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William Whitaker victorious in the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby 2016!

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William, 26 rode the aptly-named Glenavadra Brilliant to victory on Sunday 26 June to raise the Boomerang Trophy and securing him a rich prize fund of 42,600 euros. He was the only clear out of 35 starters with just an unfortunate time fault and will now be the third members of the Whitaker family to raise the trophy.

William rode a text book round on Glenavadra Brilliant, the 13-year-old ISH stallion who finished third in 2014 and second in 2015. William said after his victory, “My horse is always knocking on the door, having been second here as well as several other derbies in Europe, so I’m pleased to finally get the win today.”

I’m happy for the horse too because he really deserves this win. I knew I was slow early on in the course but he’s quite a hot horse and was pulling a bit so I was taking time on the corners.”

Three riders shared second place, all on four faults, Irishmen Richard Howley (Chinook), Billy Twomey (Diaghilev) and British rider Harriet Nuttall.

Harriett looked set for a clear with her ride, A Touch Imperious, however agonisingly got the last fence down otherwise she would have been both the Speedy Derby and Derby winner.

Billy Twomey could not hide his disappointment after finishing joint-second. “This is the fifth time being second in the Derby so I really need to get my act together,” he added.

The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby produced a fair share of thrills and spills this year, with seven riders retiring and six eliminated. David Simpson and Rolo Tomasi experienced a fall at the bottom of the bank after the stallion launched from the bank too early.

Full results can be found here: http://results.scgvisual.com/2016/hickstead/r8.html


Can Trevor Breen make it three in a row at Hickstead?

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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 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 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

 


 

The Equestrian.com Liverpool Horse Show, A Dazzling Success

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What a fantastic start to 2016! As title sponsors we’re so pleased to say that The Equestrian.com Liverpool Horse Show was a dazzling success.

With spectacular performances from French stunt rider Clemence Faivre, The Horsemen Team and The Bootleg Beatles throughout the weekend all tastes were catered for. There were a great variety of stands to get in some retail therapy and fantastic food to fill your stomach for a busy day ahead.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to all of the riders that took part in this amazing new show and for all their support and a massive congratulations to all the winners.

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Photo: Lorraine Meadowcroft (Equestrian.com CEO) and Billy Twomey, The Equestrian.com CSI4* Grand Prix winner

 


 

Sporting Hero Launches Alder Hey Children’s Charity Partnership for The Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show

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Staff and children at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital were joined by 10 time Paralympic Gold Medallist Lee Pearson CBE and the team from The Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show, to announce the new fund-raising partnership between the two organisations.

The team behind the inaugural Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show, taking place at the Echo Arena on the city’s waterfront from 1-3 January 2016, has provided complimentary tickets to some of the children being cared for at Alder Hey along with their families.

Pearson, who has achieved 35 career Gold medals at European, World and Paralympic level and is hoping to represent Great Britain at next year’s Paralympics in Rio said: “I am delighted to join Nina Barbour organiser of the first ever Liverpool Horse Show to help support and raise awareness of the Alder Hey Children’s Charity. It is so important to highlight the incredible work of this charity and the truly amazing staff at Alder Hey who care for these very brave and poorly children. Please help to support the work of Alder Hey Children’s Charity by making a donation today.”

This event is the newest international sporting event to be held in Liverpool and is set to draw crowds of more than 30,000 to the Arena at the city’s iconic waterfront. Visitors to Liverpool will be able to enjoy three days of live music, food, fashion and family entertainment taking place around an unforgettable showcase of world-class show jumping action in the main arena.

The Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show will attract the world’s best show jumpers to compete on an international stage, to kick off the Olympic year of 2016. Many of the competitors will hope to gain important points in the FEI rankings, crucial for selection for the Olympics in Rio 2016.

Show President, Nina Barbour, said: “We have been so impressed by the energy and hard work of the Alder Hey team and feel privileged to be working with the charity for the first Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show. We hope to offer the families an unforgettable experience at the arena with an action-packed schedule of family entertainment in this fantastic city. As a team we will do everything we can before and during the show to help Alder Hey to raise awareness of their work and to generate much needed donations for these inspiring children.”

This special partnership between The Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show and Alder Hey Children’s Charity will hope to raise awareness and vital funds to help the children and their families being cared for at this superb facility.

 

Clare White, Chief Executive of Alder Hey Charity said: “We are really proud to announce our partnership with The Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show.

We would like to thank them for the complimentary tickets for the show and I am sure the children from Alder Hey will have a day they will always remember. The show will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase Liverpool and also the amazing work that goes on here at our brand new state of the art hospital and to help raise much needed donations for our Charity.”

For further event information please go to www.liverpoolhorseshow.com or call 01829 307676.

 

 


 

£45,000 Prize Fund for the Equestrian.com Liverpool International CSI4* Grand Prix

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Leading show jumpers from around the world will compete for a fantastic £45,000 prize fund in the Equestrian.com Grand Prix at the Liverpool International CSI4* Horse Show.

This brand new show is set to be a glitzy and glamorous affair and the perfect way to kick off the New Year in style. Headline sponsor Equestrian.com are very generously supporting the feature Grand Prix class which is sure to be a competition not to be missed. It will be held during the evening performance on Sunday, January 3 and will be the culmination of a hugely exciting equestrian spectacle.

An array of top names will be in action, all keen to take their share of the brilliant prize fund on offer. They will have to be on the top of their game though, as the course will be big and technical, demanding maximum attention from horse and rider as they tackle the most challenging class at this four star event.

Besides the Grand Prix, the Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show hosts an action packed schedule, including a range of exciting show jumping classes, together with scintillating displays and performances from French Stunt rider Clemence Faivre to Beatls tribute band, the ‘Bootleg Beatles,’ Flying Frenchmen and the ever popular Shetland Grand National.

Held at the famous Echo Arena in the heart of this famous cultural city, the Equestrian,com Liverpool International Horse Show will offer something for everyone and will make a great day out. There will be a selected range of specially chosen trade stands for you to enjoy, which will be offering premium equestrian products to boutique jewellery and homeware.

