Derby winners return to Hickstead for Nations Cup showdown

  • William Funnell and his Derby-winning ride Billy Buckingham will return to the scene of their triumph to contest the British leg of the Nations Cup series next month.

    The combination have been named in the five-strong NAF squad for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Great Britain CSIO5*.

    The competition takes place at Hickstead as part of the BHS Royal International Horse Show, which runs from 26 to 29 July.

    It will be a return to the international arena for William and his 10-year-old homebred gelding, just over a month after they took the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby in a two-horse jump-off with Holly Smith and Quality Old Joker.

    Holly is also on the squad with Hearts Destiny, a British-bred nine-year-old gelding owned by T J Hall Limited, Graham Smith and Holly.

    Scott Brash has been selected with nine-year-old Hello Shelby, owned by Lady Kirkham and Lady Harris, who also enjoyed success in the international arena at Hickstead last month, winning the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard on 21 June.

    William Whitaker and his 2017 European Championships ride Utamaro d’Ecaussines, a 14 year-old bay stallion owned by Ludwig & Yasmine Criel, have also been named, along with Amanda Derbyshire and Luibanta BH, a 10 year-old bay mare owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC.

    Four combinations from the British squad will jump in the Nations Cup competition.

    Britain is currently second from bottom in the European first division Nations Cup table, with 112.5 points, compared to leaders Belgium’s 360 points.

    But Belgium, second-placed Switzerland, fourth-placed France and fifth-placed Spain have all competed in four point-scoring legs of the series so far, compared to Britain’s two.

    Third-placed Germany has started all five of its point-scoring legs, sixth-placed Sweden three and the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy, who are in seventh, eighth and 10th place respectively, two each.

    Continues below…

    Apart from Hickstead, the final two legs of the series take place in Falsterbo, Sweden, this weekend and Dublin Horse Show (8-12 August).

    The Nations Cup competition starts at 2.15pm on Sunday, 29 July. Sky Sports Action will be televising the action from Hickstead on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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