOYS and its popularity is down to it showcasing the very best of the country’s novice horses.

Taking home the highly-coveted Foxhunter goblet after a difficult course, Simon was thrilled with his win finishing on a time of 38.51 seconds. He commented: “Tonight everything went my way. I had a funny feeling today that we would do well, and I was 13th to go which is my lucky number.

Equitop Myoplast Senior Foxhunter Champion Simon  Crippen:  Photo courtesy of Julian Portch

I’ve been placed in this class a lot over the years, so to finally win was a fantastic feeling.”

Paul Barker and Matt Sampson, two riders known on the circuit for being quick in jump offs, were first in but their tight twisty turns cost them unfortunate penalties, leaving the field wide open to the other combinations. Simon continueD: “Seeing the previous riders pick up faults, I decided to ride a steadier round and aim for clear, then hope it might be just enough. It was a nice smooth round and flowed well. Luckily it paid off and I’m delighted.”Simon’s last big win at HOYS was in 1998 aged just 17 when he won the Senior Newcomers Championship riding Divine Des Cabanes owned by Judy Ross.

Today, more than 20 years later, he is back on top form with a talented young horse.

He said: “Premier Titanium is a really good horse; I think he could be a real star. I’ve been riding him for just over two years now and although he has been tricky to produce, he shows great talent. He was a stallion up until this summer and having him gelded has really helped him to focus which has enabled us to progress quickly over the last few months. To win this traditional stepping stone class feels extremely special.”

Runner up in the class and placing second was this year’s Burghley Horse Trials winner, Pippa Funnell, who last rode at HOYS in 2011 winning the Senior Newcomers riding Billy Balou. With two rides in the class, Pippa’s second place was with seven-year-old mare, Billy Picador, who produced a beautiful double clear just outside of the time, finishing on 40.40 seconds.

Equitop Myoplast® is a unique amino acid supplement specifically designed to support lean muscle growth, helping horses to respond and cope with the demands of training and rehabilitation. The blend of amino acids in Equitop Myoplast supports lean muscle growth in older horses that lose condition easily, those in intensive training or competition as well as young and developing horses.

Exciting action at Hickstead

THE Science Supplements All England Jumping Championships at Hickstead had a  busy day of jumping, with five rings of competition running all day yesterday, including a 1.40m class in the Longines International Arena.

Entrance and parking is free for the show  and everyone is welcome. There is also a prize givaway with the chance to win a tripe of a lifetime to the Al Shira’aa International Horse Show in Abu Dhabi in a prize giveaway.

Thrilling action at Hickstead
Photo: Nigel Goddard

Here is today’s programme for an outstanding day at Hickstead- which is a prelude to the weekend’s schedule of top class competitions on both days, culminating in a day of breathtaking championships on Sunday.

Friday August 30: 9am start with the All England 1.40m Open followed by the All England Four-year-old championship 1.10m; All England Five Year Old Championship against the clock.

8am All England 1.20m Amateur Championship 2nd Qualifier in the Equine America Ring 3A. Competition in two phases against the clock.  Followed by the Senior British Novice Championship first round. Then there will be the All England 1.20m Open Championship first qualifier.

There will be another chance to win a trip of a lifetime to the Al Sira’aa Internetional Horse Show  in Aby Dhabi in a prize giveaway.

Don’t forget, entrance and parking is free and everyone is welcome.


European medallist Holly Smith to compete at final 2019 Hickstead event

European team bronze medallist Holly Smith will be competing at the final show of the Hickstead season – the Science Supplements All England Jumping Championships ( August 29 to September 1).

Holly is currently representing Great Britain at the FEI European Jumping Championships in Rotterdam, where she helped her team clinch a team bronze medal as well as securing qualification for Tokyo 2020.

Holly has had excellent form at Hickstead in recent years, including second places in the Al Shira’aa Derby and the Nations Cup, plus wins in the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard and Derby Trial. The Leicestershire rider makes her return to the All England Jumping Course after missing last month’s five-star Longines FEI Nations Cup meeting due to a broken collar bone.

Holly Smith and Hearts Destiny in action
Photo copyright Sian Hayden

Other Hickstead stars to compete at the four-day national championships include Hickstead Derby winners Trevor Breen, Phillip Miller and Guy Williams, along with four-time Al Shira’aa Derby runner up Harriet Nuttall. Young talents to look out for include Yazmin Pinchen, Georgia Tame, Chuffy Clarke, Alfie Bradstock, Joe Stockdale and Oliver Tuff. Two members of the famous Whitaker family are due to compete, Louise and Joanne.

