It’s exactly a decade since Michael Whitaker and Mon Santa completed the elusive three consecutive wins in the British Jumping Derby, and 24 years since Ireland’s Eddie Macken and the great Boomerang made it a triumphant four.
This year, Peter Charles and Corrada have their sights set on a third win in three years. If they manage this considerable achievement they will be only the third horse and rider combination to do the treble in the Derby’s 42-year history.
Winner of the La Baule Derby as well as two Hickstead titles, Corrada has proven her ability to meet the Derby challenge, while Peter’s second ride, Carnavelly, is also in with a chance of the winner’s £20,000 share of the £60,000 Derby purse.
Another proven Derby competitor is William Funnell, who lives only a few miles from Hickstead. Following his Derby win at Falsterbo, Sweden earlier this year, he is line for the H&M Trophy and a £50,000 bonus if he can pull off the double.
Michael Whitaker talks about the unique Hickstead Derby challenge in tomorrow’s Horse & Hound and says: “You don’t have to have any particular type of horse to jump in the Hickstead Derby but the most important thing is that he must be brave and you’ve got to have confidence in him. If your horse is spooky or a bit chicken, you might as well forget it.”
The Derby is also the British round of the Riders Tour and could help a rider towards winning a share of the massive £460,000 prize fund later in the year.
Hickstead is the fifth leg of this nine-round competition and the only one outside Germany. Riders have to compete in six of the point-earning rounds, with the result announced at Munich in November.
A new competition with the richest prize fund in Europe for juniors — The Hickstead Pony Masters — is being launched at this meeting, with qualifying rounds on Wednesday and Thursday and a third leg for the leading 20 juniors in the world famous International Arena on Saturday.
The final round of the top 10 riders will be decided on faults and time in the International Arena on Sunday with the winner taking home £2,500.
Saturday’s programme includes the crowd-pleasing Hasseroeder Speed Derby as well as the Hasseroeder Trophy, while Friday’s will see Britain top young horses in action in the four-, five- and six-year-old championships as well as the Osborne Refrigerators Derby Trial.
|Don’t miss tomorrow’s Horse & Hound (7 August), where multiple Derby winner Michael Whitaker talks about the challenging Hickstead course.
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