Nations Cup riders take tea with ‘The Queen’

  • Hickstead is well known for its Queen’s Cup — but on this occasion there was some tea to go with it.

    The world’s top showjumping nations had afternoon tea by “royal appointment” yesterday (July 27) when they met a certain dignitary in the grounds of Hickstead Place.

    But while the real Queen is the patron of this week’s Royal International Horse Show (25-30 July), she wasn’t in attendance for this particular repast.

    A different Elizabeth was standing in — none other than showjumping royalty Liz Edgar.

    Our Liz joined showjumpers from Great Britain, Ireland, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Spain, Brazil (above), Germany and Spain (below) to pose for photos ahead of today’s (28 July) FEI Nations Cup leg.

    A former top rider, as well as wife to Ted Edgar and sister to the legendary David Broome, Liz has earned her place at the table as a VIP.

    She still holds the record for the most victories in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, having taken home the iconic trophy on five occasions. The competition was open to ladies only from 1949 until 2008, when both it and the men’s equivalent — The Longines King George V Gold Cup — were opened to both genders.

    “She may not be the Queen of England but she’s certainly the Queen of Hickstead – and she has the corgis to prove it,” said a spokesman for the venue.

    Both Ted and David are former winners of the King’s Cup — which has formed the finale to Hickstead’s international season every year since 1992 — and will take place on Sunday (July 30).

    The FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain takes place this afternoon and the historic team competition will see countries compete against each other for the Edward, Prince of Wales Trophy.

    The British leg is the penultimate qualifier in the series ahead of the Dublin Horse Show in August, with the final taking place in Barcelona at the end of September.

    Great Britain, who haven’t won on home turf since 2010, are fielding a quartet sourced entirely from the Whitaker family — William Whitaker (Utamaro D’Ecaussines); Michael Whitaker (Viking); Robert Whitaker (Catwalk IV) and Joe Clayton (Con Man JX).

    For all the showjumping and showing action from the RIHS, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale 3 August.

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