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See the British Showjumping team in action at Hickstead...

Thursday May 21 2015

Equestrian fans will have the chance to see the British showjumping team compete on home ground this summer at the Longines Royal International Horse Show (28 July - 2 August), which is held at Hickstead in West Sussex.

The show, which was voted the world's best showjumping competition in the 2014 L'Année Hippique awards, hosts the British leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ series.

 

The British team will be hoping to claim the Prince of Wales trophy by netting their first home win at Hickstead since 2010, but they will face tough opposition from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and last year's Hickstead winners, the USA.

 

Hickstead's FEI Nations Cup leg comes less than three weeks before the showjumping competition at this year's FEI European Championships at Aachen. The squad of five riders will be named nearer the time, but for some combinations Hickstead could well form a final prep run before the Championships.

 

"I've already said we want our strongest team at Hickstead, as we don't want to disappoint the British showjumping supporters at their home leg. Winning there is high on my wish list," says World Class Performance Manager Di Lampard.

 

The Longines Royal International Horse Show, which is the official show of The British Horse Society, begins on Tuesday 28 July with two days of national showjumping and showing classes. The international jumping action gets started on Thursday, with the Bunn Leisure Trophy and the return of the new-format Amlin Plus Eventers' Challenge, while Friday's highlights are the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ of Great Britain plus the Bunn Leisure International Stakes.

 

Saturday's international classes are the Bunn Leisure Salver and the British Speed Classic, plus there's the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup, a championship open to the leading national riders. The show concludes on Sunday with the Royal International Accumulator and the €200,000 Longines King George V Gold Cup, one of the most prestigious classes in the sport.

 

The Longines Royal International Horse Show is also renowned as the pinnacle of the outdoor showing season, with riders travelling up and down the country in order to pick up one of the coveted qualifying tickets.

 

There are hundreds of showing championships across the six days of the show, with the best of these competing in the British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Underwood Supreme Pony Championships on the final Sunday.

 

With the vast Charles Owen Shopping Village, family entertainment and a huge range of hospitality options, a visit to the Longines Royal International Horse Show will provide the perfect day out this summer.

 

Guests attending on Saturday 1 August are encouraged to dress to impress in order to win one of the luxury prizes on offer as part of the Mark Davies Injured Riders' Fund Ladies' Day at Hickstead.

 

Competitor entries are open now - click here - and the ticketing Box Office can be found online here.

Stunning photographs of the ‘one-eyed wonder horse’ Adventure De Kannan...

Thursday May 14 2015

The All England Jumping Course at Hickstead has commissioned leading equine photographer Matthew Seed to create a series of photographs of Trevor Breen and his horse Adventure De Kannan, winners of the 2014 Equestrian.com Derby.

The photos have been released ahead of this year's Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting (25-28 June), when Trevor and his 'one-eyed wonder horse' will be returning to Hickstead in an attempt to reclaim their title.

 

There are seven photographs in the collection and the image voted the most popular by Hickstead's Facebook fans will be displayed at this year's show before being auctioned to raise funds for the Mark Davies Injured Riders' Fund.

 

Adventure De Kannan (known in the stable as 'Addy') not only has a superb record at the All England Jumping Course, but he has also won numerous international Grands Prix and represented Ireland on Nations Cup showjumping teams. But what makes the gelding even more remarkable is that he defied the odds by returning to top level competition after an operation to remove his right eye in 2013.

 

The gelding had an eye condition which was progressively worsening, until the point it was decided that he would be more comfortable having it surgically removed. His owner, Karen Swann, and his rider Trevor worried that Addy might never jump at the top level again, yet in a matter of weeks the gelding was back jumping at major competitions. Just two months after the operation, the pair came very close to winning their first Hickstead Derby title, finishing in second place. Despite his 'disability', Adventure De Kannan proved himself to be as good as he had always been.

 

Last year Trevor had been determined to claim the coveted Boomerang Trophy after coming so close to winning the Hickstead Derby on several occasions. He and Addy jumped a superb round to finish on four faults, which led to a jump-off between Trevor and the 2013 winner, Phillip Miller. In one of the closest finishes in Derby history, Trevor won the title by just 0.02sec.

 

"Winning the Hickstead Derby is a phenomenal achievement for any horse and especially so for 'Addy', considering he only has one eye," said Cheshire-based photographer Matthew Seed. "I was delighted to be approached by the Hickstead team and asked to produce these images to commemorate Trevor and Addy's achievements."

 

Matthew spent the day at the Buckinghamshire yard Trevor shares with his wife Caroline, also a showjumper. "We had a fantastic day with Trevor and his family, and I think the resulting photos really capture the amazing bond between Trevor and his horse. I've worked with lots of horses but Addy was one of the easiest equine models - he was endlessly patient and stood beautifully throughout."

 

As well as winning Hickstead's most famous class, the Equestrian.com Derby, Trevor and Addy have won nearly every major class at the showground, including the Bunn Leisure Speed Derby, the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup, the All England Grand Prix and the Amlin Plus Eventing Grand Prix.

 

"Trevor and Addy have an incredible record at Hickstead - no other horse has won such an array of major titles at our shows," said Lizzie Bunn, Hickstead Director. "We wanted to mark his achievements in some way, so we approached Matthew Seed about creating this very special photoshoot. We think the resulting images are truly spectacular, with each photograph forming a work of art. We are very much looking forward to seeing which of the final seven images is selected to be displayed and auctioned at this year's Derby meeting."

