The Hickstead Derby course remains the same year after year. It is much longer than your average showjumping course at 1,195m, and includes 21 jumping efforts around the 16-fence course, including the famous 10ft 6in high Derby Bank.
Fence 3: double of water ditches (5ft and 5ft 2in high, both with ditches in front)
So many hopes have been dashed here. The water is dyed blue and the reflection makes the fences even more difficult when the sun comes out
Fence 7: road jump (a table fence 5ft high with a ditch behind and a 5ft 2in high exit with a ditch in front)
A closed obstacle, which means that if a horse stops, riders cannot leave the fence’s confines to try again. The ditches can confuse horses in their first Derby
Fence 8: Derby Bank (10ft 6in high with a 3ft 5in rail on top)
The one all the spectators are waiting for. The small fence on top is only 16ft from the edge and horses sometimes roll a pole there because their riders are trying to slow down before arriving at the edge.
Horses slide down the face of the Bank and riders hope to jump off about halfway down, which will put them right for a nice two strides to the next problem
Fence 10: Devil’s Dyke (a closed rustic obstacle. 4ft 9in rails; 4ft 9in rails over a water ditch; 4ft 8in rails)
This is the one every rider wants out of the way. Because it is all the same colour, it can look like one big obstacle to the horse. And although the rails coming out measure only 4ft 8in high, the sloping ground makes them nearer 6ft
Fence 16: rustic spread (4ft 10in high; 6ft 6in wide)
Another wide fence that has ruined many dreams. It is a long way after the double and riders often approach at speed because they are worried about time-faults.
Getting to Hickstead
From the north: travel south on the A23. Pass the Burgess Hill/Hickstead Village turn off. Take the next exit (B2118) and bear right over the flyover. Take the third exit at the roundabout. The showground entrance is 100m on the left.
From the south: leave the A23 at the junction marked B2117 for Hurstpierpoint. Turn left and after 200m turn right on to the B2118. Follow this road for 2.5miles. The showground entrance is 100m on the left after the third roundabout.