Hickstead celebration season tickets on sale now

Hickstead is back with a bang as tickets go on sale for 2022 celebration season .The Box Office for Hickstead’s international shows has opened, with the organisers looking forward to a full return to competition for next summer.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of both the Derby Meeting and the five-star Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain for two years running. But now, following the return of crowds at large sporting events, the organisers are excited to announce that their premier fixtures will be running as usual.

Action Down the Derby Bank will thrill the crowds

“The past two years have been incredibly challenging, with our main events being cancelled,” says Hickstead’s executive director, Lizzie Bunn. “We were fortunate that we could run some events behind closed doors or in a reduced format, but we did miss our large-scale shows and especially our iconic classes. Now we are busy planning a spectacular return for both our international fixtures, starting off with the celebrations of the 60th running of the Al Shira’aa Derby.”

The Hickstead Derby, which has been sponsored by Al Shira’aa since 2017, is one of the oldest and most famous classes in showjumping. Many of the biggest names in the sport have won this class, including four-time winners Eddie Macken, Harvey Smith, William Funnell and Michael and John Whitaker. The most recent winner was Ireland’s Mikey Pender, who was just 19 years old and making his Derby debut when winning in 2019.

“The Al Shira’aa Derby is our busiest day of the year, with crowds flocking here to West Sussex to see who can conquer the fearsome course and be added to the roll call of champions,” says Lizzie. “This year will be the 60th running of the class, and we can’t wait to see who will lift the trophy in this important year.”

With few events running in 2020 and restrictions still applying last summer, it was decided to postpone the 60th running of the Derby until 2022. “It’s one class that people love to watch in person, and a full and enthusiastic crowd is part of what makes the Al Shira’aa Derby special,” Lizzie adds. “After a two-year hiatus we hope showjumping fans will be back in their droves for the return of the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting, which runs from 23 – 26 June.”

The following month Hickstead will welcome the return of five-star international competition with the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup at the Longines Royal International Horse Show (26-31 July).

“The Royal International includes some of the most prestigious classes anywhere in the world, including the Longines King George V Gold Cup and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain, in which only the most elite riders take part,” says Lizzie. “It’s been two years since we’ve run these classes and every equestrian fan will be looking forward to them being back in their usual place in the showjumping calendar.”

With championship showing classes, a myriad of equestrian disciplines in action, a large shopping village, fun for all the family and a host of options for bars, restaurants and dining, Hickstead’s international shows are among the sporting and social highlights of the British summer season.

To encourage spectators to make the trip to the All England Jumping Course, an early bird discount of 10% applies to all tickets bought online. Under-15s attend free of charge every day of the season except Al Shira’aa Derby Day (when booked in advance), while general admission is free for everyone on Thursday 23 June.

Visit www.hickstead.co.uk to book.  

Pulborough rider Ryan Perrett takes National title

Ryan Perrett Shaves off fractions of a second to Win in the National Pony 1.15m Members Cup
Ryan Perrett of Pulborough wins National Pony 1.15m Members Cup

Competing in a very tight class was Ryan Perrett, aged 15 from Pulborough in West Sussex, partnering Ruby Trevelyan Of Lyonnesse where they secured the title of the National Pony 1.15m Members Cup.

The combination were strong from the start, jumping clear in the first round. The jump off was intense, with the top two combinations separated by only a fraction of a second, with Ryan coming out on top.

After his win, Ryan commented on his mare’s abilities: “She was great in the jump-off, she always thrives in the jump-off environment, the quicker the better.”

Ryan’s sister had been competing the 16-year-old mare recently, but he has taken her back for the week and is competing again later this week in more classes, including the Silver League finals.

Amy Morris, riding Robe Silver Lady, were just a touch behind the winners, taking second place.

Full results can be seen at www.bsnationalchampionships.com

Royal International Horse Show with spotlight on hacks

TODAY, Saturday, is the penultimate day of the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead and it is time for the hacks to take their place in the spotlight.

The Brereton Supreme Hack Championship is always one of the most popular showing classes, with those elegant equines floating round the International Arena.

Today saw the first of Hickstead’s special two-star showjumping classes at this year’s Prenetics Royal International Horse Show – with a first-ever Hickstead main ring international win for Jay Halim. Congratulations to Jay, and to Anthony Condon and Joe Clayton who won the other two International Arena classes today.

Another rider who deserves a mention is Nicole Lockhead Anderson, who wasn’t content with winning yesterday’s Al Shira’aa RIHS Six Year Old Championship – today she won a major showing title as well!