 

Horses that have won the Derby have historically had a strong chance of doing so, and Trevor is determined to repeat his victory of last summer. "I want to win again. I definitely think Addy could be one of those horses who could win the Derby several times," said Trevor, 36.

 

Last summer Trevor was presented with the Boomerang Trophy by Lorraine Meadowcroft, CEO of title sponsors Equestrian.com. "You could feel the emotion - Fran, Trevor's groom, was in tears, Trevor was nearly in tears, it was almost overwhelming. Someone like Trevor wins lots of classes, but you could see what it meant to him to finally win the Derby," said Lorraine, who attended the photoshoot with Matthew Seed.

 

The Equestrian.com Derby is one of the most famous showjumping classes in the world. The huge course includes iconic fences such as the Derby Bank, the Devil's Dyke and one of the widest water jumps in the world. First held in 1961, there has only been a total of 54 clear rounds in the event's history. Previous winners include showjumping luminaries such as Nick Skelton, John and Michael Whitaker, Ben Maher, Harvey Smith and David Broome, while Irishman Eddie Macken holds the record for four consecutive wins on his great equine partner, Boomerang, after whom the Derby trophy is now named.

 

The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting features international and national showjumping, plus showing classes, scurry driving and carriage driving, and a Celebrity Polo event. The show also features the Charles Owen Shopping Village, with hundreds of tradestands selling everything from clothing, footwear, saddlery, food and giftware. More than 40,000 people attended last year's show, which is one of the major dates of the equestrian season.

 

Tickets are on sale now - click here for the box office. To vote for your favourite image, visit www.facebook.com/hickstead.

Goodbye to the old Grandstand...

Tuesday May 12 2015

The skyline at the All England Jumping Course had a dramatic makeover this week - Hickstead director Edward Bunn explains all about the latest happenings.

There's something different about the International Arena…

 

Edward: Yes, the old grandstand has gone! Two big diggers chopped it down into little pieces. They came in on Tuesday, and it took 24 hours to demolish and sort the materials - you can see the video of the demolishment on our Facebook page. The steel work has gone to the scrapyard, and there's a big pile of timber left that will be taken to green waste.

 

Why did you decide to knock it down?

 

It was 44 years old and had reached the end of its shelf life. It needed major work to keep it safe and confirm to modern safety standards, but it was beyond economic repair. We made the decision last September, but it was a lengthy process - we had to get permission to demolish it, plus do environmental surveys to check there were no rare breeds living in the grandstand (which there wasn't, apart from woodworm!) That all took time, and by then it was too wet to carry out the work, so we had to wait until now so we had dry ground.

 

So where will people sit next month at the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting?

 

We're getting a new grandstand to go in its place, and it will be one of the ones used at the Olympics in 2012. It's a similar size but much more modern and with proper seating. Plus, unlike the old one, it meets all the current health and safety regulations! The view of the course will be identical as it's the same height and will sit on the same footprint. The only difference is we no longer have the jump store underneath so all our poles and wings are currently in a marquee - next year we'll be building a barn to house all the jumps.

 

How are the other preparations going?

 

Everything is going to plan, and the International Arena is in very good health. We've re-turfed the bank and it's looking very green. Aside from the shows, our new music event Boomerang Hickstead is taking up lots of time so that's our big project at the moment.

Hickstead events to be shown to global audience...

Wednesday May 6 2015

Hickstead's two international fixtures will now be available to a much bigger audience, thanks to the forthcoming launch of Hickstead.tv and live streaming, while the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting will be shown live on Horse & Country TV for the first time.

Action from the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting (25-28 June) will be streamed live from Friday to Sunday, giving viewers three days of great showjumping coverage. Hickstead's June fixture will now be available to a global audience, with showjumping fans from around the world able to watch action from classes such as the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial, the Bunn Leisure Master's Challenge, the British Speed Derby and, of course, the Equestrian.com Derby - one of the most famous classes in equestrian sport.

 

The Equestrian.com Derby will also be shown live on Horse & Country TV on the afternoon of Sunday 28 June, so viewers in the UK and Ireland can also choose to watch on Sky 253. The channel is available in more than 10 million homes in the United Kingdom, with more than 1m people tuning in during the final quarter of 2014.

 

"We think this combination of live streaming and live broadcast television points the way ahead for wider coverage of equestrian sport, both in the UK and abroad," says Horse & Country TV's Managing Director Richard Burdett. "We're delighted to be able to broadcast the iconic Equestrian.com Derby live on our channel, and to be working with the forward-thinking team at Hickstead."

 

For Lorraine Meadowcroft, CEO of title sponsors Equestrian.com, the launch of the streaming service is an exciting development. "To have the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting live streamed as well as being shown live on Horse & Country TV is an amazing opportunity to bring the event to a new global audience," she says. "New technology is fantastic and will give many thousands of equestrian fans around the world the opportunity to watch this iconic event, and Equestrian.com is really happy to support the Hickstead team in this new venture."

 

The Longines Royal International Horse Show (28 July - 2 August) will once again be broadcast by Sky Sports from Friday to Sunday, with action from the final two days of the show also being available on Hickstead.tv. Friday's feature class is the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ of Great Britain, which will be shown live on Sky Sports. Saturday's Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup and Sunday's Longines King George V Gold Cup will also be broadcast on Sky Sports, while all the action from the International Arena over the weekend will be streamed live on Hickstead.tv.

