‘It’s a long way down; even more when the horse is 18hh!’ Hickstead Derby first-timer ‘will jump clear one day’

  • Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby first-timer Adam Botham said it is a “long way down” from the top of the famous bank — “And he’s 18hh so it’s even longer!”

    Adam and Dublon completed the famous class today, at the first time of asking for both of them, and Adam said he is sure the 11-year-old gelding “will jump clear one day”.

    Dublon hesitated very slightly at the top of the bank, then ran out of room to jump the fence at the bottom — “I was still trotting!” — and Adam had to re-present, but the pair them jumped out clear.

    “He was awesome,” Adam said. “He had the devil’s dyke, and a couple of the Derby fences wrong, but the rest were just fantastic.”

    Asked for his first impressions as a rider at the top of the Hickstead Derby bank, Adam said it is a big drop, which looked even bigger from the back of the big Spanish-bred gelding, whom he has been riding since April.

    “But he jumped great,” he said. “He jumped the double of ditches, the gates, the Derby rails and all the really tough stuff.”

    Adam said his plan will be to return for this class next year.

    “He’ll jump it; he’ll jump clear one day,” he said. “He’ll be a good one.”

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