10 Iconic Derby Moments - Part II

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Following on from Part I of her 10 Iconic Derby Moments series in the last HDC eNews edition, Hickstead's Press Officer and journalist Victoria Spicer is back with Part II...

4. The Pony Who Cleared The Derby Course Three TimesPerhaps the most incredible Derby winner of all was Stroller, Marion Coakes' (later Marion Mould) little 14.2hh gelding who rose up through the ranks from pony competitions to winning an Olympic silver medal.

The hugely popular combination of Marion and Stroller jumped three clears round the Derby course, yet only won the class on one of those occasions, in 1967. That year, the pair stumbled while descending the Derby bank and slid down at an angle, and it took all of Stroller's remarkable agility to clear the rails at the bottom of the bank. Marion was 20 years old at the time, and she remains the youngest Derby winner of all.
5. 1963 - A Year Full Of Dramas
The Derby has a rich and vivid past, but one year that saw a number of dramatic stories come to the fore was 1963, the third running of the class at Hickstead. There were no clears that year, although David Broome and Mister Softee left all the fences standing but slipped and fell on the flat. It also saw the great Ted Edgar jump round one-handed, having hurt an arm in a schooling accident that left him in a sling. 

Four riders went through to the jump-off, with Nelson Pessoa and Gran Geste winning. Not that the Brazilian could receive his trophy, as it has been stolen from a shop window in central London before the class!

That was the first of three wins for Nelson - he won again on Grand Geste in 1965, then had to wait an incredible 31 years for his third win, which came in 1996 on the 19-year-old Loro Piana Vivaldi. By then, Nelson was 60 years old and had suffered a heart attack the previous November. Wearing a heart monitor to ensure his heart rate didn't get too high, he proceeded to jump round the Derby course to end on four faults and take home the title.
6. Don't Bank On ItThe Hickstead Derby is often remembered for its thrills and spills as well as its heroes and heroines. The most famous fence of all is the Derby bank, with its 10ft 6in slope leading down to a 1.60m rails just two strides from the bank, and it has certainly caused some upsets over the years. Perhaps the most dramatic descents came from Annette Lewis and Tutein, who jumped straight off the top of the bank in 1985, while Axel Wockener managed to come down the bank backwards in 1976 on his horse Glasgow.