A strong British contingent featuring Scott Brash and an array of Whitakers is guaranteed to pull the crowds to the All England Jumping Course this week.
The star-studded line-up for the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby meeting (21-24 June) also includes last year’s Derby winners Nigel Coupe and Golvers Hill, and Harriet Nuttall, who has finished second in the feature class for the past three years, and third in 2014.
William Funnell, who has three Derby victories under his belt, is among the past winners of the class returning to the venue this year, along with Guy Williams and John and Michael Whitaker.
The latter are among a seven-strong representation of Whitakers entered for the meeting: Ellen, Robert, James, Joe, and Louise are all on the list, with James bringing brother William’s 2016 Derby-winning ride Glenavadra Brilliant, on whom he now has the ride.
Harry Charles will be returning to the scene of father Peter’s three consecutive Derby victories, on Corrada from 2001 to 2003, along with the child of another former winner; William Fletcher’s mother Tina took the title in 2011.
Among the other British entries are Holly Smith, Jay Halim, last year’s Speed Derby winner and current Hamburg Derby champion Matt Sampson, Yazmin Pinchen and Louise Simpson.
Ireland will also be strongly represented, with Hickstead-based Shane Breen not having to travel far from home to compete, and brother and two-time Derby winner Trevor also on the list.
Anthony Condon, Dermott Lennon, Christopher Megahey, Elizabeth Power and David Simpson are also entered.
A spokesman for Hickstead told H&H the venue is offering free entry today (Thursday), the first day of international competition.
“We’ve got one of the best shopping villages in the horse show calendar and we’re keen for everyone to come along and check it out,” she added.
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“Even if they’re coming back to see the Derby, come and have a browse, and only pay for parking. There’s lots going on for families too; hobby horse jumping, for example!
“People can bring the children and make it a great family day out, plus with the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard it’s a first chance to see Derby contenders in action, and there’s showing, jumping and driving going on all week – there’s lots going on.”
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