Win VIP day out at Hickstead’s Derby meeting

Ellen Whitaker coming down the famous Derby Bank at Hickstead. Photo: John Periam

Ellen Whitaker coming down the famous Derby Bank at Hickstead. Photo: John Periam

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SHOWJUMPING’S Hickstead Derby has been enthralling spectators and creating sporting legends for more than five decades. With a new sponsor for the 2011 season, the Carpetright Derby will form the grand finale of the popular British Jumping Derby Meeting, held from June 23- 26 at the All England Jumping Course in West Sussex.

The Hickstead Derby was the brainchild of Douglas Bunn (1928 – 2009), the founder of the All England Jumping Course. He wanted to create the ‘ultimate challenge for horse and rider’, devising a course which included the daunting 10ft 6in drop of the Derby Bank, the fearsomely difficult Devil’s Dyke, and the widest water jump in the world.

With a top prize of £40,000, the competitors will be going all out to win this year’s Carpetright Derby and to join the elite list of former winners.

Last year was the 50th anniversary since the All England Jumping Course was opened, and it was a thrilling revival of Hickstead’s most famous class.

It all came down to a jump-off between Guy Williams on Skip Two Ramiro, and Tina Fletcher on the quirky but talented Promised Land.

Having jumped double clear round the notoriously difficult track, Tina looked set to be the first female winner since 1973.

But Guy, who had finished fourth in the Derby in 2007, third in 2008 and second in 2009, was not about to let the top prize elude him, and he jumped another clear round in a faster time to claim the title.

Hickstead boasts one of the largest shopping villages on the show circuit, with hundreds of tradestands to tempt keen shoppers. With entertainment for children, and a great range of food and beverage options to choose from, a trip to Hickstead is the perfect family day out. Visitors can also make the most of their visit to the showground by choosing one of the many hospitality options, such as fine dining in the Members’ restaurant, or opting to hire one of our private hospitality boxes or Ringside Lodges — all of which offer excellent views of the main ring.

To book tickets, visit Hickstead’s new website www.hickstead.co.uk or contact the box office on (tel:) 01273 834315.

*THE All England Jumping Course has teamed up with the West Sussex Gazette to offer a lucky winner lunch for two, plus tickets for the opening day of the British Jumping Derby Meeting, Thursday 23 June.

The prize includes lunch in the Members’ restaurant (excluding alcohol), members’ tickets for you and a friend, plus car parking. Highlights of this day include the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard, a selection of young horse classes, plus the driving Concours D’Elegance.

To enter, all you have to do is answer the following simple question: Name the rider who won the 2010 Carpetright Derby at Hickstead.

Send your answer, along with your name, address and telepone number either on the back of a postcard or sealed envelope to Jeannie Knight, West Sussex Gazette, 14-16 Market Square, Horsham RH12 1HD, or by email to jeannie.knight@westsussextoday.co.uk both marked Hickstead competition.

The closing date is 9am on Thursday June 16 when the winners will be notified.

For full feature and more equestrian news see Sussex Horse World, West Sussex Gazette June 8