 

"We're delighted that Sky Sports have given us permission to live stream coverage online in addition to their broadcast, as this will allow us to reach a vast new global audience," said Hickstead Director Edward Bunn. "We are looking forward to working with the team from Sky Sports again this summer and continuing a working relationship that first started in 2005."

 

The live stream televised content on Hickstead.tv will be professionally produced by Impact Media with multiple cameras, presenters, features, commentators and interviews. Anyone with an internet connection, be it mobile, Wi-Fi or fixed, will be able to watch Hickstead. Viewers will also be able to watch using a smart TV, Now TV box attached to a standard TV, computer, tablet or smart phone. The streaming will be in four different qualities, and devices will automatically select the optimum quality to suit the internet connection and device.

 

"Online streaming has worked incredibly well for other major equestrian events, including the Longines Global Champions Tour, and we've had an increasing number of enquiries in the past few years from showjumping fans who were keen to watch our international shows via a live stream," adds Edward. "The televising of our sport has changed a lot since the days of extensive coverage on the main terrestrial channels, and Hickstead must change and adapt to ensure that our events are seen by as many people as possible. Now, with a mixture of televised broadcasts on Sky Sports and Horse & Country plus live streaming, we're able to offer the best of both worlds."

 

Other benefits of the new live streaming service include viewers being able to rewind the live coverage to any point during the broadcast, while as soon as the stream has finished they will be able to watch the whole broadcast in its entirety again. All broadcasts will be archived on Hickstead.tv and will be available on 'catch up' for at least 12 months. A highlights programme will be produced of each event and will be available after the event on Hickstead.tv.

 

The new look www.hickstead.co.uk website will relaunch later this month, with sister site Hickstead.tv going live soon after, boasting photos and galleries alongside extensive video clips.

New World Ranking class added to the Derby schedule...

Wednesday April 15 2015

The schedule for the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting (25-28 June) is now available, and we're delighted to announce the addition of a brand new World Ranking class for 2015.

Our June meeting comes just 3 days after another British CSI4* (international four-star showjumping event), Bolesworth International in Cheshire, and we hope that an increasing number of international riders will make the journey across to the UK to compete at both competitions.

 

To further encourage more of the world's top riders to come to our June meeting with several of their horses, we have increased the prize fund of Saturday's Tom Hudson Derby Trophy to €24,500. Riders in this class will also be eligible for world ranking points, which determine their place on the international rider rankings.

 

Prize money in the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard on the Thursday has also been doubled.

"After feedback from riders, we added an extra World Ranking class in order to provide more options for those bringing a number of horses to the Derby meeting," explains Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. "Now those who have a Derby horse, a speed horse and a Grand Prix horse will have multiple classes to enter."

 

The additional class brings the total of World Ranking classes at the Equestrian.com Derby meeting to four.

 

From the tiny cross-poles of the Mini Challenge to the towering heights of the Equestrian.com Derby fences, the June meeting caters for riders of all levels. Affiliated jumping classes start at 1m, while there are showing classes for hunters, cobs, riding horses, mountain and moorland ponies, hacks, working hunters, side-saddle and retrained racehorses. Scurry and carriage driving also feature at this show.

 

Entries are open now, with the schedule and online entries available on the Competitors' Zone section of the website.

 

The closing date for entries is 18th May.

 

Bay jumping red and yellow Friday (c) Sam Lamb.jpg

Jessie J and The Vamps to headline Boomerang Hickstead...

Friday April 10 2015

The All England Jumping Course is proud to present Boomerang Hickstead, a brand new two-day music event held on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September 2015. Top British singer/songwriter Jessie J and hit group The Vamps will headline the event, with further major acts to be revealed over the coming weeks.

Not only will Hickstead's International Arena provide a unique venue to witness performances from some of the world's best-selling artists, but the two-day music event will also include gourmet pop up restaurants, street food stalls and alternative entertainment.

 

Hickstead is known as the home of British showjumping, but this new departure is set to see thousands of music fans visit the famous showground in West Sussex and enjoy the superb facilities on offer.

 

The event will also help the Bunn family, directors of the All England Jumping Course, to invest more money back into the sport. This is something that was also very important to Hickstead's founder, the late Douglas Bunn, whose vision and passion helped the showground grow to become one of the most famous venues in the horse world.

 

"We are very excited to announce the launch of Boomerang Hickstead, our first major live music event," says Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn. "It's set to be a superb weekend of music, and the huge International Arena will provide a wonderful, open-air concert venue.

 

"Hickstead has played host to nearly all of the world's best horse and rider combinations since it first opened in 1960. Now, we're looking forward to seeing some of the world's best music acts follow in their footsteps by performing in the International Arena," adds Lizzie.

 

The event is named after Boomerang, Eddie Macken's famous horse who won the Hickstead Derby a record four consecutive times from 1976 to 1979. Every June, the winner of the Equestrian.com Derby is presented with the Boomerang Trophy, made in his honour.

 

Tickets are on sale now, and cost £39.50 for 'Early Bird' day tickets, while standard day tickets cost £45. Click here for the Box Office.

 

Boomerang poster.jpg

Equitop Myoplast supports upcoming stars at Hickstead...

Thursday April 9 2015

The directors of the All England Jumping Course are delighted to announce that Equitop Myoplast will sponsor a number of classes throughout the Hickstead season.

Hickstead caters for all levels of showjumping, from grassroots and young horse classes up to five-star international competition. Now Equitop Myoplast, a unique amino acid specifically designed to support lean muscle development in horses, will become the title sponsor of a series of Novice horse classes.

