Top show jumper William Funnell was guest of honour at the opening of South Downs Nurseries new equestrian department this weekend.

The Hickstead Derby-winning rider cut the red ribbon on Saturday (28 March) marking the launch of the department in the Sussex-based South Downs. He also greeted fans and drew the raffle in aid of the Macmillan Nurses, which raised about £40.

On Sunday (29 March) local young event rider Gemma Tattersall was at South Downs also signing autographs and posing for pictures.

Representatives from feed companies Allen and Page, Baileys, Molichaff and Badminton were on hand throughout the weekend giving advice to customers.

“We’ve had a really good response to the equestrian department. We are aimed at ‘happy hackers’ — people who want something basic. We’re not a competition shop,” said equestrian manager Carole Holmes.

“People want to enjoy their horses but it can get expensive — so we want to keep supplies at a level people can afford.”