There will be several dining options available from Bistro style dining to the sophisticated champagne bar which is perfect for a celebration. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to attend a top class equestrian event and see some famous names in action.

To book tickets visit www.liverpoolhorseshow.com

 


 

 

Delighted Dawn Presents Trevor Breen with the Boomerang Trophy – Hickstead 2015

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 Dawn and Equestrian.com CEO Lorraine Meadowcroft present the famous Boomerang Trophy to Trevor Breen and Loughnatousa WB

Hickstead Derby Community competition winner, Dawn Trundle experienced a once in a life time opportunity when she presented the famous Boomerang trophy to Trevor Breen as popular winner of the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby riding the super talented Loughnatousa WB.

Bury St Edmunds based Dawn was delighted to win the chance to be involved with this iconic show jumping competition, particularly as she is an avid show jumping fan, and Derby day certainly didn’t disappoint.

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Dawn pictured at the Equestrian.com stand. (Check out her fab Hickstead themed nails!)

“I had such a lovely day. The arena was absolutely huge and although I’ve watched the Derby on television, you don’t appreciate the size and impressiveness of the International Arena until you are there in person,” explained Dawn.

Dawn presented the coveted Boomerang trophy, alongside Equestrian.com CEO Lorraine Meadowcroft, to Trevor Breen, after achieving a Hickstead Derby double, having won the hugely challenging class last year on the one eyed wonder horse, Adventure De Kannan, who finished in seventh this year after eight faults.

Entering the class with two former winning horses, Trevor was in determined mood, but the result is never predictable. Having claimed the title in 2012 with Paul Beecher, Loughnatousa WB, jumped his heart out to produce the only clear of the class and justly earn the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby title.

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Walking the course with Trevor Breen

The Hickstead Derby meeting always attracts huge crowds, particularly for the showcase class and this year’s Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby proved no exception. Full of world class showjumping and an abundance of thrills and spills it offered a great spectacle for the audience, including Dawn who watched from the Eqeustrian.com hospitality box.

Besides watching the show jumping action, Dawn enjoyed plenty of shopping at the many trade stands and kitted out daughter Carla’s show jumping pony with a new wardrobe. Carla, 14, is ambitious to compete at Hickstead and will start tackling qualifiers in the near future.

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Dawn and her daughter Carla in the Equestrian.com Hospitality Box.

Dawn thoroughly enjoyed her day at the All England Jumping Course, Sussex, particularly her moment in the spotlight in the International ring. It was a dream come true to visit the show and witness the spectacular Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby competition in person.

Said Dawn: “I have always enjoyed watching the Hickstead Derby but it doesn’t compare to actually being there and interacting with some of the best riders in the world. It is such an achievement to ride at that level and watching these combinations compete over a course of such huge difficulty is a privilege.

“Trevor was a fantastic winner and his lovely horse thoroughly deserved the win. It was a great honour to stand with them in the ring and it is an experience I won’t ever forget,” smiled Dawn.

 


Puissance a Real Crowd Pleaser at Bolesworth International

 

Photo: David Simpson riding Gotti van Paemel during the Equestrian.com Puissance at Bolesworth International

Highlight of the Friday evening’s jumping was the Equestrian.com puissance, which attracted a nine-strong field and ended in a thrilling tie between Ireland’s David Simpson, riding Gotti van Paemel, and Norwegian Victoria Gulliksen, aboard Grafit.

They both cleared the famous red wall in round five at 6ft 10in to each claim £1,680 in prize money, while third place went to Victoria’s brother Johan-Sebastian Gulliksen, riding Grand Balou 4.

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Photo: Victoria Gulliksen riding Grafit during the Equestrian.com Puissance at Bolesworth International

The class was the first ever puissance for David’s magnificent grey who soared over the wall and looks set to be a big wall star.

Said David: “I was absolutely thrilled with him, he is so brave and tried so hard it was brilliant.”

Added Victoria: “Grafit was sold to the United States but I have him back to ride until August which is fantastic.

“He is known as Goofy in the stable but he certainly was far from that tonight.  David and I are good friends so it is a great result.”

Laughed David: “He might be 18 hands but Gotti has never even jumped a wall before and we are now heading to the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby – let’s hope the form continues.”

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Photo:The Equestrian.com Team, Led by Owner Lorraine Meadowcroft, presenting the prize for the Equestrian.com Puissance at Bolesworth International

 


 

 

Equestrian.com Dressage Proves a Spectacle at Bolesworth International

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Photo: Left to Right. Michael Eilberg on Woodlander Farouche, Nina Barbour Bolesworth International Owner and Show President, Andrew Gardner Dressage Judge.

Dressage and the sport’s dancing horses took centre-stage at the Ashford Farm CSI**** Bolesworth International on Thursday evening with a showcase of world-class talent.

Lit up by glorious evening sunshine, Bolesworth’s international arena had a golden hue as London 2012 Olympic team gold medallist Laura Tomlinson headlined an eight-strong class on her new ride Duvals Capri Sonne JR.

But it was another Great Britain team member – 2013 European bronze medallist Michael Eilberg – who took centre-stage to land the Equestrian.com Intermediate 1 dressage to music crown in style.

Riding the brilliant prospect Woodlander Farouche, a British-bred Hanoverian chestnut mare that has held the world five and six-year-old titles, Eilberg’s entrancing routine gained a score of 77.625% and a thrilled response from the Bolesworth audience.

Worcestershire-based Eilberg won £2,500 from a £7,500 prize fund, while Tomlinson, aboard a horse she has only had since April, was second on 74.000%, just ahead of Becky Moody and Carinsio.

The placings were completed by Charlie Hutton and Douglas IV in fourth, while Richard Barrett and Walid finished fifth, Nicola Lickley and Zaire sixth, Nicolle Begovic and Waldessarini seventh, and Chris Pugh and Kylix Karrasel eighth.