 

The Equitop Myoplast Novice Stakes will be contested each day from Wednesday to Saturday of the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting (25-28 June 2015) and Tuesday to Saturday of the Longines Royal International Horse Show (28 July - 2 August 2015). Riders will qualify in these classes to compete in the Equitop Myoplast All England Novice Championship, held during the All England Jumping Championships (3-6 September).

 

"When we added the All England Jumping Championships in 2011, we wanted to further cement our support of grassroots showjumping," explains Lizzie Bunn. "We're delighted that Equitop Myoplast has joined us in this endeavour by sponsoring this series for Novice horses."

 

Nearly 2,000 horses and riders contested last year's Novice series at Hickstead, with the All England Novice Championship in September going to Samantha Garry and Sumas Haunting.

 

Liz Barrett, Equine Business Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim, comments: "I am sure we will see many stars of the future competing in the Novice championship this year, and Equitop Myoplast is a perfect partner to support their progression to the next level. We are delighted to facilitate the opportunity for novice riders to compete on such a prestigious stage."

 

The blend of 18 key amino acids in Equitop Myoplast can enable horses to build up muscle more efficiently and respond better to training, helping horses to generate power and speed. Equitop Myoplast has rapidly become a favourite of riders in all disciplines, but especially in showjumping where top riders Scott Brash, Ellen and William Whitaker, Trevor Breen, Nicole Pavitt and Corinne Collins are among the many brand advocates.

 

Equitop Myoplast can be purchased from your veterinary practice or pharmacy. For more information on Equitop Myoplast click here.

 

Equitop Myoplast Logo.jpg

Come and experience Mid Sussex's best attractions...

Friday March 27 2015

The All England Jumping Course at Hickstead has teamed up with some of the county's best tourist attractions to encourage people to 'Experience Mid Sussex'.

Iain Nicol, Chief Executive of the South of England Agricultural Society, introduced the brand new business consortium today (27 March), which hopes to give a boost to the tourism sector of the region.

 

The event was held at Kingscote Vineyards in West Sussex, where 14 of the very best quality attractions, hotels and venues gathered to launch the initiative, supported by Mid Sussex District Council.

 

"Experience Mid Sussex was formed by a small group of like-minded people who are responsible for attractions, hotels and venues located in the heartland of some of the most attractive countryside in England that we know as Mid Sussex," said Iain Nicol,

 

"Each of the 14 members of the group represent accommodation, attractions and venues - four hotels, four gardens, three vineyards, two showgrounds and one restaurant - that we believe offer the very best experiences in the region; from breath-taking country houses and gardens, to vineyards, show venues, top quality hotels, restaurants and spas."

 

The aim of the group is to promote enjoyment and cultivate business in the region through a single gateway. The website www.experiencemidsussex.co.uk will provide a one stop shop and social network where visitors can find out about the top class venues and see what's happening throughout Mid Sussex. There will be special offers that visitors and residents can find from a single web page or link directly to each of the 14 participant's websites or simply view an interactive map.

 

But, more than that; Experience Mid Sussex represents the collective energy of a highly dedicated and committed group of people who passionately believe their venues offer some of the best experiences and services available in Mid Sussex; and that are instrumental in attracting new tourism, promoting health and well-being and developing and supporting business and the local economy. The group has a great natural ally - the region itself, with 60% designated an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty', from the gently rolling High Weald in the north to the chalk escarpments of the South Downs.

 

The launch event offered the opportunity for guests, including politician (with Rt Hon Sir Nilolas Soames being the guest of honour) media, councillors and other investors, to hear about what this special group has to offer individuals, families, residents, businesses and community organisations.

 

"We believe that we are stronger together than we are apart, so we expect Experience Mid Sussex to burgeon into a substantial and influential group that will help drive and support the local government tourism and business agenda in the region as well as broadening the appeal of Mid Sussex to visitors living and working outside the region as well as local residents," Ian continued.

 

With the core message of the day being to not just 'enjoy' Mid Sussex but 'experience' Mid Sussex, the group hope that this will be a catalyst for many more events that will help not just grow each individual organisation but also the local suppliers and businesses that support and sustain them.

 

For further information visit www.experiencemidsussex.co.uk

Counting down to the start of the season...

Wednesday March 25 2015

Our two flagship international fixtures are fast approaching, with the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting (25-28 June) starting off the season, followed by the Longines Royal International Horse Show (28 July - 2 August).

The June fixture culminates on the Sunday afternoon with one of the most iconic classes in showjumping, the Equestrian.com Derby. Very few horses are able to conquer the tricky course, which includes the 10ft 6in Derby Bank, the Devil's Dyke treble and the double of ditches. It is the second year that the Derby has been sponsored by Equestrian.com, and fans of this iconic class will once again have the chance to join the Hickstead Derby Community, don the official polo shirt and become part of this special day.

 

Sunday afternoon's feature class forms the finale to the Derby Meeting, but there's top class showjumping to enjoy throughout the four days of the show. The first international class is the Stoner Jewellers' Vase, held on Thursday morning, and that afternoon you can see some of the Derby hopefuls get their preparations underway in the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard.

 

Those hoping to qualify for the Equestrian.com Derby have to qualify during Friday's Bunn Leisure Derby Trial - a great place to check out the current form of some of the contenders - while Saturday afternoon plays host to the British Speed Derby, where riders tackle some of our permanent fences at top speed.

