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)

Borris school was Hickstead dual winner

Pupils from the Borris Vocational School in Co Carlow rode out as the dual winners of the recent Hurst College National Senior Schools Jumping Championships.

Patrick Doyle (Boley Boy), Aoife Murphy (Garrynadruig Turbo), Catherine Kavanagh (Coppenagh Blitz) and Claire Kavanagh (Clonagoose Daniel Dubh) made up the winning team, with Aoife claiming individual honours as well.

Hickstead winners Borris Vocational School Senior School (c) Julian Portch

Having produced three clears in the first round, the team was able to drop Catherine’s eight fault round and finish on a team score of zero. Former winners Wellington College and Millfield School finished second equal with eight faults.

Seventeen-year-old Aoife was the fastest of the five double clears in the jump-off, shaving 0.28 off the leading time to take the win ahead of runner-up George Laing from Hurst College.

It was a great day for the Borris Vocational School riders, with Claire Kavanagh (15) finishing eventual seventh in the individual honours, with 14-year-old Patrick Doyle finishing in eighth place.

Irish schools have a good record in this championship, with the title going to Newbridge College in Co Kildare 12 months ago, but this was the first win for the Borris Vocational School.

The school did finish in fourth place on their last visit two years ago, but this year they not only won the seniors title but brought a junior team as well, who also qualified for the final in Hickstead’s famous Longines International Arena.

“We also won the inter schools league back home in Ireland, so it’s been a good year for our school,” said Aoife.

Aoife Murphy and Garrynacdruig Turbo
Photo (c) Julian Portch

Aoife’s horse Garryndruig Turbo is a former Grade A showjumper, and she has had the ride on her for three years. “She’s quite a cheeky mare, but she’s a pet in the stable and she loves jumping clear rounds,” she said.

Although it was a long journey from Ireland – with the horses travelling via ferry and the riders flying over – today’s win made it more than worthwhile. The quartet can continue the celebrations over the weekend when they go to watch international showjumping at the London leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour.

Millfield School claimed their third Hickstead title in four years when winning the Hurst College Junior Schools Championship.

The team of Tara Kay (Amandas), Charlotte Manton (Tullibards Boom Groom), Hatty Kingsford (Killycloghan Classic Melody) and Lily Rhys (Fond Of A Drop) secured the title for their Glastonbury-based school for the second year in a row.

Both Millfield and eventual runners-up Seaford College had to jump-off for honours after both teams produced a perfect sweep of four clear rounds apiece.

In the jump-off, Tara (14), Charlotte (13), Hatty (13) and Lily (14) repeated their clears to take the win, while Seaford ended up on eight faults.

All four members of the winning team also compete in eventing. Three of the riders are competing at BE100 level, with Charlotte hoping to step up to this height this season.

Hatty and Lily were both in the victorious team last year, so were making a winning return to the All England Jumping Course. “It feels really good to be part of the winning team for our school,” said Hatty. “My mare loved the course, it was really flowing and it’s a big arena which suits her.”

A pupil from The Towers School in Steyning took the top prize in the Hurst College Junior Schools Individual Championship.

Briony Martin, 14, and her pony My Time IV claimed individual honours after a fiercely competitive class.

They were last to go in the jump-off, so they had to wait until 14 other riders had tackled the shortened course against the clock. Briony knew she would have to pull out an impressive performance to take the lead, and she certainly did that – whizzing round in a time of 34.09sec to knock 0.82sec off the leading time.

Briony is no stranger to competing at Hickstead, and today was her third time riding in the Longines International Arena. “It’s such good fun, I always love it here,” she said.

Making their performance even more impressive is the fact My Time IV has had an eye removed. “He may only have one eye but he’s amazing. Although he can be quite cheeky he’s so cool, showjumping is definitely our thing,” she added.

Honor Redhouse claimed the Hickstead Elite 1.10m NSEA Individual Championship, riding her Connemara pony Zara Queen of Hearts. Today’s win marked a double for the pair, who won the same title here at the Hurst College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships 12 months ago.