And finally, if you fancy coming down to Hickstead this weekend, we’d love to see you so please do come down, watch some fantastic showjumping and showing classes, and make sure to browse our boutique selection of tradestands. Adult admission costs just £15 this year, with concessions costing £10 and under-16s going free, and tickets can be bought online or at the gate.

Expect some impressive action at Hickstead this weekend Photo courtesy of Spidge Event Photography

Don’t miss the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead

ENTRIES for the international showjumping at this month’s Prenetics Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead have been announced.

Plenty of top showjumpers will be in action in the two-star international classes at the show (21-25 July), including Michael Whitaker, Robert Whitaker, James Whitaker, Shane Breen, Trevor Breen, Harriet Biddick (nee Nuttall) and Will Fletcher.

A number of leading event riders will also be competing in the showjumping classes, including Olympic medallists Pippa Funnell and Gemma Tattersall.

Entries for the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show on July 26 2021 have been released. Photo courtesy of Nigel Goddard

A series of CSI2* one-off classes will take place during the show, including the RIHS Sussex Stakes, the Prenetics July Stakes, the RIHS Southdown Stakes, the Prenetics Castle Stakes and the £6,000 Prenetics Royal International Vase.

The event draws to a close with the Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup, a class that was first held in 1949. Originally for lady riders only, the class was opened up to both men and women in 2008. It is usually a prestigious national championship, open only to the highest-ranked riders in British Showjumping, but this year it will be awarded to the winner of the Grand Prix.

Last year’s winner, David Simpson, will be a notable absentee having been called up on Nations Cup duties abroad, but several other recent winners are likely to factor in proceedings, including the Breen brothers, Harriet Biddick – who has returned to top level competition following the birth of her first baby Archie earlier this year – and James Whitaker.

Other showjumping highlights include the Al Shira’aa RIHS young horse championships for five-, six- and seven-year-olds, plus the British Showjumping Winter Finals. 

As well as being one of the oldest horse shows in the world, the Royal International is also one of the largest – with more than 3,000 horses and ponies of all shapes and sizes taking part across seven rings of competition. Hickstead is best known for its showjumping, but showing is a major part of its fixtures too.

The Prenetics Royal International Horse Show is a championship show, meaning riders have had to pick up a qualifying ticket at venues around the country in order to compete in the showing classes. Top producers such as Jayne Ross, Katie Jerram-Hunnable, Jo Bates, Robert Walker and Allister and Oliver Hood are among those expected to pick up titles at the show.

Throughout the show, various champions will earn their place in Sunday’s grand finals – the British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Supreme Products Supreme Pony Championships. While the Horse of the Year Show is the pinnacle of indoor showing, the Royal International is regarded as the most prestigious outdoor horse show in Britain, making Hickstead’s supreme titles among the most important in the sport.

Tickets for the show are on sale now from www.hickstead.co.uk, with admission costing just £15 per person, concessions available, and under-16s going free.

Guy Williams starred at Hickstead

Guy Williams on his way to victory on board Rouge De Ravel
 Guy Williams, did what he set out to do in the Al Shira’aa Trophy when he claimed the top
 spot in the £15,000 Al Shira’aa Trophy his experienced and impressive horse, Rouge De Ravel.

A total of 88 riders came forward for the final day’s Grand Prix, with many of British showjumping’s biggest names among the starters. But they faced a tough challenge in Kelvin Bywater’s course, and in the end almost one-third of the field failed to complete the first round, with the open water proving particularly influential.

But 10 combinations did produce clear rounds, ensuring a competitive jump-off against the clock. Yet Guy and his hugely experienced campaigner Rouge De Ravel made the most of their later draw to deliver a clear in a time of 42.48sec, with the pair taking some daring routes and making the most of the open space of the International Arena by keeping up a relentless pace throughout.

Irishman David Simpson was the next quickest in second, but even his speedy partner Foudre F finished 2.5sec in arrears.

Williams was obviously on winning form, as he started his Grand Prix campaign by lifting both qualifying classes on Thursday – he won the first of the Al Shira’aa 1.40m Open classes on Mr Blue Sky UK, before picking up the afternoon’s class on the 16-year-old stallion Rouge De Ravel.

“He jumped really well on the first day, and the plan was to come back and try to win today – so he’s done what we asked him,” said Guy. “He’s a class horse and he’s won all over the world, but he loves it here at Hickstead.”

The five-day Al Shira’aa Jumping Championships was a special national competition run for this year only in place of the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting, which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation.

A Hickstead spokeswoman said: “We have really missed having our usual crowds of people here with us this week, but the good news is that tickets are now on sale for the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show.

