Now that the final curtain has come down on an epic BHS Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, it’s time to reflect on five days of top-class jumping. We witnessed everything from ecstatic winners (and even losers) to monsoon conditions and plenty of water jump antics.
Here are just a few of our favourite Hickstead moments…
1. Hands up if you’ve just won the Longines FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain – Ireland’s quartet of Trevor Breen (Bombay), Richie Moloney (Freestyle De Muze), Michael Duffy (EFS Top Contender) and Anthony Condon (SFS Aristio) enjoy the celebrations.
2. She’s every commentator’s worst nightmare and the mare Ottava Meraviglia Di Ca’San G gives Italian rider Paolo Paini a few anxious moments, too, at the troublesome gates in Friday’s King George V Gold Cup
3. That winning feeling: Iwan Carpenter, 14, and Follow Jazzy Lady are crowned the new 138cm champions
4. That pesky water jump causes endless trouble in the Queen’s Cup — this time it’s Will Fletcher and Persimmon who come to grief
5. Eventer Pippa Funnell, riding her husband William’s European gold medal-winning ride Billy Congo, very nearly beat the showjumpers at their own game, finishing runners-up in Saturday’s Queen’s Cup
6. One of Team GB’s heroes William Whitaker (Utamaro D’Ecaussines) reveals what it means to jump clear for your country
7. Hello Shelby (Scott Brash) says an emphatic no to the obviously shark-infested waters in the Nations Cup
8. Paul Tapner claims back-to-back victories in the MS Amlin eventers’ challenge with Bonza King Of Rouges.
9. What it means to win the Nations Cup after a nail-biting jump-off — the Irish supporters go wild as Anthony Condon and SFS Aristio clinch victory.
10. Thumbs up! Hickstead debutant Kevin Jochems of the Netherlands shares his joy at winning the King George V Gold Cup on Captain Cooper.
11. The rain at Hickstead falls mainly on the Nations Cup — after a two-month heatwave, the heavens open for the team competition. Two brave spectators in the open-topped grandstand battle on though.
12. The next generation of Whitakers: William, with Oliver and Isabella contemplate striding options for the King’s Cup.
13. Up, up and away — Dutch rider Johnny Pals and Chat Botte Du Ruisseau Z in the Nations Cup
After Britain and Ireland couldn’t be separated at the end of two rounds, each team selected one rider to jump
A daring turn won the BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup for a young member of the Whitaker dynasty
The rising star from the Netherlands made his performance count when it mattered in the famous class
14. Irish rider Anthony Condon’s young son Hector enjoys the pipers
15. James Whitaker and Glenavadra Brilliant soar over the water en route to victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup — “It was a bit of a wing and a prayer in that jump-off but you need some luck sometimes,” he said.
16. On parade: Team GB, led by Di Lampard and flanked by the Household Cavalry, make a mighty entrance ahead of the Nations Cup
17. Ping! “She spooks at everything apart from the actual fences,” says Laura Kraut of the 15.2hh Greatfull, winner of the inaugural Old Lodge international seven- and eight-year-old championship at Hickstead.
18. And finally… French showjumper Dan Delsart took time out of his commentating duties to propose to Victoria Wearing in the International Arena. We understand she said yes!
Read the full report from the BHS Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead in this week’s magazine, on sale Thursday 2 August 2018