The show also attracts entries from a number of eventers, with five-star riders Pippa Funnell, Sharon Hunt, Gemma Tattersall and Francis Whittington all competing at this event.

“Entries have been flooding in for our season finale, and we’re set for an exciting few days of competition to round off what’s been a fantastic summer of sport,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn.

First held in 2011, the All England Jumping Championships have gone strength to strength. This year, unaffiliated Arena Eventing has been added to the schedule for the first time, with classes starting at 80cm. There are showjumping classes from British Novice level (90cm) up to the 1.40m Science Supplements All England Grand Prix, plus Young Horse classes for Four-, Five- and Six- & Seven-Year-Olds.

This is the first year the championships have run under the title sponsorship of Science Supplements. The leading supplements company came on board as a Hickstead sponsor this season, and also sponsor several major classes at the international shows, including the British Speed Derby and the Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

Entry and parking for the Science Supplements All England Jumping Championships is free to spectators, with a select group of trade stands open across the four days as well as a range of bars and eateries.

The action from the Longines International Arena will be live streamed on ClipMyHorse.TV from Friday to Sunday.

Good win for Louise Simpson at Bolesworth

LOUISE Simpson and Unex Cognac IV saw triumph over adversity after a difficult year for the 11-year-old who had an eye removed eight months ago.

The West Sussex rider has been thrilled with his progress and took home a win in the Equestrizone CSI2* Two Phase at the Equitop Bolesworth Young Horse Championships.

Heading the class in a time of 29.96 seconds, Louise came home just ahead of Louise Saywell and her well-known partner the speedy Feigtling.

CS12 star winner Louise Simpson and  Unex Cognac IV       Photo: Spidge Event Photography

The Nottinghamshire rider, Louise Saywell, galloped home in 30.91 seconds with Georgia Tame once again in the line-up, this time in third on Canya Dance.

Unex Cognac IV is another ride Louise Simpson shares with her husband David and she is delighted to have him back in competition action.

The couple are based at DLS Showjumping, Coolham, in West Sussex and are professional riders.

Said Louise: “We’ve taken our time to bring him back and although I am aware of giving him an extra stride to fences when turning on certain angles the operation doesn’t appear to have bothered him at all.

“We will continue to build his confidence and take it slowly but I have no concerns he will soon be jumping on top form again.”

  Louise Simpson winning the Equestrizone CSI2* Two Phase with Sara Lamyman of Equestrizone. [Credit Spidge Photography]

Pippa Funnell leads at Hartpury

Pippa Funnell retains her grip on the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S competition after the second day of dressage, albeit with her third 4* ride – Billy The Biz.
The striking grey looked effortless on Friday afternoon earning a score of 23.3 and setting the standard going into Saturday’s showjumping and cross country phases.
Sarah Bullimore had a busy but successful Friday finishing with her least experienced horse in third place. The first on the board was Sarah’s top horse and reserve on the British squad for the EuropeaChampionships, Reve Du Rouet who scored 28.5 but it was the homebred eight-year-old Corouet who moved into the lead just before lunch with a score of 23.6.
Tom McEwen soon matched Sarah’s score of 23.6 with Toledo De Kerser moving ahead due to collective marks. Speaking to An Eventful Life after his test, Tom said “There was nothing I wanted to particularly aim for this year so we’ve just kept him ticking along at national level.
“He’s got a really expressive medium canter so I really tried to show it off today.”
The final hours of the CCI4*-S dressage phase with a host of top-class names including Piggy French, Tina Cook, Tim Price and Sarah Bullimore who returned with her final ride, Conpierre.
Last year’s winners of this class Tina Cook and Billy The Red put in a solid test to earn a mark of 23.7 ahead of Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street.
This year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials winners, Piggy French and Vanir Kamira, lie in ninth after dressage on a score of 25.8. Piggy’s other ride Quarrycrest Echo goes into the showjumping in 11th with a score of 26.6.
Tom, Piggy and Tina are all headed to the European Championships at Luhmuhlen and all three have brought their Championship horses for a run. A number of other combinations are Burghley-bound.
Twenty-seven riders in the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S earned sub-30 dressage scores setting up showjumping and cross country phases tomorrow.
With the Met Office forecasting high winds on Saturday, organisers have taken the decision to move the CCI4*-S showjumping phase indoors. The cross country course remains in good condition with near perfect going.
In the NAF Five Star Mpower CCI2*-L and NAF Five Star Superflex CCI3*-L competitions the leaders remain unchanged from Thursday with Sarah Holmes and Harley Brown, and Piggy French and Brookfield Quality, leading respectively.

Eric Winter, course designer, with Teddy the Shetland.
Photo: Sally Newcomb Photography)