This year’s DFS Derby winner will win £40,000 thanks to a new agreement between Hickstead and furniture giant DFS. The sum is £10,000 more than the prize awarded to last year’s winner William Funnell and Cortaflex Mondriaan, making the DFS Derby one of Britain’s most lucrative show jumping prizes.

The DFS Derby is the longstanding highlight of the British Jumping Derby Meeting (28 June 28 to 1 July 2007), bringing thousands of people to Hickstead and claiming a television audience of over a million in the last two years.

“We are proud to have a market leader such as DFS to support this great class, which attracts top-class horse and rider combinations from around the world,” said Hickstead founder Douglas Bunn. “It has been televised by the BBC for more than 30 years, and, like DFS, has a tremendous following amongst the public, who flock to see it every year.”

Offering £120,000 prize money in total, the Derby, which began in 1961, is one of Britain’s richest competitions. “The last three years have confirmed the wisdom of DFS forging a link with Hickstead and the amazing Derby class,” said Lord Kirkham, founder and chairman of furniture company DFS. “The crowds at ringside and the television audience figures show that DFS is supporting a great sport.”

Over the last year Douglas Bunn has invested more than £40,000 on improving the drainage in the 41/2 acre International Arena and two years ago modified the 10ft 6ins Derby Bank to make it more horse-friendly.