Hickstead, England – March 25, 2021 – The international fixture will be replaced by a national show, the Al Shira’aa Jumping Championships, to run on the same dates (23-27 June). While there will be no international showjumping, there will be a range of jumping classes from British Novice to Grand Prix level as well as the usual showing and carriage driving classes that form part of the June fixture.
The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting is one of the most iconic showjumping events in the international calendar, culminating in the Al Shira’aa Derby – a class that was first held in 1961. Normally around 40,000 people attend across the five days of the show.
The meeting was cancelled in 2020, which was the first time the class had not run since its inception. The decision to miss a second year has been a very disappointing one, but despite the encouraging Government announcements and rollout of the vaccine, the situation still remains fragile and unpredictable at this time.
The replacement event, the Al Shira’aa Jumping Championships, will see seven rings of competition run throughout the show, including the Longines International Arena. The highlights will be the Al Shira’aa Trophy, a 1.40m Grand Prix with a £15,000 prize fund, as well as the Al Shira’aa age championships. There will be a number of HOYS qualifying showing classes, plus the final of the RoR/Tattersalls Show Horse series.
Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn commented: “This has been a very tough decision, but the Derby is more than just a showjumping competition, it is an occasion where a full and enthusiastic crowd plays its part. With the uncertainty over permitted attendance, as well as other restrictions that we face, we are concentrating all our efforts on running a major five-day national show instead. We would like to thank Al Shira’aa and all our stakeholders for their continued support during this challenging time.”
The plan is to run the event with limited public attendance, along with a boutique selection of tradestands, but full details will be confirmed nearer the time.
The Stage is Set for the Return of Dressage to Hickstead
The three-day All England Dressage Festival (21-23 May) will be the first Hickstead-run competition to take place after the easing of lockdown restrictions. It also marks the inaugural Premier League dressage competition to take place at the main Hickstead showground, following the closure of the original Dressage at Hickstead site last summer.
The show gets underway on Friday 21 May with a host of Shearwater and British Dressage Young Horse classes, as well as qualifiers for the National Championships at Advanced Medium, Prix St Georges and Intermediate II level.
Saturday sees the Grand Prix action get underway, with an Under 25 test plus a Le Mieux Premier League Grand Prix test; while Sunday’s action culminates in the FEI Grand Prix Special test. Other highlights at the fixture include classes for ponies, children on horses, juniors and young riders.
Three arenas will run throughout the show – the Equine America rings 1 and 2, along with the Coldstream Equestrian Arena, both of which have superb Andrews Bowen surfaces – plus the 2plan Wealth warm-up arena. The brand-new Laurent Perrier Club is sited next to the Coldstream Arena, offering excellent views of the action, along with indoor and outdoor seating and its own champagne bar and café.
“We are very much looking forward to welcoming elite dressage riders to the All England Dressage Festival,” says Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. “We are confident that the dressage community will get behind this important new fixture, which we’re hoping will be the start of many more dressage shows here at Hickstead.”
Source: Press releases from Hickstead Press Office for The All England Jumping Course – Hickstead
Photos: © Nigel Goddard / Julian Portch