Tickets are now on sale for Hickstead’s two flagship international fixtures, the British Jumping Derby Meeting (19-23 June) and the Longines Royal International Horse Show (30 July – 4 August).
Following Great Britain’s success in the London 2012 Olympics, equestrian sport is experiencing a surge in popularity – and the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead is a great place to see the sport’s leading names in action.
Three of the four members of the gold-medal winning Olympic showjumping team – Nick Skelton, Peter Charles and Ben Maher – are past winners of the famous Hickstead Derby, held on the Sunday of the June meeting. Will this year’s Derby crown go to one of these showjumping greats, or will we see a future Olympic star take the honours?
The Hickstead Derby, now in its 53rd year, is one of the most famous classes in showjumping. Fences like the Derby Bank, the Devil’s Dyke and one of the largest water jumps in the world have made clear rounds a rarity, and it never fails to provide thrilling sport. Other highlights of the British Jumping Derby Meeting include the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial (Friday) and the British Speed Derby (Saturday).
The Longines Royal International Horse Show, the official show of The British Horse Society, is one of the most prestigious events in the equestrian calendar. This summer, the show will play host to the new format Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup series, held on Friday 2 August. It’s the only competition where spectators can see the British team compete on home turf, and the pressure will be on for the Brits to capitalise on their gold-medal success of last summer in Greenwich.
The action in the International Arena starts on the Thursday of the Longines Royal International Horse Show with the hugely popular Amlin Plus Eventing Grand Prix, a class where showjumpers and eventers go head to head over a course of coloured poles and solid cross-country jumps. The Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup will form the feature of Saturday’s action, while on Sunday 4 August, the Longines King George V Gold Cup – also known as the British Grand Prix – will see many of the world’s top riders aim to take home their share of the €200,000 prize fund.
Showing is a huge part of the Royal International, with hundreds of championship classes culminating in the crowning of The British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Dick Saunders Supreme Pony.
Hickstead is famous for top class showjumping and showing, but there’s plenty on offer for fans of other equestrian sports, including scurry driving, carriage driving, side-saddle, polo and more. The huge Charles Owen Shopping Village is home to hundreds of tradestands selling everything from tack, clothing, gifts and accessories.
General admission tickets start from just £16 per adult and £8 for children, giving visitors the chance to see top class horses and riders for a great price. Visitors who want to attend the entire show can buy general admission tickets for £70 for the British Jumping Derby Meeting and £90 for the Longines Royal International Horse Show, or £100 for Members’ tickets for each show.
A huge range of hospitality options are also available, including private boxes, ringside lodges, the exclusive 120-seater Members’ Restaurant, the al fresco Ringside Restaurant and the Beethoven Suite, found at the top of the Members’ Grandstand.
For true Hickstead fans, taking out Annual Membership will provide you with access to all horse shows at the All England Jumping Course, as well as a further 46 days of racing, high-goal polo and county cricket. The £160 membership (£140 without a car) provides exclusive access to the Members’ Enclosure and all of its special viewing and entertainment facilities at Hickstead’s two international showjumping meetings.
To book tickets for the British Jumping Derby Meeting and the Longines Royal International Horse Show, go to www.hickstead.co.uk or call 01273 834315.