We are releasing 4,000 tickets per day, with potentially more going on sale depending on the government restrictions at the time of the show.

“With no five-star classes for this summer only we’ve reduced ticket prices accordingly, with adult admission costing just £15, concessions available, and under 16s going free.

“Whether you’re a die-hard equestrian fan or just looking for a fun, affordable family day out this summer, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome at Hickstead.

Don’t miss The Prenetics Royal International Horse Show
Wed, 21 Jul 2021 – Sun, 25 Jul 2021 at The All England Jumping Course at Hickstead.

Start of Al Shira’aa Jumping Championships at Hickstead

HUNDREDS of riders got their 2021 Hickstead campaign off to a start at the opening day of the Al Shira’aa Jumping championships. 

Entries for this national show filled up in record time, with most classes attracting 100+ entries – and one 1m class even boasting a start list of 246!

This special event will take place for this year only, in place of the planned Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting. Everyone is looking forward to the return of the Al Shira’aa Derby in 2022.   

This show is being run behind closed doors, so only stakeholders, sponsors and hospitality visitors are allowed access. However, you can still watch all the action from the Longines International Arena via the livestream (Thursday to Sunday) on Hickstead.TV and ClipMyHorse.TV

ESSEX-based rider Ronnie Jones was also a star for he not only took the Al Shira’aa British Five-Year-Old Championship with the mare L’Amour but he also claimed the honours in the hotly-contested Six-Year-Old final too, with his second win in quick succession coming courtesy of the stallion Key West RSH.

A huge field of 108 horses came forward for this morning’s opener, the Al Shira’aa 1.40m Open, with James Whitaker heading the line-up with Lammy Beach. See Below:

James, who is a former winner of the Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup, saw off close opposition from runner-up Holly Smith and Billy Sarafina. Holly originally produced Lammy Beach, a 13-year-old Irish sports horse, before he moved to the Whitakers’ yard to be campaigned by William and then younger brother James.

Crowds are set to return to Hickstead as tickets are now on sale for the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show which takes place from July 21-25.

Following that will be the Hurst College National Schools and Pony Championships, then the Science Supplements All England September Tour, then the I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival.

This will give Hickstead a busy and exciting programme of events to look forward to.

NAF Five Star Bronze League Qualifier at Felbridge

With the fastest triple clear of the class, Hannah Smith from Crawley, West Sussex claimed first place in the NAF Five Star Bronze League Qualifier which took place at the Felbridge Showground on Saturday.

Hannah Smith and Pauldaries Mysteque winning the NAF Five Star Bronze League Qualifier at Felbridge Showground
[PHOTO: Felbridge Photography]

Riding Samantha Baker’s 17 year-old mare Pauldaries Mysteque, Hannah was one of ten riders to take up a spot in the final jump off from a starting field of sixty combinations.

With her eyes firmly on the red rosette, Hannah was able to produce the winning triple clear in 34.53 seconds, just 0.08 of a second faster than her closest rival.

NAF Five Star Bronze League Qualifier

1st Hannah Smith & Pauldaries Mysteque – 0/0/0 – 34.53 seconds

2nd Louise McDonald & Fanta-astic – 0/0/0 – 34.61 seconds

3rd Elizabeth East & Kennedy 55 – 0/0/0 – 40.25 seconds

Hickstead’s Royal International Horse Show to run in reduced format in 2021

The organisers at the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead, have made the difficult decision to run the Royal International Horse Show under a new format for this season, due to the ongoing Covid situation and restrictions on international travel.

The July fixture would normally play host to five-star international classes including the Longines King George V Gold Cup and the feature event, the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain, along with crowds of up to 50,000 across the six days.

For this year only, the Royal International Horse Show (20-25 July) will run as a two-star international event, with showjumping classes aimed at British-based riders.

The national classes at this show, such as the British Showjumping Winter Finals, will remain part of the fixture, and the Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup moves to the premier position of Sunday afternoon to form the feature class of the show.

Showing classes will run as normal, with a range of different sections and classes concluding in Sunday’s supreme championships.

“We had so hoped to return to normality for this season, but the on-going uncertainty combined with restrictions on travel made it impossible to run the Royal International in its usual format,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn.

“Having already made the decision to run the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting as a national show, it’s so disappointing to also have to cancel our showcase classes from our July fixture – however the cost implications of staging a five-star international event under restricted conditions made it unviable.

In addition, we normally welcome athletes from the leading showjumping nations around the world to compete at this event, but this was not going to be possible without seriously affecting all the other rings and classes.”

