Two of the UK’s most prestigious horse shows have been lost from the Sky Sports TV calendar this year.
The 2015 Hickstead Derby will not be shown on Sky Sports — with showjumping fans will only able to watch the iconic class online.
And in a further blow Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) will not be shown on the channel either, Sky Sports confirmed to H&H this week.
In 2014, Sky Sports covered one day of the Hickstead Derby meeting and three days of the Royal International Horse Show. For 2015 Sky will still cover the Royal International (28 July –2 August), but not the Derby.
The Hickstead Derby meeting (25-28 June) will be shown online, and the venue is launching Hickstead.tv for fans to follow the action.
“This year, because of the production costs involved, we have decided to use Sky Sports as our host broadcaster for the Royal International only and produce and televise the Derby meeting ourselves, using an established production company,” said Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn.
“It also means we’ll be able to show three days of the Hickstead Derby Meeting. Sky has generously given us permission to live stream this coverage online as well, meaning this year the audience won’t be limited to those who subscribe to Sky Sports.
“We’re absolutely delighted to work with the team from Sky Sports again this summer, as they have been great supporters of showjumping and raised broadcasting standards to a whole new level with their innovative and creative approach since they first joined us in 2005,” added Lizzie.
A spokesperson from HOYS added: “We can confirm that HOYS is looking into live streaming a number of the Championships from HOYS 2015, and will advise by end May 2015 the official schedule for this.
“We would like to thank Sky Sports for its excellent coverage of equestrian events, including HOYS, over the years and we very much look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead for the promotion of equestrian sport.”
For more on the subject don’t miss next week’s issue of H&H magazine, out Thursday 30 April.