Reflecting on Woodlander’s impressive display, Eilberg said: “I think there is a lot more to come. She is a very exciting horse for the future

“And the venue here is absolutely fantastic. It really feels like you are at a major championship venue.”

 


 

Dawn Wins Amazing Chance to Present the Boomerang Trophy

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THIS year’s iconic Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby will be one very special day to remember for Dawn Trundle.

Passionate about show jumping and having ridden all her life Dawn has won the opportunity to present the famous Boomerang Trophy to the winner of the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby alongside Lorraine Meadowcroft, CEO of Equestrian.com.

Based in Bury St Edmunds, Dawn joined the Hickstead Derby Community earlier this year which saw her entered into the competition to be in with the chance of winning this amazing prize – and when she received the telephone call to say she had won she was speechless.

Dawn will get her five minutes in the spotlight on Sunday, June 28 at the Equestrian.com Derby Meeting when she will get the chance to meet the winner of one of the most iconic show jumping competitions in the world.

An avid show jumping fan, Dawn was absolutely delighted to receive the news that she had won this unique competition.  “I have been a huge show jumping supporter since a child and have always loved watching the Derby,” beamed Dawn.

Dawn is a former show jumper herself but a serious riding accident which resulted in a cracked coccyx and whip lash left her only wishing to hack. She now enjoys riding out in the Suffolk countryside with her horse Ellie.

Although Dawn no longer competes, she is a continuous support to her 14-year-old show jumping daughter, Carla. With her 138cm pony, Carla competes at British Novice and Discovery level, whilst her 148cm pony is successfully tackling Junior Newcomer and Foxhunter tracks.

The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby is renowned for providing an abundance of thrills and spills and always provides a fascinating spectacle.

The course includes the infamous Derby Bank, the Devil’s Dyke and the double of water ditches. Last year’s winner, the one eyed wonder horse Adventure De Kannan ridden by Trevor Breen produced an emphatic and crowd pleasing display. The duo return this year in an attempt to defend their title.

As the exclusive winner of the competition to present the Boomerang trophy, Dawn will enjoy fabulous hospitality from the Equestrian.com  team, a luxury stay in a nearby hotel and the chance to experience everything that is special about Hickstead.

Dawn, who runs a cattery, is really looking forward to this once in a lifetime opportunity. “I can’t believe it and can’t wait for Derby day at Hickstead. It will be amazing!” said a thrilled Dawn.

For further information visit www.equestrian.com

 


Breen and Miller to battle it out for Derby honours

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They’re good friends out of the show ring but make no mistake about it, Trevor Breen and Phillip Miller will be going all out to beat the other in this year’s Equestrian.com Derby at Hickstead (Sunday 28 June 2015).

In 2013, Phillip scored his first win in Hickstead’s most famous class, claiming the only clear round on the grey gelding Caritiar Z. Trevor had to settle for runner-up spot that year, later describing it as ‘the worst second place he’d ever had’.

The roles were reversed last year, however, with Trevor and the ‘one-eyed wonder horse’ Adventure De Kannan beating Phillip and ‘Carter’ by a few hundredths of a second. It was the closest Derby finish on record.

Both have got the Equestrian.com Derby firmly in their sights this month, but they certainly won’t have it their own way. Former winners Geoff Billington, William Funnell and Guy Williams are all intending to come back for another crack at the title, having previously had their name stamped on the famous Boomerang Trophy. There’s also Tim Stockdale, who has come very close to winning with a second place in 2000 and remains as determined as ever to win it. Fellow Olympian David McPherson is also one to watch in this year’s renewal.

Ireland’s Shane Breen – who is based at Hickstead – is yet to win the Derby, and he could well join his brother Trevor on the roll of honour. Dermott Lennon, a former world champion, is another who could well jump clear round the Derby course.

Last year flagged up a number of strong contenders, including Ireland’s David Simpson, South Africa’s Jade Hooke and Britain’s Harriet Nuttall, while Nigel Coupe marked himself as one to watch finishing seventh on Golvers Hill. Meanwhile, William Whitaker – joint third last year – is back for another go and he’ll be joined by a bevy of Whitakers, including cousins Robert, Donald and Joe, not forgetting Ellen Whitaker. She finished second in 2004, and is making her return to Hickstead following the birth of her first baby last year.

So while Phillip Miller and Trevor Breen will no doubt start as favourites, anything can happen, as the Equestrian.com Derby often proves – and this year we could well see a new rider take the title.

 


Scott Brash Heads to Ashford Farm CSI**** Bolesworth International

 

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Organisers of the Ashford Farm CSI**** Bolesworth International are thrilled to announce that world number one showjumper and Olympic gold medallist Scott Brash will compete at this year’s event.

It is a major coup for Bolesworth International, which will run for the first time at four-star level in the grounds of Bolesworth Castle, Cheshire from June 18-21, and has attracted almost one fifth of the top world-ranked 100 riders.

New classes at this prestigious event have also caught the attention of many top riders with Equestrian.com Dressage to Music and Equestrian.com Puissance set to provide even more excitement for the show.

Brash is one of the hottest properties in equestrian sport, having enjoyed a staggering run of success that effectively began at London 2012 when he helped Great Britain win Olympic team gold in unforgettable fashion at Greenwich Park alongside Nick Skelton, Ben Maher and Peter Charles.

The 29-year-old Scotsman’s partnership with Hello Sanctos is among the greatest showjumping has ever seen. Following their Olympic success, Brash and the brilliant 13-year-old bay gelding have taken the sport by storm.

They were crowned overall Longines Global Champions Tour winners in 2013, which came after Brash landed team gold and individual bronze at the European Championships in Herning, Denmark with Great Britain team-mates Ben Maher, Michael Whitaker and Will Funnell.

Brash then successfully defended the Global Champions Tour crown last year, with his triumph being built on grand prix victories at GCT events in London, Cannes and Estoril, while also enjoying a long unbroken run as number one rider on the Federation Equestre Internationale’s official world rankings list.

