Tina Fletcher will not be defending her Hickstead Derby title this Sunday (24 June) because she will be chasing Olympic qualification in Rotterdam.

Last year, Tina became the first woman to win the prestigious class since Alison Dawes in 1973.

Tina and the quirky Promised Land (pictured right) posted the only clear round.

But this year Tina will be hoping to catch the selectors’ attention, by competing at the Nations Cup in Rotterdam (22 June).

She spoke to H&H at the Global Champions Tour (GCT) in Cannes last week about her decision.

“I’m very disappointed not to be at Hickstead,” she said. “I had hoped I might be able to do the Nations Cup on Friday then come back for the Derby on Sunday, but I realised that it would be very difficult to do both.

“Obviously the Olympics are the priority, but hopefully there will be other classes for Promised Land this year,” she added.

Tina will be competing in Rotterdam alongside Olympic hopefuls Scott Brash, Tim Stockdale, Peter Charles and John Whitaker.

Nick Skelton and Ben Maher are not riding there and performances in Rotterdam will be crucial when it comes to Olympic team places.

Showjumping chef d’ ©quipe Rob Hoekstra has told H&H he hopes to announce his team for London 2012 next week.