 

The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting is best known for its international showjumping classes, but there is plenty more on offer for equestrian fans. There are dozens of showing classes, including the prestigious final of the Tattersalls/RoR Thoroughbred Show Horse Championship, plus there's scurry driving and more. Saturday evening is party night, when everyone is invited to stay on at the showground for the entertaining Celebrity Polo Match.

 

Similarly, every day of the Longines Royal International Horse Show (the official show of The British Horse Society) boasts fantastic equestrian competition. The international classes get underway from Thursday onwards, with the highlight of this day being the new-look Amlin Plus Eventers' Challenge, back at Hickstead by popular demand after last year's absence.

 

Friday's feature class is the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup, where teams of four riders will be competing to qualify for the series final in Barcelona. It is the only chance British fans will have to see their team compete on home soil, and it's bound to provide a useful guide to Team GB's form ahead of the European Jumping Championships, held in Aachen in August.

 

Saturday's Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup is one of the most coveted titles in the national showjumping circuit, while Sunday's finale is the Longines King George V Gold Cup, one of the oldest and most prestigious classes in the world.

 

In showing, only the country's best horses and ponies qualify for the Longines Royal International Horse Show, with the best of the best battling it out for the British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Underwood Supreme Pony Championships. There's also carriage driving, scurry driving and lots more.

 

Hickstead's Ladies' day is held on the Saturday of the Longines Royal International Horse Show, held in aid of the Mark Davies Injured Riders' Fund. Show visitors are encouraged to dress to impress, with a host of prizes on offer to the most elegantly attired ladies.

 

The huge Charles Owen Shopping Village is an integral part of both Hickstead's international fixtures.  With hundreds of tradestands selling tack, clothing, footwear, gifts and more, it is one of the largest shopping areas in the outdoor show season.

 

For those who want to make their visit to Hickstead extra special, a range of hospitality options are available, from the Ringside Restaurant to Private Boxes. Visitors can also make great savings by taking out annual membership, which gives you unlimited access to all our shows plus an extra 57 reciprocal days at selected polo clubs, racecourses and Sussex County Cricket Club.

England back to their winning ways in Polo Test Match...

Monday March 9 2015

England won the International Arena Polo Test Match at the All England Polo Club on Saturday (7 March), beating Ireland 18-13 to claim the Bryan Morrison Trophy.

With the two highest-goal teams in the fixture's history lining up for the match, it was always going to be close - and at half time the score was 9-5 in Ireland's favour. However, the second half saw England fight their way back into the lead, with just two goals separating the teams with the final 2min 30sec left on the clock.

 

But as the clock counted down, the England team of Chris Hyde (9-goals), Jamie Le Hardy (7) and Jonny Good (8) increased their lead to five goals.

 

After the match, captain Chris Hyde explained that a dominant second half had been part of their game plan. "It was part of our team play. We had used our weaker horses by the end of the second chukka, knowing we'd need a strong third chukka and then would have the wind for the last chukka," he said. 
Hyde was pleased to be on the winning side once again, after the USA ended England's unbroken winning streak in last year's Test Match.

 

The 9-goal player, who is Europe's highest rated Arena player, gave credit to his team.

 

"Jamie and Jonny haven't played a competitive match for months and got this big call up. When you get players of the quality of Jamie and Jonny on a team together they're going to be tough to beat, and they were."

 

Jamie Le Hardy won the Most Valuable Player award, while Irish team player Richard Le Poer's ride Dig Deep was the Best Playing Pony. Richard's Ireland team mates were Sebastian Dawnay and Ryan Pemble, both 8-goal players.

 

In the Hickstead 12-Goal Challenge, which preceded the Test Match, the Irish team (Richard Fagan, Niall Donnelly and Michael Henderson) won 20-9 against Wales (Ricky Cooper, Roddy Matthews and Roddy Williams), ending the Welsh team's three-year winning streak.

Highest-rated arena polo match to be held at Hickstead...

Thursday March 5 2015

This Saturday, two teams will line up at Hickstead for the highest-goal Arena Polo Test Match played in the United Kingdom.

England will be taking on Ireland for the Bryan Morrison Trophy, and the full team line-ups have been revealed. Joining captain Chris Hyde (9-goals) for England will be Jamie Le Hardy (7) and Jonny Good (8); while representing Ireland will be Sebastian Dawnay (8-goals), Ryan Pemble (8) and Richard Le Poer (7).

 

The action gets under way at 11.30am with the Hickstead 12-Goal Challenge, featuring Wales v Ireland. Come and enjoy what will be a nail biting match while enjoying a glass or two at the champagne bar.

 

Tickets cost just £5 each and are available online, as well as unlimited tickets available to purchase on the gate. The forecast is set to be dry and sunny - so don't miss out on what's bound to be a brilliant day of polo.

Hickstead is best in the business...

Wednesday February 25 2015

The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting has been recognised at the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Business Awards, taking the honours in the 'Caldene Competition Equestrian Event of the Year' category.

Some of Britain's most popular equestrian events were on the shortlist for the award, but Hickstead's June fixture took the overall honours, with the Horse of the Year Show finishing runner-up. The award acknowledges the event that, as BETA outlines, 'best works with its exhibitors and takes their requirements and views fully into consideration'.

 

The award was decided by a judging panel and an online vote from visitors and retailers: "The organising team are spot on - nothing is ever too much trouble," was their verdict on Hickstead, according to the official BETA press release.

 

An estimated 40,500 spectators attended the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting last year, while the ever-growing Charles Owen Shopping Village featured nearly 200 shops and stands.