And Brash has continued to sweep all before him this season, winning the Miami Beach GCT, while also adding the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen to his roll of honour. Having also collected the Rolex Geneva Grand Prix title last December, he is now one more victory away from securing one of showjumping’s richest prizes.

If Brash wins the Spruce Meadows Grand Prix in September, he will become the first rider in showjumping history to complete the Rolex Grand Slam, and with it a staggering 1 million Euros bonus.

Bolesworth International owner and show president Nina Barbour said: “Scott has raised the bar with his many brilliant performances, and I am delighted that visitors to Bolesworth will have an opportunity to watch him in action. We are all in for a treat.

“Scott is just one of a number of world-class riders Bolesworth is privileged to welcome this year, which shows beyond doubt the rapid strides we continue to make as an international event that is firmly established on the global equestrian calendar.”

Brash, whose outstanding string of horses also includes Hello Annie, Hello Guv’nor and Hello Forever, leads a star-studded British contingent at Bolesworth alongside Funnell, three members of showjumping’s legendary Whitaker family – John, Robert and last year’s Bolesworth Redrow Grand Prix winner William – their fellow Nations Cup performers Spencer Roe and Holly Gillott, in addition to the ultra-consistent Laura Renwick and Dan Nielson.

A strong Irish representation includes London 2012 individual bronze medallist Cian O’Connor, recently-crowned Royal Windsor grand prix champion Dermot Lennon, last year’s Hickstead Derby winner Trevor Breen, his brother Shane and their fellow global stars Billy Twomey and Cameron Hanley.

Considerable anticipation, meanwhile, surrounds a mouthwatering overseas challenge, headed by Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander, Americans Lauren Hough and Laura Kraut, young Belgian star Jos Verlooy, Italian Luca Moneta, Swedish challengers Angelica Augustsson and Angelie von Essen, plus Colombia’s Daniel Blumen.

With more than £250,000 in prize money on offer, visitors to Bolesworth can expect to witness world-class showjumping at the sport’s elite level, while a number of two-star classes also feature on an exciting Bolesworth schedule, together with national and amateur competitions.


The Incredible Record of Trevor Breen’s One Eyed Wonder Horse, Adventure de Kannan!

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When Trevor Breen and his one-eyed horse Adventure de Kannan won the famedEquestrian.com Hickstead Derby last year, it was a long sought victory.

Prior to 2014, Breen and “Addy” had won nearly every major class at Hickstead—the Bunn Leisure Speed Derby, the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup, the All England Grand Prix and the Amlin Plus Eventing Grand Prix. The coveted Boomerang Trophy, however, had eluded them, despite coming close on several occasions.

Come 2013, it looked as though their Derby dream might never come to fruition. With a progressively worsening eye condition, the gelding required an operation to remove his right eye. At the time, his owner, Karen Swann, and Breen didn’t know whether the horse would ever jump at the top level again.

In a matter of weeks Addy was back jumping at major competitions. Just two months after the operation, they nearly won their first Hickstead Derby title, finishing in second place.

Breen and the one-eyed gelding finally captured the title in 2014. In one of the closest finishes in Derby history, they bested 2013 winner, Phillip Miller, in a jump off by just 0.02 seconds. It was an emotional win for the Irish rider.

“You could feel the emotion—Fran, Trevor’s groom, was in tears, Trevor was nearly in tears, it was almost overwhelming,” said Lorraine Meadowcroft, CEO of title sponsor Equestrian.com. “Someone like Trevor wins lots of classes, but you could see what it meant to him to finally win the Derby.”

This year, the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead is commemorating Adventure de Kannan’s amazing record at Hickstead with a photo series by leading equine photographer Matthew Seed.

“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.”

The result is a seven photograph collection taken at the Buckinghamshire yard Breen shares with his show jumping wife Caroline. “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,” said Seed.

Check it out for yourself:

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Now head on over to the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead Facebook page to vote on your favorite. The most popular image, as determined 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.

This year, Breen and Addy will attempt to reclaim their title at Hickstead. Only this time the one-eyed wonder horse will do great things out of the ring, as well.

*All images published here with permission from the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead.


 

Leading Dressage Riders Head to Bolesworth International

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LEADING dressage riders including Laura Tomlinson, Michael Eilberg, Becky Moody and Charlie Hutton will be heading to Bolesworth International this summer.

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For the very first time the event will host an all new dressage freestyle competition sponsored by premium online retailer Equestrian.com.

And with such well-known names taking part the competition looks set to be hotly contested for the £7,500 prize fund.

The Equestrian.com Intermediate 1 Dressage to Music competition will provide an exciting spectacle as part of the evening performance on Thursday June 18.

It is hoped that the inclusion of dressage this year will lead to Bolesworth staging international dressage competitions in the future.

Bolesworth International takes place at Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire and is always a fantastic day out for all the family – June 18 to 21.

Dressage elite including London 2012 British team gold medallist Laura Tomlinson and 2013 European team bronze medallist Michael Eilberg, are among others who will all be vying to win the top prize of £2,500 which is one of the sport’s richest in this country.

Lorraine Meadowcroft of Equestrian.com said: “Last year’s Bolesworth International really set the horse world alight with excitement and buzz as it became a real talking point in the equestrian community. Dressage to music is always thrilling to watch and should add another fantastic element to the show which is sure to be popular with competitors and spectators alike.”

Dressage competitors will each perform a routine designed by themselves to specially choreographed music.  Their test must include specific movements which are at Intermediate 1 level. It gives the riders the opportunity to be creative and showcase their horse’s best talents as they dance to the music.

Besides the equestrian competitions, there will be extensive shopping and eating facilities available to enjoy along with lots more entertainment.

For more information and to buy advance tickets visit www.bolesworthinternational.com

 


 

 

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Hickstead releases stunning photographs of the 

‘one-eyed wonder horse’ Adventure De Kannan

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 social media fans will be displayed at this year’s show before being auctioned to raise funds for the Mark Davies Injured Riders’ Fund.

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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.”

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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.

