The Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) at Hickstead (25 – 29 July 2007) will be celebrating its 100th birthday this year.
A host of centenary celebrations will accompany its popular show jumping and showing classes, which include the British leg of the FEI Samsung Super League Series, the Ford Ranger Eventing Grand Prix and the prestigious Longines King George V Gold Cup and Queen Elizabeth II Cup.
Only the two World Wars have interrupted the annual RIHS. The show started life at London’s Olympia in 1907 and became an elite society event. The White City Stadium, Wembley and the Birmingham NEC have all played host to the British Horse Society’s flagship event over the years.
The show moved to the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead, Sussex in 1992 when mounting costs forced it out of the NEC and Douglas Bunn stepped in with the offer of a new home.
“Fifteen years ago I offered to rehome the Royal International at Hickstead, and I am delighted I did,” said Douglas Bunn. “The show’s history, and the scope of its programme, is ideally suited to Hickstead. We have worked hard to maintain and improve its image as a ‘traditional’ horse show and it is wonderful to be able to celebrate its centenary.”
Since moving to Hickstead the show has expanded beyond recognition. Six arenas are used solidly throughout six days to accommodate the huge range of show jumping and showing classes. As well as top international show jumping, there are showing championships for all types of horses and ponies including show hunters, working hunters, riding horses, hacks, cobs, show ponies and native breeds. Recent showing additions include coloureds and miniatures and the schedule now has classes for most British breeds of horses and ponies.
Sky Sports will be providing TV coverage of the action in the International Arena throughout this year’s show and the Samsung Super League is also covered by Eurosport.
For more information about the show visit: www.hickstead.co.uk