Can Trevor Breen make it three in a row at Hickstead?
Only a handful of showjumping’s biggest names have won the famous Hickstead Derby three times in succession, and this summer Ireland’s Trevor Breen bids to join this elite roll of honour.
Trevor Breen is the reigning Equestrian.com Derby champion. Having won the title for the first time in 2014 with the one-eyed Adventure De Kannan, he followed up his win last year with victory on board Loughnatousa WB. Their win in 2015 made history, as Loughnatousa WB became the first horse to win the Derby twice under two different riders – having been successful back in 2012 with former rider Paul Beecher.
Trevor Breen hopes to bring both Derby winners back for this year’s class, which forms the Sunday afternoon finale to the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting (23-26 June 2016). If he can win three times in a row, he’ll join the other illustrious names who have managed this feat, including Nick Skelton, Michael Whitaker and Peter Charles.
Only one rider has won the Derby four times in a row – Eddie Macken and the wonderful Boomerang, after whom the Hickstead Derby trophy is now named, who won every year from 1976 to 1979 and holds an unsurpassed record in Hickstead’s history books.
The Hickstead Derby is one of the most iconic classes in showjumping – with fearsome fences including the Devil’s Dyke and 10ft 6in Derby Bank, and a course that has barely changed in the 55 years since the event was first held. Record crowds always flock to the All England Jumping Course every year to watch this thrilling equestrian spectacle, in which clear rounds are a rarity and thrills and spills a certainty.
To get the chance to tackle the Equestrian.com Derby challenge, riders first have to qualify during the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial, held on the Friday. Saturday’s British Speed Derby is also hugely popular, with riders racing over some of Hickstead’s permanent fences at top speed. Guy Williams, always a formidable force against the clock, also made history at Hickstead last summer by becoming the first rider to win the class four times. Not only that, he also set the course record with his scorching fast round on Caspar De Muze.
The Derby meeting features showjumping of all levels, from 1m up to World Ranking classes. Alongside this there is a host of showing and driving classes, and visitors also have the option of staying later on Saturday evening to watch the popular Celebrity Polo Derby.
With the extensive Charles Owen shopping village, a funfair for children and a host of dining and hospitality options, a trip to Hickstead for the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting is a must for any equestrian fan.
To buy tickets, head to www.hickstead.co.uk