Five-star showjumping returns to Hickstead this summer
Top class international showjumping returns to the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead this July when it plays host to the Longines Royal International Horse Show (26-31 July).
As a five-star international competition attracting some of the highest-ranked riders, the show is one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world. The feature competition is the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain, which gives British fans the only chance each year to see their home nation jump as a team on home soil.
The British team will be hoping for their first Hickstead victory since 2010, especially with the FEI World Championships taking place the following month – a Nations Cup victory at home would be a huge confidence boost for the Brits. But they’ll face a strong line-up of international teams, including Brazil, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Ireland, France, and 2019 Hickstead victors Sweden.
With Wednesday showcasing the British Showjumping Winter Finals, the international showjumping gets underway from Thursday onwards. Friday is when the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ takes place, with the Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday. Sunday’s Grand Prix finale is the Longines King George V Gold Cup, one of the most coveted showjumping classes of all.
Showing is a huge part of this fixture, with riders having to pick up a qualifying ticket in order to be able to compete at the show. The best of the week’s winners go through to Sunday’s overall championships, the British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Supreme Products Supreme Pony Championships.
The event riders get their moment to shine in the Longines International Arena in Thursday’s Ashby Underwriting Eventers’ Challenge, where they must gallop round a twisting course of cross-country obstacles. Another highlight is the Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry, where pairs of ponies race round the course at speed.
“After the cancellation of the show in 2020, and running it under a reduced format for 2021, we’re so looking forward to the return of the Longines Royal International Horse Show this summer,” says Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. “It’s a very special season for us, as not only are we celebrating the 60th Al Shira’aa Derby in June, but this summer also marks the 30th anniversary since we began hosting the show here at Hickstead.”
The Royal International was first held in 1907, making it one of the oldest horse shows. It has been held in a number of venues over the years, including Olympia, White City, Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena, as well as Birmingham’s NEC. But in 1992 Douglas Bunn, founder of Hickstead, offered the fixture a permanent home where it has remained ever since.
It is the official show of The British Horse Society, and the patron is Her Majesty The Queen. “As everyone knows, The Queen is a huge supporter of equestrian sport, and she often has horses and ponies competing here in the showing classes at Hickstead,” says Lizzie. “It would be wonderful for her to have a winner here in this special Jubilee year.”
Competitor entries are open now, and tickets are on sale with an online discount applying on all advance tickets. Visit www.hickstead.co.uk for more information.
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