It is hoped that some crowds will be allowed by the time of the show, but details of public attendance and ticketing will be announced nearer the time. There will be a selection of tradestands in attendance, while some hospitality options will be available. Visit www.hickstead.co.uk for more information. 
Hickstead’s famous Derby Ban k is a key attraction at the showground
Photo courtesy of Hickstead

Watch out for full information about this prestigious fixture at Hickstead nearer the date.

British Showjumping acts fast on European outbreak of Herpes Virus

CURRENTLY, there is a Europe-wide alert of increased risk of disease associated with Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), which originated in Valencia (ESP) and has already resulted in related outbreaks in at least three other countries in Europe.

In response, British Showjumping is putting in place the following measures for all horses returning from France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Poland, Netherlands, Germany and Slovakia from 1st March 2021:

  1. All horses  returning to the UK from France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Poland, Netherlands, Germany and Slovakia should be isolated from others which may attend British Showjumping  competitions and training events. Further we strongly advise that they are separated from all other horses.  The same also applies to horses which have transited through the above countries on their return to the UK.
  2. To be considered isolated, the isolated horses must be kept in a building that is physically separated from other horse buildings by a public highway or equivalent.
  3. Isolated horses must be attended to by separate staff and riders who are not in contact with horses on other (non-isolated) premises.
  4. To minimise risk of disease spread within an isolation premises, biosecurity measures on the property must include
    1. hand-sanitising facilities so that staff can clean their hands between handling each individual animal
    2. foot dips outside every stable
    3. separate coveralls outside each stable that are changed between caring for different horses
    4. separate tack, equipment, feed bowls for each horse
    5. facilities for disinfection of mucking out equipment must be in place
  5. British Showjumping expect their members’ local veterinary surgeon to verify these standards are in place on the isolation premises.
  6. All horses on the premises, including those which have NOT travelled in Europe recently, must have close clinical monitoring with twice daily temperature recording. Temperature records should be kept and made available for review by the members’ local veterinary surgeon.
  7. All horses on the premises including those which have not travelled in Europe recently will be excluded from participation in British Showjumping’s competitions and training events and all other BEF Member Body competitions and activities.
  8. The excluded status will apply until:
     a)  Either: All horses on the premises have been free of clinical signs for at  least 28 days   from the day the last horse(s) returning from areas of Europe defined above arrived on the isolation premises.
      b)  Or: Laboratory data confirming that all horses on the premises are free from disease is provided to British Showjumping. These laboratory data  must include: 
           i)    Paired serology (to measure antibodies against EHV) with two  samples taken a minimum of 10 days apart, using the complement fixation test (CFT) which is available at Rossdales Laboratory.
           ii)   And, a pair of nasopharyngeal swabs taken at the same time as the serology samples.
           iii)   For the purpose of interpretation of these data, day 0 is defined as the day the returning horses arrived at the isolation premises.
           iv)  Samples must be submitted to  Rossdales Laboratory. Veterinary surgeons should contact the laboratory (via  laboratory@rossdales.com or by telephone 01638- 663017,   Emergency (24hrs) 01638 663150 for advice on shipping of and processing schedules for samples and to request supplies such as  suitable nasopharyngeal  swabs and transport media.

      9.  The above requirements for laboratory data to clear excluded status will apply to  both horses which are unvaccinated and those that have received vaccines at any previous time and interpretation of laboratory data will be informed by vaccination history that should also be provided at the time of sample submission.

    10.  Samples must be accompanied by a submission form available at  Rossdales      Laboratory.

Breen Equestrian opens state-of-the-art new stud

Showjumping team Breen Equestrian has expanded its business by launching a luxurious new breeding facility close to its home base at Hickstead in West Sussex.

Pook Bourne Stud is a state-of-the-art breeding premises with space to accommodate up to 85 mares and young horses. Nine stallions will stand at the stud, including prolific show jumping winners- Golden Hawk, Can Ya Makan and Clyde VA.

The aim is to breed around a dozen foals each year under the Breen Equestrian prefix, while the stud will also cater to clients who wish to send their mares to the stud with the aim of breeding their own potential superstars.


Breen Equestrian is run by Irish international showjumper Shane Breen and his wife Chloe, who already have a superb reputation for breeding, producing and selling top class sport horses.

Fellow showjumper Greg Le Gear, a qualified AI technician, is the Stud Manager at Pook Bourne Stud and is in charge of the day-to-day running of the breeding side of the business.

Shane Breen commented: “I’m very proud and excited that Breen Equestrian can offer some of the world’s best stallions, as well as facilities that are second to none.”
For more information visit www.breenequestrian.com