David Simpson and Harriet Nuttall Reign at Hickstead

David Simpson wins the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial. Image (c) Sian Hayden

David Simpson steals the show in the Friday Bunn Leisure Derby Trial

Ireland’s David Simpson had his first major win in Hickstead’s International Arena on Friday, taking the Derby Trial.

Tactics came to the fore in the jump-off, when David Simpson (riding Gotti Van Paemel) faced two rivals in the form of William Funnell and Shane Breen. First to go was William, who finished in a time of 64.30sec, but knocked one fence to finish on four faults. Hickstead-based Shane Breen picked up an unfortunate eight faults, paving the way for David to go for a steady clear.

“He’s not fast, but he’s really careful,” explained David. “I decided if the lads went clear I’d jump a few fences and pull him up and give him a pat. I knew I’d come third and then I could save him for the Derby. But when they had fences down I knew I could jump a clear round.”


David Simpson shares a yard near Horsham with his fiancée Louise Pavitt, the winner of the speed class. The pair have two young children and are getting married in August.

“It’s really nice to win a class here, usually it’s Louise who wins,” joked David. “We’ve been at our new yard for about two years now and the horses are all really happy and settled. They seem to have hit a good run of form and we have a great bunch of owners.”


Several showing classes reached their conclusion in the International Arena on Friday. Leading show producer Jayne Ross scored double wins. She took the Supreme Cob Championship with Cob in Hood, as well the Small Show Hunter Championship with Hello Dolly. Hannah Horton was the Blue Chip Native BSPS Heritage Supreme Champion with the eight-year-old Connemara mare Slieve Bloom Jill.

Harriet Nuttall and David Reign at Hickstead

Harriet Nuttall finally had a well-deserved win yesterday (sat 25/06) at the Hickstead Derby Meeting, winning the British Speed Derby with Silver Lift.

 Harriet Nuttall wins the British Speed Derby at Hickstead. Image (c) Sian Hayden
Harriet Nuttall wins the British Speed Derby at Hickstead. Image (c) Sian Hayden

Harriet, 26, was runner up in four of Hickstead’s major classes at last year’s Derby meeting, including the 2015 Speed Derby. Twelve months ago she was narrowly beaten by Guy Williams, but this year the roles were reversed with Guy finishing second.

Nuttall had already taken the lead with her first ride, Highland Cruiser, having clocked up the quickest time. She then bettered her own time with second ride Silver Lift to hold the top two positions.

“This is my first win – Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn keeps saying I’m always the bridesmaid, never the bride!” joked Harriet.

Guy Williams had been aiming for a third consecutive win with Casper De Muze, and a record fifth Speed Derby win in total.

“Harriet deserved to win it and I’m happy for her. If anyone’s going to beat me I’m glad it’s her. Last year she should have won and she threw it away, and this year I did the same thing,” said Guy.

For full results click here.

Related posts

Leave a Comment