Who will make a winning return to Hickstead this summer?

Beezie Madden and Cortes C, double winners of the Longines King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead (c) Julian Portch
Beezie Madden and Cortes C, double winners of the Longines King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead (c) Julian Portch

Winning just one of Hickstead’s famous classes guarantees a rider their place in the history books of equestrian sport, but it’s doing so multiple times that elevates the greatest of those to legendary status.

“So many of showjumping’s greats have jumped to victory in the famous International Arena here at the All England Jumping Course, and some of the sport’s biggest names grace our trophies over and over – often for consecutive years,” says Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn.

That’s certainly what has happened in the history of the Hickstead Derby. Who can forget Eddie Macken and Boomerang’s four wins on the trot from 1976 to 1979? A number of illustrious names have won three times in a row, including Nick Skelton, Michael Whitaker and Peter Charles, and now Ireland’s Trevor Breen aims to join this elite band, following victory in 2014 on Adventure de Kannan and again in 2015 on Loughnatousa WB.

Another rider aiming for a third consecutive victory at the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting (23-26 June 2016) is Guy Williams, who won the British Speed Derby in 2014 and 2015 with Casper De Muze. His win last summer broke the course record and made Guy the first rider to win the class four times – having already won in both 2002 and 2004. Hickstead is a happy hunting ground for Guy, and if he returns this summer the crowd will no doubt be willing him on to a record fifth win.

Talking of history books, the USA’s Beezie Madden set a new record in 2014 when she became the first ever female winner of the Longines King George V Gold Cup. Not to be outdone, she successfully defended her title last summer to also become the first lady rider to win the class twice. The USA will be among the international team’s competing at this year’s Longines Royal International Horse Show (26-31 July) so we could well see Beezie back again this summer when she’ll have a chance of making it three wins in a row – something no rider has ever managed in the 105-year history of the class.

Showing is a major part of Hickstead’s prestigious shows, and titles don’t get any more coveted than the British Horse Society Supreme Horse and Underwood Supreme Pony of the Year Championships. Last year, Jayne Ross took her third Hickstead Supreme Horse title with the stunning hunter Time 2 Reflect. Meanwhile, in the ponies, it was first-time champion Susie Eddis and Beat The Boss who took the overall crown.

And that is the joy of equestrian sport at Hickstead. For every rider who is dominating, there are hundreds more who are determined to beat them and add their own names to our famous trophies. For every athlete aiming for a third, fourth, fifth win, there are those who simply dream of a first.

This summer, join us at Hickstead to see history being made, and brand new stories being written.

To buy tickets, head to www.hickstead.co.uk

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