A new national showjumping championship is to be held at Hickstead later this year, following a £500,000 redevelopment of the venue.
The All England Jumping Championships (8-11 September) will feature classes starting from 1m to 1.40m, amateur finals at both 1.10m and 1.20m, age classes for four-year-olds, five-year-olds, six- and seven-year-olds, plus a seven- and eight-year-olds Horse of the Year Show qualifier.
A grand prix class with a £6,000 prize-fund is also planned.
The Sports Turf Research Institute began work on the International Arena in August 2010, replacing the existing surface with a state-of-the-art drainage system and newly seeded turf.
Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn said: “Before the extensive ground work we wouldn’t have risked running another show in September [following the British Jumping Derby in June and Longines Royal International Horse Show in July] in case of inclement weather.
“These changes have allowed us to expand and we believe this will form a valuable addition to the showjumping calendar. All classes will culminate in a final, with the top 30 horses in each section going through to compete in the International Arena.”
Top showjumper William Funnell approves.
“This sounds like a great opportunity — especially for young horses — and is good news for breeders and producers,” he said.
“It will be helpful to have the chance to get them used to the environment early on — there’s such an atmosphere at Hickstead.”
For more information, visit www.hickstead.co.uk.
Hickstead is also looking for sponsorship for The All England Jumping Championships, from title to individual classes. Tel: 01273834315