The Hickstead Derby is synonymous with brilliant horses and outstanding horsemanship, and this year’s Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby, which takes place on Sunday (24 June), will be no different. Here we take a look at some memorable moments from more than 50 years of this historic class that sees only the very best rise to the top.
1963: Nelson Pessoa had his first win in the 3rd running of the Hickstead Derby riding Gran Geste
1967: a pint-sized pony named Stroller went into the history books carrying 20-year-old Marion Mould to victory
Harvey Smith’s famous salute in 1971: V is for victory, honest guv…
1976: Eddie Macken on his way to his first Hickstead Derby win Boomerang
1979: Boomerang returns for his fourth victory
1996: Nelson Pessoa waited an incredible 31 years and shrugged off heart attack to claim his third win, this time riding 19-year-old Loro Piana Vivaldi
John Whitaker’s second Hicksted Derby win came in 1998, when he finished top on 21-year-old Gammon, who remains the oldest horse to win the prestigious class
John Whitaker claimed his third Hickstead Derby title on Welham in 2000 after a three-way jump-off with Rob Hoekstra (Lionel) and Tim Stockdale (Wiston Bridget)
Corrada was the second mare to win the Hickstead Derby, and she didn’t touch a pole during any of her three wins (2001-2003) with Peter Charles.
John Whitaker’s fourth win came in 2004 on board a catch ride called Buddy Bunn, who was homebred by Hickstead’s founder Douglas Bunn
The Derby specialist Cortaflex Mondriaan won under William Funnell in 2006, 2008 and 2009.
In 2012, Paul Beecher and Loughnatousa WB became the only partnership to win on a clear round from the number one draw.
The brilliant Boomerang is immortalised in the trophy given to the Hickstead Derby winner
Meanwhile, the bank has seen some unorthodox descents over the years…
…including Axel Wockener in 1976…
when his horse Glasgow decided to descend backwards…
… giving rider and spectators a real heart in the mouth moment…
… but horse and rider walked away unscathed.