All England Jumping Course at Hickstead

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Coordinates: 50°57′46″N 0°11′47″W / 50.96278°N 0.19639°W / 50.96278; -0.19639

Competitor on Derby course, with Derby bank in the background

The All England Jumping Course at Hickstead, known widely as Hickstead, is an equestrian sport centre in West Sussex, England, principally known for its showjumping activities, where it hosts two international level competitions, the British Jumping Derby[1] and the Longines Royal International Horse Show. The course was the first permanent showground for equestrian sport in the country, opening in 1960.[2]

The venue has more recently expanded its operations to include other equestrian sports including dressage and arena polo as well as hosting functions and conferences all year round.[3]

It is located adjacent to the hamlet of Hickstead, to the west of Burgess Hill and next to the main A23 road from London to Brighton.[1]

History[edit]

The All England Jumping Course was opened by Douglas Bunn, a multi-millionaire former barrister who made his money running a caravan business.[2] Bunn purchased a site known as Hickstead Place with the intention of creating a facility to match those in the United States and continental Europe. The venue opened in 1960. It now has six arenas, permanent seating for over 5,000 spectators and 26 corporate hospitality suites. It has hosted the 1965 Ladies World Championships, the 1974 World Championships and several European Show Jumping Championships.

British Jumping Derby[edit]

Main article: British Jumping Derby

This four-day, action-packed event attracts 20,000 spectators a year, who come to watch the skill, bravery and precision of the national and international show jumpers competing for coveted trophies (and substantial prize money).

A highlight of the meeting is the British Jumping Derby, a 1,195-metre course with tricky jumps, including the aptly named Devil's Dyke – three fences in short succession with a water-filled ditch in the middle and the difficult Derby Bank, a jump with 3 ft 5 in (1.04 m) rails on top and a 10 ft 6 in (3.20 m) slope down the front.[4]

The British Jumping Derby is one of those events a bit like the Grand National where its not just the runners and riders that make the headlines but the course itself. Its an iconic showjumping contest, the like of which you won't find anywhere else in the world, no other course asks this much of a test of horse and rider and no other course creates this type of drama.

Clare Balding, BBC Sport[5][6]

Longines Royal International Horse Show[edit]

The Royal International Horse Show is the official horse show of the British Horse Society and consists of both showing and showjumping events. The event is held during July each year. It is one of only three CHIO 5* events in the world, and home to the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain and the Longines King George V Gold Cup, also known as the British Grand Prix.[7]

Other events[edit]

1993 saw the establishment of a dressage arena and dressage programme known as Dressage at Hickstead. In 1998 it hosted Junior and Young Rider European Dressage Championships.

2006 saw the creation of the All England Polo Club. Arena (winter) Polo is played on a 100m x 50m purpose built all weather arena

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The DFS British Jumping Derby, Hickstead". Debretts. 
  2. ^ a b "Bunn fights to defend Hickstead". Daily Mail. 2008-07-16. 
  3. ^ "Functions home". Hickstead. 
  4. ^ "Facing the Hickstead Derby course". Horse and Hound. 2006-06-28. 
  5. ^ "All England Jumping Course, Hickstead". South East England Development Agency. 
  6. ^ "British Jumping Derby Meeting". All England Jumping Course at Hickstead. 
  7. ^ "Royal International Horse Show". The Equestrian and Horse. 

External links[edit]