 

"The Derby is our most famous class so we're delighted that the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting has been given this award," says Lizzie Bunn, director of the All England Jumping Course. "Our visitors come to see top-class showjumping, but Hickstead is becoming equally renowned for its superb shopping village - and our improvements in this area has definitely helped us increase our gate numbers."

 

The Hickstead Derby was first held in 1961 and quickly established itself as one of the most iconic and coveted showjumping classes in the world. In 2014, Equestrian.com took over the title sponsorship, and as well as covering the substantial prize fund of £115,000, Equestrian.com also set up the Hickstead Derby Community, a unique members' club that allows showjumping fans to become part of the class.

 

Last year's victors were Ireland's Trevor Breen and Adventure De Kannan, a horse with a phenomenal Hickstead record. As the first one-eyed horse to win the Hickstead Derby, Adventure De Kannan's victory made headlines around the world.

 

"We are delighted for everyone involved who helped make the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting such a success in 2014," says Equestrian.com CEO, Lorraine Meadowcroft. "These events only happen with hard work, passion and dedication, and with visitor figures up by 30% there is no doubt the teamwork involved made the event a 'not to be missed' occasion.  We are now looking forward to this year's meeting and continuing to showcase this very special event in the summer social calendar."

 

This is the second time Hickstead has been recognised in a matter of months, following the news that the showground's other international fixture, the Longines Royal International Horse Show, won the award for 'Best Showjumping Event of the Year 2014' by the international publication L'Année Hippique.

 

This year's Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting runs from 25-28 June 2015. As well as the grand finale, the Equestrian.com Derby itself, the show features international showjumping classes such as the Bunn Leisure Speed Derby, and a new world ranking class for 2015, the Bunn Leisure Derby Trophy. There is also scurry driving, carriage driving and showing classes, plus the special Celebrity Polo Derby, held on the Saturday night.

 

Tickets are on sale now and are available here.

 

Simon Hickstead award (Custom).jpg

The Sunshine Tour UK Championships move to Hickstead...

Friday February 20 2015

Many of the world's most famous equestrians have competed at Hickstead, and now hundreds of unaffiliated riders will have the chance to follow in their footsteps. For the first time, the finals of The Sunshine Tour series will be held here at the All England Jumping Course in West Sussex (18-20 September 2015).

It's an exciting new departure for Hickstead, which is able to host these popular unaffiliated championships after the recent addition of new facilities, including a spectacular all-weather arena and new hard-standing for parking.

 

"Thanks to the support of a Hoof Capital Funding award and investment from the family, we have been able to extend our season and ensure that many more people benefit from access to the wonderful facilities at the All England Jumping Course," said Hickstead Director Edward Bunn.

 

"We are delighted to be hosting The Sunshine Tour UK championships, which will offer hundreds of unaffiliated riders the opportunity to compete here."

 

The Sunshine Tour is a national series that encourages grassroots and unaffiliated riders to participate in competitions in the disciplines of dressage, showjumping and showing.

 

The 2015 Tour will be held at various venues throughout the UK up until September. Riders who finish in the top six places at their event will qualify for the Championships at Hickstead.

 

In 2014, more than 600 riders took part in the Championships, qualifying at equestrian centres, riding clubs, show centres and Pony Club events around the UK.

 

Rebecca Stansfield, Director of Sunshine Tour UK, is now working to expand the series even further. "The Sunshine Tour offers a fabulous opportunity for unaffiliated riders to experience the fun and excitement of competition. We want to welcome as many people as possible, so we're keen to team up with more venues right across the country," Rebecca says.

 

Qualifying events are already underway, and riders who wish to enter should visit the Sunshine Tour UK website.

Hickstead seeks photography intern for our international shows...

Thursday February 19 2015

The All England Jumping Course at Hickstead is looking for a talented photography intern to help with the 2015 season and work during our two international shows - the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting (24th June - 28th June) and the Longines Royal International Horse Show (28th July - 2nd August). If you have a keen interest in photography and excellent equestrian knowledge, then we want to hear from you!

Photography intern

We're looking for a keen photography enthusiast to act as a photographic assistant. Your role will include gathering, uploading and editing images from our official photographer, sourcing images for our social media pages, and acting as a runner between the press office and the official photographer. You will also spend some time each day taking photos, including access to the International Arena.


Applicants need to have their own photography equipment (such as a Canon 5d or equivalent, plus an array of lenses including a wide lens). You must be able to use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, and be familiar with all social media platforms.

 

The hours are long and the work is hard - but if you're up for the challenge you'll get amazing experience to add to your CV, and the opportunity to be part of one of the most famous horse shows in the world. A fixed day rate is paid that covers all expenses. Accommodation is not included so the successful applicant will ideally live within commuting distance of the All England Jumping Course and hold a driving licence.

How to apply

 

To apply, please email press@hickstead.co.uk with your CV, a covering letter and two images:

  • An equestrian action image
  • A natural portrait image that has been slightly adjusted with Lightroom. In your covering letter, please explain what you have edited and why (in less than 200 words).

Applications close on 27 March 2015.

Home side retain the Aston Scott Trophy...

Sunday February 15 2015

We had a glorious winter's day on Sunday for the Aston Scott Trophy. Ascot Park's White Crane joined us for what was to be a highly competitive match.