Twelve months ago 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.

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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 at www.hickstead.co.uk. To vote for your favourite image, visit www.facebook.com/hickstead.

 


 

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TV Gladiators Reunite for the First Time for ‘The Battle At Bolesworth’

Much-loved stars from the popular 90’s family TV show ‘Gladiators’ will gather together this week to prepare for the ‘Battle of Bolesworth’ to be hosted by supermodel Jodie Kidd at Bolesworth International next month

The hugely popular TV Gladiator line-up that includes household names such as Hunter, Jet, Lightning, Ace and Saracen have been warming up this week at Bolesworth Castle, ahead of the adrenalin-fuelled injection of nostalgia happening during the Saturday night entertainment at Bolesworth International. Equestrian.com are sponsoring the Puissance and Dressage to Music classes at Bolesworth and promise to make the event even more thrilling.

This incredible knockout competition will be hosted by supermodel Jodie Kidd and original Gladiators’ referee and instantly recognisable voice of the show, John Anderson, on Saturday 20th June.  The family favourites will compete against 8 invited teams including event sponsors, mascots, celebrity contenders and international riders on horses who will battle it out in the main arena.  Well-known games will include Dual, Atlaspheres and The Eliminator.

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The action will provide the ideal pre-concert entertainment for those attending the live music performance from popular band Scouting For Girls at Bolesworth Castle on the Saturday evening. The band, known best for tracks such as ‘She’s So Lovely’ and ‘I Wish I Was James Bond,’ will be supported by popular girl band Alula; a three-piece band made up of Darby Ward (the daughter of Real Housewives of Cheshire star Dawn Ward and former Manchester City player Ashley Ward) and her friends Holly Ellison and Ella Coleman.

Athlete James Crossley, known best as Gladiator ‘Hunter’ enjoyed a nine-year run in Gladiators, and in the so-called “final showdown” in 1999 was crowned “The Ultimate Gladiator.” He has presented fitness and lifestyle shows for ITV and Sky, is currently a partner and fitness director of the Ri Studio Centre in Croatia and Chelsea Fitness in London and has competed in numerous triathlons, marathons and strength events.

James said:

“Some of the guys I have kept in touch with, and some I haven’t seen for quite a long time, so it will be great to be back together at Bolesworth Castle, the 4 day schedule for the show looks incredible. We had a little reunion last week, which was part of a show about former Saturday night TV programmes, and Wolf flew over from New Zealand, which was fantastic.

“The show was David versus Goliath, and everyone likes Super Heroes. At our peak, we had 18 million viewers, which was incredible, really.

“In the last show of the ITV series we did Gladiators versus Gladiators, going back to Roman days to have the ultimate winner. I remember I did the whole show with a dislocated shoulder! It was the last show, so I thought I might as well go for it. ”

The evening entertainment will also include a dramatic dressage performance set to music and a glamorous fashion show with designers Cleo B, Man To Man (Liverpool), Sally Ellis of S’ve.  and equestrian brand Equiline on Thursday 18th June. This is just one of four action-packed days at Bolesworth International that include a carnival themed and celebrity-filled opening ceremony on the Thursday and an Elite Horse auction, gala dinner and puissance on the Friday; as well as cocktail parties, camel-racing, a Sheep Grand National; and even world-championship jet-skiing stunts on the Lake at Bolesworth Castle.

Bolesworth International showcases world-class sporting action and family entertainment at its best and attracts over 30,000 visitors to Cheshire. The event is happening just two months before the 2015 European Championships in Germany, when Great Britain will attempt to secure the prized Rio 2016 Olympics qualification.  Confirmed riders include Laura Kraut, Jessica Springsteen, Nick Skelton and Cian O’Connor (Irish international and Olympic Bronze Medallist).

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The Bolesworth team has recently announced plans for a new CSI3* show to be held at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on 1-3 January 2016,  kicking off with a spectacular New Year’s Eve party and modelled on successful European events such as the Gucci Masters. It will be the first of its kind in the UK, with a packed schedule of international sporting action and family fun, and it is hoped the event will attract visitors who are new to the sport to enjoy a ground-breaking new event in the city.

Major sponsors of Bolesworth International 2015 event include Redrow Homes Limited, IFX, Cazenove Capital Management, Ashford Farm, Equiline, Halsall Electrical and Equestrian.com.

Show and concert tickets are available for the 2015 Bolesworth International event now go to www.bolesworthinternational.com

Go to the website for more information and full details of the 4 day event programme.

 

Editors Notes:

Wednesday 17 June
6.30pm for 7.00pm – Pre-Event Cocktail Party at Bolesworth Castle
Thursday 18 June
12.00pm – Media lunch1.00pm – Carnival themed Official Opening Ceremony – Main Arena1.40pm – The AGA World ranking 4* 150m Speed ClassWorld champion jet-skier demo (Anthony Burgess) – 4 x 30 minutes sessions each day6.45pm –  Equestrian.com Invitational Inter 1 Dressage to Music

9.00pm – Fashion show featuring Equiline, Cleo B, SVE BoutiqueFriday 19 June8.00am – Rideaway Express Eventing – Dressage & Arena Cross Country – Display Arena10.00am – Fine Food, Fashion & Lifestyle Shopping Event10.30am – The Cazenove Capital Management World ranking 4* 1.55m Jump Off12.00pm – Bolesworth Business Lunch with Guest Speaker John Timpson1.00pm – Elite Sport Horse Auction – Yearling Parade – Main Arena

2.00pm – Rideaway Express Eventing – Show Jumping finale – Main Arena

6.30pm – Equestrian.com Puissance – Main Arena

7.00pm – Elite Sport Horse Yearling Auction and Gala Night with entertainment from Bobby Davro in aid of Caudwell Children charitySaturday 20 June9.30am – Equerry Horse Feed World Ranking 4* show jumping 1.45m10.00am – Fine Food, Fashion & Lifestyle Shopping Event1.00pm – Ashford Farm 2* 1.45m Grand Prix – Main Arena2.00pm – Kennel Club Dog Show – Display Arena4.30pm – Cats & Pipes Mini Major Competition – Pony & Rider up to 12yrs old teamed with a top International Rider in a fun speed jumping challenge

