It’s D-day at Hickstead

  • Damian Charles (pictured) and Duncan Inglis dominated the major international show jumping classes on the opening day of the Hickstead Derby meeting.

    Damian set the ball rolling with a flying Alberta Canada Speed victory on the 27-year-old Racal B, a horse who jumped for Austria at the Atlanta Olympics. The bay thoroughly enjoyed himself in the expanses of the International Arena to score by 1.4sec from Jo Pay and Balinar.

    On a day when clear rounds were few and far between, Damian and Romulus were also among three who made the jump-off of the Hickstead Tankard, but a quick time was spoiled when they rolled a pole at the final fence to leave Duncan Inglis the delighted winner on Michael Bates’s Lavaletto.

    Local rider Duncan took over the ride on the German-bred bay at the beginning of the season and will partner Lavaletto until he is sold.

    “He’s a lovely horse and I’m enjoying him while I have him,” said Duncan.

    It was a good day for Michael Bates, whose mare, Hombline De L’Etang, was ridden to victory in the grade B championship by young New Zealander Katie McVean.

    Ellen Whitaker produced a great round on the seven-year-old Locarno to take the young riders title, while Sue Clark took the novice futurity championship home to Derbyshire.

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