With a two-goal head start for White Crane, due to the handicap difference, Team Hickstead needed to kick on and score some goals early on. With this in mind, Acosta didn't hang around - scoring two goals and an accurate penalty shot. Blake-Thomas was also on form with his penalties, scoring three in the first chukka.

 

Some strong marking from 16-year-old Ollie Cork saw an equal playing field with two goals and a penalty for both teams in the second chukka.

 

Young player Hickmet had a fast run in chukka three, with a fantastic goal bringing the score to 11-11. The crowd were keen for Calvert-Ansari, the only lady player in the arena, to score a goal in this chukka. She had a great run, keeping possession of the ball throughout, but narrowly missed the goal.

 

Going into chukka four the scores were tied. Sticking to his theme of  'a-goal-a-chukka', Hickmet brought the score to 12-11. Not to be outdone by this, White Crane quickly marked up and pushed through another goal. With 40 seconds on the clock it looked like a draw until Acosta, true to form, snuck in that last goal, bringing the score to 13-12 and leaving the Aston Scott Trophy at Hickstead for another year.
Teams were presented prizes by Heidi Carslaw of the Aston Scott Group.

Alltech to support showing classes at Hickstead...

Friday February 6 2015

The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting (25th - 28th June) is best known for its showjumping classes, but showing has been a major part of the fixture since the 1990s. This year, the show has been given a significant boost with the news that Alltech is to sponsor a number of its showing classes.

With a number of Horse of the Year Show qualifying tickets on offer and a wide range of classes, many of the country's top riders and producers head to Hickstead each June. As well as being one of the major fixtures in the summer showing calendar, the Derby meeting also gives horses and ponies invaluable experience of competing at the showground ahead of the Longines Royal International Horse Show, held at Hickstead just a few weeks later.

 

The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting has something for everyone who is a fan of equestrian sport. A total of nine rings are in use throughout the show, with senior national showjumping classes, showing, scurry and carriage driving, an exhibition polo match and of course, plenty of international showjumping on offer - culminating in the famous Equestrian.com Derby on Sunday afternoon.


The new sponsorship will see Alltech provide support for an extensive range of showing classes during the Derby meeting.

 

These will include the Small Hunter Championship, the Maxi Cob, Small and Large Riding Horse classes and the Supreme Riding Horse Championship on the Friday. Alltech will also be the official sponsor of the Hack classes and the Supreme Hack Championship, as well as the Working Hunter class, which are all held on the Saturday of the show. Sunday, the final day of the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting, will see Alltech support the Show Hunter classes, the Supreme Hunter Championship, the Supreme Coloured Horse In Hand Championship and a series of Chaps UK coloured horse and pony qualifiers.

 

Alltech's UK Marketing Manager, Isla Baker-Browne said: "Alltech is delighted to form an association with Hickstead, which is such an institution of British equestrian sport. The sponsorship is a continuation of Alltech's support of top class British events."

 

Alltech has developed the Lifeforce Range of all-natural daily digestive aid supplements. These products are designed to benefit horses at every stage of life, from breeding stock to pleasure and performance animals.

 

For further information please visit www.lifeforcehorse.co.uk or telephone 01780 764512

 

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Home win for Hickstead in Images of Polo Match...

Monday February 2 2015

Team Hickstead won the rescheduled Images of Polo Match, held on Sunday 1st February. With a handicap difference of 1, Team Hickstead was given a 2 Goal head start. In the first chukka Taylor and Grant were both on form with their penalties bringing the scores up quickly. Patrons Bunn & Harrison scored a goal each for their teams getting the game off to a great start.

Going into chukka two, we saw a lot of penalties from both sides, with three hitting the mark for Hickstead and one for Sopers.

 

Despite the six goal lead, Sopers Farm kept it cool with their great team work and scored an extra three goals in the third chukka. But Grant, who was having a brilliant match, scored two goals to take the score to 14-9.

 

Heading into the final chukka, Hickstead had a five goal lead. Sopers Farm was strong with their marking, and pushed through a further four goals. However, keeping up with this Hickstead also scored an additional four goals to take the final score to 18-13.

 

TEAM HICKSTEAD 18

John Bunn, 2

Guy Harrison, 1

Daniel Acosta, 3

 

SOPERS FARM 13

Mat Simpson, 3

Alex Grant, 0

Bryony Taylor, 2

England take on Ireland in Arena Polo Test Match...

Thursday January 29 2015

The nations have been announced for the popular International Arena Polo Test Match here at Hickstead (Saturday 7 March 2015), with England taking on Ireland for the Bryan Morrison trophy.

The England side will be captained once again by 9-goaler Chris Hyde, who is Britain's highest rated Arena Polo player, while captaining the Irish side is Sebastian Dawnay, rated at 8-goals. The full team line-up will be confirmed soon, but the match is expected to feature the highest-rated teams in the fixture's history.

England had been enjoying an unbroken run in the International Arena Polo Test Match at the All England Polo Club, until the USA claimed victory during last year's match, thanks to the mighty 10-goaler Tommy Biddle leading his team to a 21-17 victory.

"England will be going all out to get back to their winning ways at Hickstead, but the Irish side will be equally determined to stop them," said AEPC Hickstead Chairman John Bunn. "The stage is set for another thrilling game of Arena Polo."

Before the feature match, the polo action gets underway with the Hickstead 12-Goal Challenge, where the Wales Polo Team will take on another Irish team. With tickets costing just £5 each, it's the perfect way to enjoy hours of sport for an incredibly good price.