“It’s my final year on her so it was great to win this class,” said Honor, 15, who is a pupil at Radnor House School in Sevenoaks. “My mare really loves the arena and the atmosphere here. It’s so nice that younger riders are able to compete here as well as the pros.”

After her win in the Longines International Arena, Honor was presented with a lesson with top Irish showjumper Trevor Breen – which was an added bonus for the young rider, who already trains with Trevor and his wife Caroline.

The Hickstead Elite 1.00m NSEA Team Championship took place in the Equine America Ring Three, with the title going to the Lady Manners School in Derbyshire.

The Hurst College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships were first held in 1964. Since then thousands of young riders have come to Hickstead each summer, each hoping to qualify to jump on the hallowed turf of the Longines International Arena.

Many familiar names have taken part in the championships, including riders Pippa Funnell, Robert Whitaker and Jessica Mendoza, as well as the Duchess of York, supermodel Jodie Kidd and BBC presenter Clare Balding.

“This event is one of the highlights of the amateur equestrian calendar, and competing at this level requires great skill and considerable courage,” said Tim Manly, Headmaster of sponsors Hurst College. “It’s been a great day of competition, with fantastic spirit shown by the riders.”

Hickstead boost to Tim Stockdale Foundation

The directors of the All England Jumping Course handed over a cheque for £51,894 to the Tim Stockdale Foundation, following the first #10forTim charity run at Hickstead.

The race was held on Saturday 27 July in memory of Tim Stockdale, one of Great Britain’s most successful showjumpers, who died last November just a month after being diagnosed with stomach cancer.

Tim’s wife Laura and their two sons Joe and Mark set up the Tim Stockdale Foundation in his memory. The Foundation helps to support young people’s aspirations in the three sports Tim loved best – golf, cricket and of course showjumping – as well as other causes close to his heart.

Lizzie Bunn, Laura Stockdale, Joe Stockdale and Clare Balding with the cheque

“Hickstead was the scene of one of Tim’s best career moments, winning the Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup in 2010 with Fresh Direct Kalico Bay. As such we felt it was important to hold an event in his memory, and so the #10forTim run was born,” explains Lizzie Bunn, who came up with the idea of the relay race.

The charity run took place on the penultimate evening of the Longines Royal International Horse Show, and saw teams of 10 runners race in relay style round the perimeter track of the Longines International Arena. Each team had to raise a minimum of £2,500 for the charity.

Riders are known for their competitiveness, and many are no stranger to racing round Hickstead’s main arena at speed – albeit usually on a horse, rather than on foot. Many familiar names from the horse world took part in Saturday night’s run, including Pippa and William Funnell, Guy Williams, Jessica Springsteen, Laura Kraut, Holly Smith and a whole team of members of the famous Whitaker family. Laura Stockdale, Joe Stockdale and Tim’s twin brother Ivan Stockdale also ran in the race.

The team from Equine America crossed the finish line first, while Team Stuccles, led by Badr Al Omran, raised the most money for the charity. Hundreds of Hickstead fans gathered to cheer on the runners, and enjoy the live music and entertainment.

Tim was a talented showjumper, making more than 50 Nations Cup appearances during his career as well as representing Great Britain at the Olympics, World and European Championships. He was also a renowned producer of horses, an inspiring trainer, a sought-after commentator and presenter, and one of the best ambassadors for equestrian sport.

He was also no stranger to overcoming the odds. “After breaking his neck in a riding fall in October 2011, he returned to competition just four months later and was winning five-star Grands Prix within a year,” said Lizzie Bunn.

“The name of Tim’s autobiography was ‘There’s no such word as can’t!’ – and that was an ethos he lived by, and always inspired in others. We feel that ethos was very appropriate for the #10forTim run – not all the participants were enthusiastic runners or athletically-built, and we set a considerable total fundraising target of £50,000, but everyone rose to the challenge and I’m delighted to say we exceeded our target on the night, with donations still coming in.”

The Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead in West Sussex ran from 23-28 July, with international showjumping being held alongside championship showing classes and national jumping competitions.

To donate to Team Hickstead’s fundraising efforts, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamhickstead