Written by Celeste Wilkins
For the first time in its 54 year history, the action from the Hickstead Derby will be livestreamed to viewers across the world from their website at hickstead.tv. Tune in and watch all the action from the International Arena – including the show’s main event, the Equestrian.com Derby. As one of Europe’s oldest shows on grass, it’s true to its roots – many of the obstacles are the same as they were decades ago. The jumps are stout and substantial and riders are signalled to start by a very loud klaxon.
Over the course of the weekend there are a variety of classes, ranging from young horse and amateur championships to the big derby classes. Special classes such as scurry driving, where a team of small ponies pulling a cart tear around an obstacle course, are always a delight to watch.
Some highlights from the Hickstead weekend schedule include:
14:30 GMT: The Osborne Refrigerators Scurry Driving Championship – an exciting test where teams of small ponies pulling specially-designed carts race around an obstacle course against the clock.
15:30 GMT: The British Speed Derby – set at a 1.45m against the clock, the class includes the Irish Bank – a smaller version of the massive Derby Bank that horses must tackle with caution.. A tricky task at speed, so be prepared to see lots of thrills and spills.
12:00 GMT: The Hickstead Under-25 Masters – watch top young riders compete over a challenging 1.50m track.
12:40 GMT: The Alltech Supreme Hunter Championship – British hunters at their best. It’s all tweed and canary jodhpurs in this hunter class, judged on style and suitability for the hunting field.
14:30 GMT: The Equestrian.com Derby – the flagship class of this show, the Derby is a test of speed and bravery, with a variety of natural obstacles with heights up to 1.60m. Watch out for the Devil’s Dyke and the planks at the bottom of the legendary Derby Bank.
Last year, one-eyed Adventure de Kannan won with Trevor Breen – be certain to watch these brave pairs of horses and riders take on the challenge this year. Who will be the best?
All events can be viewed for free on hickstead.tv