If the news that Nigel Coupe had clinched the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby last Sunday (25 June 2017) left you scrabbling for your phone to swot up on the showjumping star, we’re here to help. Take a look at all you need to know about the 46-year-old
Who is Nigel Coupe?
The forty-six-year-old British showjumper took the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby with the Irish gelding Golvers Hill (Ricky) last Sunday (25 June 2017) — 27 years after his first attempt.
“However you imagine it feels, it feels 100 times better,” said Nigel after taking home the coveted prize. In an interview with Horse & Hound back in 2000, Nigel claimed that his greatest strength was ‘chatting up women’. It looks like he’s come a long way since then…
Why might you not know so much about Nigel?
He currently stands at 220 in the Longines Rankings and before Ricky, Nigel had taken a 10-year break from the Derby, coming back in 2015 to finish second at the All England Jumping Course and then finishing fifth last year with the gelding.
Where does he live?
Nigel is based at Holster Farm Stables near Preston in Lancashire — a purpose built set-up with space for 50 liveries. No expense has been spared; each stable has an automatic drinker and lockable tack cabinet in the tack room, there is a 25x50m indoor arena, 20x40m outdoor arena and two outdoor pens, all set in 150 acres.
What are his biggest achievements?
Nigel is no stranger to Hickstead — he has been coming since he was on 12.2hhs, when he used to stay to watch the Derby.
But it was Invincible Lad who put Nigel on the map. The pair finished in fourth place individually at the Junior European Championships in Bourg en Bresse, France in 1988, and took home the team silver medal. In 1991 at the Young Riders European Championships he clinched the team gold medal with Suntory.
Fast-forwarding back to the present, Nigel has represented Britain on Nations Cups teams this year, and aside from Ricky, his chestnut mare Jubilee III is his other top horse. The pair landed the Vinopolis Speed Horse of the Year title on the final day at Horse of the Year Show in 2015.
What about when he’s not riding?
You don’t have to scroll very far on Nigel’s Twitter feed to see that Preston North End FC is a high priority for the showjumper…
Don’t miss the full report from the Hickstead Derby Meeting in tomorrow’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (29 June 2017)