6.30pm – IFX Gladiators Knockout Competition

9.00pm – Scouting For Girls concertSunday 21 June8.00am – The Gain Horse Feeds Amateur Grand Prix10.00am – The Equi-trek 4* 1.35m Grand Prix1.00pm – Camel Racing – Main Arena2.00pm – Bolesworth CSI**** International Redrow Homes 1.60m Grand Prix4.00pm – Marching Band and Ceremony – Main Arena

4.30pm – Sheep Grand National – Display Arena

 


 

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In this issue Tim Smith goes behind the scenes on a photo-shoot with renowned photographer Matthew Seed as he captures Trevor Breen and Adventure de Kanaan in preparation for the launch of the 2015 Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting.

A Master at Work!

It’s not every day you have the chance to get close up and personal with a one-eyed wonder horse like Adventure de Kanaan, winner of the 2014 Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby.

So driving four hours in the pouring rain on a Bank Holiday after just five hours sleep didn’t seem such a chore!

Arriving at Trevor and his wife Caroline’s base in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, I was met by a warm welcome from the team, even if photographer Matthew was looking a little concerned about the damp weather.

All systems go

In the space of just a few hours there was a lot to get through with images required for the Derby Meeting programme, the launch of this year’s iconic event and for a feature with Equestrian.com CEO, Lorraine Meadowcroft, who had made the long journey south with her brother Nigel and grandson Joshua.

Also in attendance for support and to keep everyone’s morale buoyant was Hickstead Sponsorship Manager, Simon Gaskin and Hickstead Press Officer, Victoria Spicer so it was very much a team effort on Good Friday.

Help is on hand

To my very untrained eye, watching Matthew set up for the day it didn’t look as complicated as I thought it would be – but then it wasn’t me pushing the right buttons or making sure the lighting was in the right place at the right time – so I will stick to the point and press method!

Holding the support role was his very able assistant Anne-Marie who never faltered in her commitment to the process and making sure the very expensive looking equipment survived the showers!

Addy being prepared

For anyone who knows Matthew’s work, his skills and artistry are second to none and being able to watch him in action and get a little involved was a fantastic experience.

The occasion wasn’t made any easier as just a few days earlier Trevor had broken four ribs in a fall from a young horse leaving him in quite some pain when standing for long periods of time – thank you that chair!

His relationship with Addy is clear for all to see and Matthew managed to coax out of them the true closeness and bond they have whether at home on the yard or jumping some of the biggest fences around the world.

Trevor in the Hickstead Derby Community polo shirt

Wanting to create the dramatic images he is well known for Matthew took time to let Addy adjust to the flash with the help of his groom Fran Callan, there to hold the lead rope in between shots.

Everything in place and the weather still holding, despite the grey sky, we were soon underway with the Cheshire-based photographer continuing to bring new highs and an extra dimension to the equestrian world.

To add to the occasion Freddie the Labrador kept everyone entertained while the Hickstead team put on a fantastic lunch, much needed after a busy morning and to revitalise energy levels.

With the aim of securing a variety of images from Addy on his own to Lorraine, Trevor and Addy featured looking relaxed, it was great to tick off the list of photographs as the clouds loomed ever darker and Caroline and daughter Mia joined in for the family portraits.

Trevor, Lorraine and Addy having fun

The day had soon come to an end and I for one can’t wait to see the final images which I am sure will no doubt resemble a piece of art and will be a huge hit!

Find out more during the 2015 Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting – June 25 to 28 – and make sure to get your programme.

 

 


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Counting down to Hickstead’s International Season 

 

Hickstead’s 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.

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William Whittaker Jumping Devil’s Dyke

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 Hickstead’s 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.
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.

To buy tickets, discover about hospitality options or to join the Hickstead Derby Community, visit www.hickstead.co.uk

 

 


 

Equestrian.com Sponsor New Puissance and Dressage Competitions at Bolesworth International

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Lorraine Meadowcroft (left) signs the sponsorship contract with Nina Barbour.

LEADING online retailer Equestrian.com is to sponsor two new exciting additions to the competition schedule at Bolesworth International 2015. For the first time ever an Intermediate 1 Dressage to Music competition and a Puissance class will form part of the exciting evening classes on the Thursday and Friday of the show. The Intermediate 1 Dressage competition has a £2,500 first prize, one of the richest in the sport in this country. It is hoped that this year’s dressage will be a stepping stone to running international dressage at future shows.

Bolesworth International takes place June 18 to 21 at Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire and is a must visit whether looking to enjoy a fantastic equestrian extravaganza or a family day out.

Said Equestrian.com C.E.O. Lorraine Meadowcroft: “Last year’s Bolesworth International really set the horse world alight with excitement and buzz as it became a real talking point in the equestrian community.

“We are delighted to be an Official Event Partner at this year’s Bolesworth International which includes sponsorship of the Puissance and Dressage to Music classes.

“At any event the Puissance is always massively popular and has the crowds sitting on the edge of their seat while the addition of dressage at this premier event is a first for the show and a first sponsorship in this discipline for Equestrian.com which we are very excited about.”

Added Nina Barbour of Bolesworth International: “We are very pleased to announce this new sponsorship and partnership with the team at Equestrian.com who are very forward thinking and innovative in their approach to sponsorship.

“With leading players such as Equestrian.com on board, the 2015 event is already gathering pace and momentum with the June date just a few months away.”

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Nina Barbour (left) and Lorraine Meadowcroft celebrate the exciting new sponsorship.

Bolesworth International will provide a feast of entertainment over the four days with spectators able to watch the excitement unfold during the event from major league show jumping to the Eventing Grand Prix, fun of the Pony Club games to camel racing and bird of prey displays


 

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This year the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting takes place from June 25th to 28th.  Here we look at a few memorable times at this prestigious venue.

