Fierce competition in store as world’s top riders head to Hickstead

  • More than 50 of the world’s top riders are entered for the five-star jumping classes at Hickstead this week.

    The show includes the British leg of the FEI Nations Cup series, which takes place on the final day of the show (29 July) in Hickstead’s iconic international arena.

    The British squad was revealed earlier this month and features this year’s Hickstead Derby winning combination of William Funnell and Billy Buckingham, Scott Brash (Hello Shelby), Amanda Derbyshire (Luibanta BH), Holly Smith (Hearts Desting) and William Whitaker (Utamaro d’Ecaussines).

    Four out of these five riders will be named as the team ahead of the competition.

    The team faces competition from current leaders Belgium as well as Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden.

    As the host nation, Britain is allocated places for a number of additional riders to compete.

    The entries include a host of British stars, including John, Robert and Ellen Whitaker, Ben Maher, 2017 Derby winner Nigel Couple and young rider European champion Harry Charles.

    Guy Williams, Robert Smith, Harriet Nuttall, Emily Moffitt, Julie Andrews, Joe Clayton, Jessica Drea, Jamie Gornall, Anna Power, Louise Saywell and H&H blogger Georgia Tame complete the home contingent.

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    Meanwhile, world number one Harrie Smolders heads the Dutch squad with world number four, Henrik Von Exkermannon among the Swedish riders.

    Ireland’s six-strong squad includes Hickstead-based Shane Breen with Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker, his brother Trevor with Bombay, Anthony Condon on SFS Aristio, Michael Duffy riding EFS Top Contender and Richie Moloney on Freestyle De Muze.

    The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Great Britain at the BHS Royal International Horse Show takes place from 25 to 29 July, with the team competition forming the show finale on Sunday afternoon.

    Britain is currently sitting 10th in division one of the Nations Cup league, with two of its five allocated competitions still to go. The top seven nations in division one will qualify for the Barcelona final in October.

    Following Hickstead, Britain will face teams from Ireland, Switzerland, France, Italy and the Netherlands at Dublin Horse Show (8 to 12 August).

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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