Following the match, there is a three-course lunch (tickets £45 each plus £5 admission), which always attracts many of the polo world's best known personalities. Tickets for the arena test match can be bought online and will also be available to purchase on the gate on the day of the match.

In Arena Polo, there are only three members per team instead of four. The pitch is smaller, the ball is larger and softer, and shots can be played off the boards of the arena, making it an exciting game to watch.

The All England Polo Club has fixtures nearly every weekend until the end of March, while lessons, livery and pony hire are also available. The Polo Clubhouse is open each weekend, selling hot and cold drinks and refreshments ranging from light bites to Sunday roasts.

 

Arena Test Match 2014 (c) Images of Polo.JPG

Recruiting Excellence claim Arundel Equine Hospital Polo Match...

Tuesday January 27 2015

Despite severe weather warnings beforehand, not a drop of rain or snow fell on Sunday's Arundel Equine Hospital Match, which saw Recruiting Excellence, a 6-goal team, take on Hincha Pelota (5 goals) in what was to be a competitive match.

The game got off to a strong start for Hincha Pelota. Patron Chas Taylor was on form with his penalties, taking his team to a four goal lead within the first few minutes. With some great marking from Alex Grant, Recruiting Excellence only managed to sneak in two goals in the first chukka.

 

Going into chukka two, 4-goaler Matt Pannell soon scored a quick three goals for Pelota but this was closely followed by 3 goals from Recruiting Excellence.


There was a quick change to the scoreboard when Daniel Acosta, who was sitting calmly at the back, scored a brilliant 2-pointer followed by a further four goals, with the help of Brad Shackleton bringing the score to 12 apiece.

 

Chukka four started with the two teams neck and neck, but the crowd were keen for Hincha Pelota - who had led up until that point - to get the elusive winning goal. However, with only a minute left on the clock, Recruiting Excellence stepped up a gear and saw Acosta sneak in a final goal, making them winners of the Arundel Match.

 

Hincha Pelota 12 Recruiting Excellence 13

 

Chas Taylor                              Brad Shackleton

Alex Grant                                John Bunn

Matt Pannell                             Daniel Acosta

 

The All England Polo Club would like to say a big thank you to the Arundel Equine Hospital, for their continued support, as well as all our players and supporters.

Get set for the Showtime Ball...

Friday January 23 2015

Hickstead is proud to announce a very special date for your diaries - 18th April 2015, the night of the first ever Showtime Ball.

The glittering black tie event will provide the perfect way to kick start the show season - and it's a great opportunity for societies, producers, owners, riders and other showing fans to catch up with each other after the long winter break.

 

Not only that, but all proceeds from the ball will be going directly towards improving the showing facilities at Hickstead. Plans are afoot to continue the all-weather gallop track in Jacksons Fencing Ring 5, making it a complete circuit around the edge of the arena. The team at Hickstead also want to make a new area for spectators at the Dick Saunders pavilion, with its own champagne bar and paved area.

 

"We are really keen to get the whole showing world together to celebrate the start of a new season, as well as raise funds to improve their Hickstead experience. The Bunns are famed for putting on a good party, and this will be no exception!" said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. The ball will be held in the Beethoven Suite, overlooking the famous International Arena - so come along and party the night away in true Hickstead style!"

 

Tickets are £65 each, which includes a three-course dinner and a drinks reception. The evening gets underway at 7pm and includes live music and plenty of dancing, plus there will be a charity auction with a host of fabulous opportunities on offer.

 

To purchase tickets, please call the Hickstead team on 01273 837 253.

Eventing returns to Hickstead by popular demand...

Thursday January 22 2015

Last April, the news that the Eventing Grand Prix was no longer to be held here at Hickstead was met by widespread disappointment. Now, we are delighted to announce a return of the class for this season, with a new and exciting format.

The Amlin Plus Eventers' Challenge will be held on the Thursday of the Longines Royal International Horse Show (28 July - 2 August). The class will now be kept within the arena and only event riders will be eligible to compete, which will allow the cross-country fences to become more technical and demanding.


"Lots of equestrian fans were upset by the loss of the former Eventing Grand Prix class, so we're very pleased to be launching the Eventers' Challenge in its place," says Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn.

 

The new course will be designed by Richard Taylor, who has been part of the course-building team at two European eventing championships, the Asian Games and the Beijing Olympics. All the fences in Hickstead's Amlin Plus Eventers' Challenge will be rustic cross-country obstacles, with some fixed fences and others that can be knocked down.

 

The Eventing Grand Prix had been held at Hickstead since 1998, and was the first event of its kind to be held at an international competition. A number of top riders have won the title during its sixteen year history, including eventers Pippa Funnell, Andrew Nicholson and Lucinda Fredericks, plus showjumpers Michael Whitaker, Shane Breen and Trevor Breen. Eventer Gary Parsonage was the most successful rider of all in the class, winning a total of four times.

 

"There have been some very illustrious eventing champions competing at Hickstead over the years, and we're pleased to be inviting the country's top names once again for the Amlin Plus Eventers' Challenge," Lizzie adds.

 

Amlin Plus were the sponsors of the former Eventing Grand Prix class from 2010 onwards, and they have generously agreed to sponsor the new Eventers' Challenge class. "Amlin Plus is delighted the Eventers' Challenge is on the Hickstead schedule," said David Ashby, Managing Director of Amlin Plus. "We sponsored the Eventing Grand Prix for several years and it's always been an exciting competition that draws competitors and crowds alike."

 

To buy tickets, click here or call 01273 834315.