‘Fabulous opportunity’ as major deal secures future of Britain’s Nations Cup

  • The confirmation of a new title sponsor for the Royal International Horse Show and the Nations Cup of Great Britain has been welcomed as a “fabulous opportunity”.

    Equine insurer Agria and Hickstead have signed a deal extending their partnership from this year, when Agria sponsored ring five and international classes, to become the overall sponsor of the meeting (23-28 July), and its featured competition.

    H&H reported in the summer that Hickstead, and Britain, had not been included in the FEI’s relaunched Longines League of Nations. This deal means that for the 50th time, a British team will compete against other nations in the historic Nations Cup at the West Sussex showground, with a €200,000 prize fund.

    “We are enormously grateful to Agria for increasing their support of Hickstead,” said Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn. “Their contribution towards safeguarding the future of equestrian sport in this country cannot be underestimated. It is important for us to partner with sponsors who share our values, particularly in respect of horse welfare in top class sport.

    “The past few months have been a period of great change, but it also presents a fabulous new opportunity for us. Agria coming on board as sponsor of the Nations Cup means we can now guarantee this hugely popular and iconic class will remain at Hickstead. It gives us much more freedom and flexibility, allowing us to take the class in the direction we and our international riders want, following the example of other fantastic independent Nations Cups in venues such as Spruce Meadows and Aachen.”

    Agria UK CEO Vicki Wentworth added: “Agria is thrilled to become title sponsor of this historic show as we continue to spread the word about our game-changing lifetime insurance which has already made such an impact in Britain. Agria’s roots are in Sweden, a nation which is mad about showjumping, and it’s exciting to be so highly involved with the sport in Britain now too.”

    British chef d’equipe Di Lampard welcomed the news as “fantastic”, adding that it is very important for British showjumping to have a home Nations Cup.

    Ben Maher, who was on the British team that won the home leg this year, added: “The Nations Cup is a very important competition, and growing up it was one of those classes that I always dreamt of being able to take part in. There’s a lot of history surrounding the Royal International and the Nations Cup as a whole, so for Agria to be able to step in and secure the future of this event is great news for Hickstead, showjumping, and us as a country.”

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