The Hickstead Derby is one of the most famous showjumping classes in the world. It is an iconic event that attracts the biggest of names from around the showjumping world, but not all horses are suited for this unusual test, which includes numerous natural obstacles including ditches, banks and open water.
Held at the All England Jumping Course in West Sussex, which is also home to the Royal International Horse Show, this 2021 Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby meeting was to take place on 23-27 June. Owing to the coronavirus pandemic this international show has been cancelled and a national show with showjumping classes from British novice to grand prix along with the usual showing and carriage driving will be held over the same dates instead. Hopes remain for limited public attendance and a “boutique selection” of tradestands being allowed. As more details are revealed, this page will be updated with the latest information.
William Funnell, Harvey Smith, John Whitaker and Michael Whitaker have each won the class four times in its long history, but no one has managed to beat, or even match, Eddie Macken’s unbelievable record of four consecutive wins on the same horse, the legendary Boomerang, set way back in the 70s.
The Hickstead Derby is a 1,195m course of vast proportions, boasting 28 fences of high difficulty. The main attractions are the Devil’s Dyke and the difficult Derby Bank, an obstacle with 1.04m rails on top and a 3.2m slope down the front with imposing 1.6m white rails just two strides from the base of the bank.
This fixture normally hosts a full range of senior national showjumping classes, with something for almost every calibre of affiliated rider alongside the international classes. For the showing community there are many Horse of the Year Show qualifiers, plus a polo exhibition match, carriage driving and plenty of shopping for visitors to enjoy too. Visit the official website