1. Buddy Bunn makes Douglas’ dream come true

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Ellen Whitaker riding Locarno in 2004

John Whitaker’s fourth win of the Hickstead Derby came in 2004 on board a catch ride called Buddy Bunn. The horse was homebred by the founder of the All England Jumping Course, Douglas Bunn, and was originally ridden by his daughter Chloe (now Breen). However, with Chloe busy with her studies, the ride passed to William Funnell, a great friend of the Bunn family.

Douglas had never owned a Derby winner, and William was very much looking forward to the ride on Buddy Bunn in Hickstead’s best-known class. However, the rider aggravated a groin strain during the Derby meeting, and John Whitaker was asked to take on the ride for the Derby.

John, a legendary horseman, sat on Buddy Bunn for the first time the day before the class, then proceeded to jump a perfect clear round in the Derby itself. He then repeated the feat in the jump-off, beating his then 18-year-old niece Ellen Whitaker into second place on Locarno.

 

2. 1963 – a year full of dramas

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Nelson Pessoa riding Gran Geste down the Hickstead Derby Bank

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 had been stolen from a shop window in central London before the class!

That year saw 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.

 

3. Off to a good start

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Paul Beecher riding Loughnatousa WB down the Hickstead Derby Bank

In 2012, Paul Beecher and Loughnatousa WB became the only horse to win on a clear round from the number one draw.

Having picked up 16 faults in their first attempt the year previously, Paul and ‘WB’ were not expected to trouble the leaders the following year, but they duly produced a text book clear. For a while it looked like no one else was going to go clear, until William Funnell and Dorada joined them in a jump-off. But William picked up four faults, giving victory to Irishman Paul, who had been convinced since WB was a young horse that he would be the one to make his career.

 

4. Girl power

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Peter Charles riding Corrada – 3 times Hickstead Derby winning mare

Only two mares have won the Hickstead Derby in its 54-year history. The first to win the title was John Popely’s Bluebird, who was having her fifth attempt in the class in 1996. She was joined soon after by Corrada, who didn’t touch a pole during any of her three wins (2001-2003) with Peter Charles – although she did get time faults in 2001 for starting 3sec late.

 

5. Three of the best

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William Funnell riding Cortaflex Mondriaan who won the Hickstead Derby in 2006, 2008 and 2009

Once a horse has won the Derby it is quite likely it will repeat its feat. Three horses have each won the Derby three times: Monsanta (1991-1993) with Michael Whitaker, Corrada (as outlined above), and Cortaflex Mondriaan, who won for William Funnell in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

Mondriaan was retired from international competition in 2011, and was paraded at Hickstead for one final time. Out of his three Derby victories, William nominated the final win as the highlight.

“It was shortly after Douglas had died, and it was almost like it was destiny for me to win that day,” says William. “I knew I needed a clear round, and I could almost hear Douglas saying to me ‘Come on! Don’t mess it up!’ For some reason, it just felt as if it was going to happen for me, and Mondriaan jumped brilliantly that day. He made it feel easy.”

 


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.

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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 this 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.

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Pictured: Trevor Breen and Adventure De Kannan- Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Winners 2014

“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.


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Equestrian.com Reach National Awards Finals

Equestrian.com has reached the national finals of the prestigious 2015 British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Business Awards.

The SEIB Retailer of the Year Award (Mail Order/Internet Retailer category), will be presented during the BETA Gala Dinner, at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham, on Sunday, February 22, with Equestrian.com announced as one of five businesses on the shortlist.

“We are very pleased to have reached the finals of such a highly prized award, particularly as we were nominated by our customers,” said Lorraine Meadowcroft, of Equestrian.com.

“The last few months have been extremely hectic for the team with a move to our exciting new premises, so to be through to the finals of this award during this extra busy period is another brilliant accolade for everyone involved.”

As part of the judging process Equestrian.com trade suppliers were asked to add their votes to those of customers. BETA also conducted a series of mystery shop and incognito telephone calls to the shortlisted candidates.

“There were more than 2,500 nominations for the SEIB Retailer of the Year Award, so many congratulations go to Equestrian.com for reaching the finals,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“BETA encourages the highest standards in equestrian retailing, enabling horse owners and riders to shop with confidence where they see the BETA sign.”


 

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Iconic Hickstead Derby Moments

This year the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting takes place from June 25 to 28.

Here we find out more a about a few iconic Hickstead Derby moments.

1. The best of all
Since 1980, the winner of the Derby has held the Boomerang Trophy aloft. This stunning bronze, sculpted by Emma McDermott, shows a horse and rider descending the Derby bank – and the pair depicted is none other than Boomerang and Eddie Macken, the most successful Hickstead Derby competitors of all time.
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2. Derby winners
Three riders have matched Eddie Macken and Boomerang’s four Derby wins (though none have been in consecutive years or on the same horse) – Harvey Smith, and Michael and John Whitaker.
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3. The pony who cleared the Derby course three times
Perhaps 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.
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4. Don’t bank on it
The 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’s certainly caused some upsets over the years.
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5.Harvey Smith’s V-Sign
Probably the best-known moment in Hickstead’s history was when a certain Harvey Smith put two fingers up at the showjumping establishment and made it in to every newspaper in the land.

