It was third time lucky for Tina Fletcher as she jumped the 53rd clear round in the 50-year history of the Carpetright Hickstead Derby to take the £40,000 trophy on Promised Land.
Tina has been second twice before, last year on Promised Land with a double clear, and in 1991. She also makes history by becoming the first woman to win the coveted class since Alison Dawes in 1973.
“This means so much, especially after being so close last year,” said Tina, 46.
The big-jumping Promised Land elicited gasps from the capacity crowd as he gave the influential water feet to spare.
“It did seem a long way down,” admitted Tina, “But he’s one of the best water jumpers around.”
Five riders shared second place with four faults apiece: last year’s winner Guy Williams, this time with Richi Rich lll, Michael Whitaker (Animation), Irish riders David O’Brien (Mo Chroi) and Shane Breen (Mullaghdrin Gold Rain) and Ronnie Healy. Ronnie had the distinction of earning four faults despite leaving all the fences up. His grey Carlow Cruiser spectacularly napped and reared before fence 6, earning four faults for a disobedience.
Last year’s winners, Guy Williams and Skip Two Ramiro, finished on eight faults, as did Trevor Breen with Adventure de Kannan.
Don’t miss H&H’s full report from the Hickstead Derby meeting, on sale Thursday 30 June, 2011