Horse & Hound's coverage of The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting (24-28 June) is brought to you in association with Equestrian.com
Holly Gillott fought off stiff competition to take the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial on the second day of international competition (26 June) at the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby meeting.
Holly took the top spot with 10-year-old Dougie Douglas and claimed the €8,000 (£5,650) prize.
“He was loving it,” she said of the gelding by Ard VDL Douglas. “I was last to go but I hadn’t seen anyone else. I did what I thought would be a round that was good enough.”
Holly will not be competing in Sunday’s Derby as she is saving Dougie Douglas for the Nations Cup series.
“I have spent a lot of the year saving him so it was nice to go out there and go for it,” she added.
The top 35 riders in the class qualified for the Derby.
This includes last year’s winner Trevor Breen and both his rides — Adventure de Kannan and Loughnatousa W B. Trevor qualifies despite being placed 39th and 42nd as other riders have dropped out.
Guy Williams conducted a clean and quick round in the early stages of the Bunn Leisure Master’s Challenge, where riders negotiate a timed course before tackling by a line of four upright gates in ascending height.
Desipite some strong competition from Harriett Nuttall, who came second, and Carron Nicol, third, Guy held on to top spot.
Guy credited winning the technical class to eight-year-old chestnut gelding Casper de Muse.
“I think the secret is to have a better horse in it than what is needed,” he said.
Young horse classes
Nicole Pavitt continued her winning streak in the Ready Supp British Six-Year-Old Championship riding her own Gemmarco 16.
“He’s a six-year-old that we bred so we’ve had him for a long time,” she said. “He’s just so easy and he’s careful which is a bonus.”
Nicole was also placed first in yesterday’s Camardo Coffee 1.35m Open Championship with Shahenaz.
Emma Stoker was beaming as she rode out of the prize giving for the R&R Stevenson Jewellers British Five-Year-Old Jumping Championship.
She secured the fastest round in the jump off with Townhead Everton de Villee.
“Top ten of some 70 starters and then to come in here and win is just fantastic,” she said.
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‘He delivered the goods’
Tracy Priest was victorious in the Hickstead 1.25m Open Championship with Caristo — and only entered the class at the last minute.
She was one of only four clears in the single-phase class and was delighted with eight-year-old Caristo VDL’s performance.
“I’m really chuffed,” she said. “I was lucky to qualify yesterday and he delivered the goods today.
“His record is unbelievable…he’s dropped down a level just to give him a sweetener because he is only eight.”
Keep an eye out for further updates from the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby meeting on horseandhound.co.uk. Also, don’t miss full coverage and insight in next week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out next Thursday (2 July)