June 23, 2023
The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meetings for 2023
The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting – 22-25 June 2023
Hickstead’s June fixture is centred around one of the most popular and iconic showjumping classes in the world – the Al Shira’aa Derby. Held on the final Sunday afternoon of the show, the Hickstead Derby includes famous fences such as the 10ft 6in Derby Bank, the tricky Devil’s Dyke, the double of water ditches and the vast Open Water. It is a measure of how difficult the course is that there have been only 65 clear rounds since 1961 when the class first took place. Last year just one rider managed to secure an elusive clear – Irishman Shane Breen, who had been trying to win the Derby for 17 years before finally securing victory with the talented stallion Can Ya Makan.
Shane will be going all out to retain the trophy, but he’ll face tough opposition from the likes of five-time runner-up, Harriet Biddick. Harriet has an astounding record at the All England Jumping Course, and last year she added to her tally of wins with another victory in the British Speed Derby. The fast and furious class is the highlight of Saturday’s action.
The international action kicks off on Thursday 22 June with the Derby Tankard, while on Friday riders must secure their Al Shira’aa Derby qualification in the Agria Derby Trial, a World Ranking class in its own right. But while the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting is best known for international showjumping, there’s so much more to see and do including hundreds of national jumping classes for horses and ponies of all sizes, plus championship showing, scurry driving and lots more. Visitors can enjoy browsing in the large shopping village; families will love the funfair, while the many bars, restaurants and street food stands offer something for everyone.
Tickets start from £20 with advance discounts and concessions available; Thursday 22 June is free general admission for all while Friday and Saturday offers free admission to all under-15s when booked in advance. A huge range of hospitality options are also available, including Private Boxes, the Members’ Restaurant and the Al Shira’aa Suite. Visit www.hickstead.co.uk for more information.
The Longines Royal International Horse Show – 25-30 July 2023
With five-star international showjumping alongside top-level championship showing, the Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead is a must-visit for any discerning equestrian fan. Highlights include the Longines King George V Gold Cup on Sunday afternoon, Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup, and Friday’s Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain. Expect to see some of the sport’s biggest names in action, with the USA, Brazil, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium and of course Great Britain all fielding teams for this year’s event.
The Royal International is undoubtedly the highlight of the summer showing season, with show riders competing up and down the country just to pick up a qualifying ticket to be able to compete at this show. The best of these go through to their respective class championships, with the winners of these going through to Sunday’s British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Supreme Products Supreme Pony Finals. To be chosen as the overall winner of these supremes is to secure your place among the greats of British showing.
As well as that, there’s the hugely exciting Ashby Underwriting Eventers’ Challenge, which takes place within the Longines International Arena on Thursday afternoon and attracts many of the country’s top event riders. With scurry driving, side-saddle and plenty of national showjumping classes, including the British Showjumping Winter Finals, there is plenty to enthrall and entertain across six days of action.
The popular Ladies’ Day competition takes place on the Saturday, with the show’s best-dressed guests in with a chance of winning some luxury prizes. There are plenty of tempting trade stands in the shopping village, a fabulous range of bars, restaurants and hospitality options, plus the Village Green area with something to offer every member of the family. Tickets start from £20 with advance discounts and concessions available; including free admission to all under-15s when booked in advance – visit here for more information.