Having won the Hickstead Derby in 1970 on Mattie Brown, Harvey returned the following year without bringing back the trophy. He claimed to have forgotten it, but Douglas Bunn felt that Harvey was arrogantly assuming he would repeat his win.
After winning the jump-off against Steven Hadley, Harvey cantered through the finish, circled and then flicked a V-sign towards the directors’ box, an act that was caught by the television cameras. He later said he was making a ‘V for Victory sign’, but the organisers were having none of it – Harvey was disqualified and his first prize of £2,000 was removed. Eventually the matter was referred to the British Show Jumping Association, and the title and prizemoney were reinstated.
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we've-moved

 

Here’s an update from our C.E.O. Lorraine Meadowcroft…

“This week we have moved our warehouse and offices. As you can imagine running a 24/7 business, moving our home is not a simple operation. We’ve been busy moving for a few weeks but it’s only been the last couple of days, which has seen some impact on both communication, and dispatch times, thanks to our great team in making this all happen so smoothly… And here’s why we’ve gone to all the effort to change address and become 20,000SQ FT bigger…

Growth
Over the last 6 years since we previously moved we’ve seen significant growth in our business to the extent that we became overwhelmed by the number of orders which came in over the Christmas & New Year period. In order to try and service our customers all our teams only had Christmas Day & New Years Day off from work but both orders and queries were coming in faster than we could handle them, unfortunately some customers were let down, which makes us very sad. To give a less than 100% service isn’t what we’re about and we’ve always been proud of what we try and achieve for our customers. We’re now putting in place further plans to ensure our customers get the High Street experience they deserve from Equestrian.com. We believe we are the only equestrian company dedicated to and investing heavily in trying to achieve this. We now have twice as many packing booths, so we can employ twice as many people to make things flow more quickly. We’ll introduce 24/7 shifts at busy periods and dispatch 6/7 days per week. We’re determined our success won’t be our inhibiting factor.

Easier Shopping Experience
We’ve invested in a state of the art IBM & Microsoft platform, they don’t come bigger than that! Our in house team is beginning to leverage that capability and 2015 will see some exciting new implementations, which will make shopping less of a chore and more of a pleasure, after all, our horses and our equine sports are OUR pleasure too!

Customer Experience
We’d like to significantly improve our communications to you, so over the coming months we’ll be introducing a dynamic team of people to service you ‘all day, every day’. To help achieve this our phone system is going to get significantly upgraded and we’ll be recruiting home workers as well as office workers in order to try and get the best talent pool we can to cover all hours, so…if you wish to get involved in being part of our dynamic team of equestrian individuals, send your CV to: recruitment@equestrian.com and we’ll send on further details when they are available. We will also be looking for a team leader of significant experience to lead this team, is this you? We’ll also be using a number of less traditional methods as well to always try and keep in touch…

Our Partnerships
2014 saw us develop a great partnership with Hickstead and Horse & Hound to bring the brilliant spectacle of the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby and yet again for 2015 we’re all supporting this truly iconic event, establishing in the calendar as a ‘bucket list’ event everyone must go to at least once!
During 2015 we’re launching at least three new initiatives with partners, one very exciting sponsorship and one very exciting shopping experience, but I can’t tell you about these yet, just watch this space…

More Brands & Products
In 2015 you’ll see a significant rise in the number of top brands introduced to the site as we work hard with our supplier partners to bring you top brands presented on our premium site.

BUT please be gentle…please bear with us while changes happen…it’s not easy trying to develop the future today!”

Always on your side,

Lorraine Meadowcroft

CEO

Equestrian.com

 


 

 

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Hickstead – Looking ahead to the Summer
This month we talk to Hickstead Sponsorship and Marketing Manager Simon Gaskin to find out more about his role at the iconic West Sussex venue.

1, What makes Hickstead so special?
You only have to visit Hickstead for the first time to know there is something very special about this amazing venue. From the International Arena to the Members’ Hospitality area, it is just a fantastic place to be over the summer months and always has a great atmosphere that people remember.
I know when I was first appointed Sponsorship and Marketing Manager I felt very fortunate, having followed Hickstead on TV from childhood and then to work for and at a venue that so many thousands are truly fond of and want to be a part of, whether as a visitor, a competitor, sponsor or exhibitor.

2, Do you have a favourite event at Hickstead?
For me it has to be the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby. It remains a massively prestigious class to win, is exciting from the minute it gets underway until the prize giving at the end, and draws spectators in like no other competition.

3, Do you have a favourite winner of the Hickstead Derby?
YES! The 2014 winner Trevor Breen and Adventure de Kanaan. The partnership had been so close, so many times and Adventure de Kanaan manages to jump the biggest tracks in the world with only one eye.
It was a very emotional and popular win for so many reasons and really hit the headlines across the world.

4, How are plans going for the 2015 Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby?
As soon as the 2014 event came to an end we were already thinking about this year’s event. You never stop planning, trying to make things better and wanting to do the very best you can. There are always areas that can be improved upon and new competitions to develop, the management team has regular meetings to make sure everything is on track for 2015.

5, What is a typical day like for you during one of the Hickstead meetings?
In one word – MANIC! The old saying one day is never the same is certainly true but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can be doing any number of jobs, probably all at the same time, from liaising with a sponsor, to making sure a prize giving is all in hand, dealing with sponsor branding and showcasing the events to potential new sponsors. By the end of the show you have gone through a mountain of emotions but the roller coaster ride is always worth it to try and make sure the Hickstead experience is a fantastic one for everyone involved.

 


 

 

 

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SEIB Retailer of the Year Award

Announced at the prestigious 2014 BETA Business Awards where the trade gathered to celebrate and reward those who had made outstanding contributions to the equestrian industry, EquestrianClearance.com won the SEIB Internet Retailer of the Year award.

The accolade is presented to a retailer that offers outstanding customer service and the awards were presented to winning individuals and companies during the annual BETA Gala Dinner, at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham.

Said Lorraine Meadowcroft, CEO of EquestrianClearance.com: “To win the Internet Retailer of the Year Award is a fantastic achievement. When the winner was announced it was a very proud moment and I am delighted that the judges recognised how important customer service is to everyone involved with the business and how much we want to make sure our customers feel valued and looked after.

BETA executive director Claire Williams: “The BETA Business Awards are always eagerly anticipated and the atmosphere as we wait for the winners to be announced is phenomenal. Our congratulations go to everyone who was nominated – they should feel justifiably proud of their tremendous achievement, as the standard, as usual, has been incredibly high.”

SEIB Retailer of the Year Award

Earlier this year the team at EquestrianClearance.com were

Just A Few Thank Yous!

Tina Fletcher Supports the Hickstead Derby Community Earlier