The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby meeting kicks off this week from the 20th -23rd June. Hickstead is one of the most celebrated event venues in the equestrian calendar and alongside top notch competition, boasts fantastic shopping and socialising.
Over 40,000 spectators are expected through the gates at the West Sussex showground in June, especially for the Al Shira’aa Derby featuring on the Sunday afternoon. The Derby course is a real test for both horse and rider with obstacles such as the 10ft 6 Derby Bank(!), the Devil’s Dyke and the double of water ditches. Its will be a tough course with requirements for accuracy, speed and endurance. Not just that but the other fences on the course are just as challenging; testing the degree of trust in the horse and rider relationship.
Some of those lucky enough to have had the honour of winning such an event include: Nick Skelton, Michael Whitaker, John Whitaker, Harvey Smith, Trevor Breen and Ben Maher. Its the celebrity world of show jumping at it’s best, with prime time viewing for guaranteed thrills and spills.
Other classes include the highly entertaining Celebrity Polo Match, the British Speed Derby and the prestigious final of the Tattersalls/RoR Thoroughbred Show Horse Championship. With a staggering eight rings of equestrian activities, there is a huge amount for spectators of all ages, including a family area for children too. Admission is free for all children under the age of five for the duration of the show, with discounts available for children aged five to 14, pensioners and great deals on family tickets.
Once you have watched the equestrian action, be sure to visit the Charles Owen Shopping Village. giving shoppers the chance to browse many of the leading countryside and equestrian brands such as Equiclass, Charlotte Grace Casuals, Estribos Argentina, Kate Negus and Olvossa . This year, there is free general admission on the Thursday of the show, to encourage people to come along to experience the fabulous shopping for themselves. There will be bargains to be had as well as some amazing shopping deals on top brand items. Then there’s the wide range of bars and eateries, from the street food vans, the artisan food hall or one of the many bars and restaurants, all the way up to fine dining in one of the hospitality options. You will be sure to find something for all the family to enjoy.
It is certain to be a fantastic day out – or even a weekend away! Equestrian action interspersed with superb shopping and fabulous food, not to mention the odd bit of celebrity spotting ringside or in the warm up! You can keep up with all the action here via Hickstead TV.