The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby 2018

All England Jumping Course, Hickstead, West Sussex, 21st - 24th June 2018

By Stephanie DeWitt   Photography Julian Portch   #hickstead

After a nail-biting finish to this year's Al Shira'aa Derby, 52 year-old Will Funnell joined Eddie Macken, Harvey Smith, John and Michael Whitaker in being a four-time winner of this competition.

Only two horse and rider combinations jumped clear in the first round over Hickstead's daunting Derby course including the double of ditches, the water, the Devil's Dyke and the infamous Derby Bank. First to go in the barrage, Will and his 10 year-old homebred Billy Buckingham faulted at the water.  Holly Smith and her own 10 year-old bay gelding, Quality Old Joker, took down the black gate then, likewise, put a foot in the water, at which point Holly ceded defeat.

Earlier in the day the Beethoven 7 & 8 Year-old Championship was won by Nicole Pavitt and Paris 16. On Friday the British 5 Year-old Championship went to Donald Whitaker riding Nero van de Kwade Heyde while it was a Whitaker 1, 2, 3 in the British 6 Year-old Championship with Joe, Donald and George lining up in that order on Hulahupe JR, Chilli and Shooting Star respectively.

Joe Whitaker started his run of success on the first day of competition in the International Arena winning the Stoner Jewellers Vase riding Diola with Guy Williams and Rouge de Ravel less than a second behind them.  In the last class of the day, six British and three Irish horses jumped off for the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard with Scott Brash riding Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham's 9 year-old bay gelding Hello Shelby to victory, showing precisely why he was the best in the world.

"This was Shelby's first Grand Prix course in this arena," said Scott.  "He is still inexperienced at this level but is a promising horse for the future.  Nothing fazed him and I kept it tight enough to win."

On Friday, Yazmin Pinchen with her mother Nancy's chestnut stallion Van de Vivaldi won the well-subscribed Bunn Leisure Derby Two Phase competition in the fastest time of 32.47 seconds, her first win in Hickstead's International Arena since she won the Accumulator before taking maternity leave prior to the birth of baby Harry.

The big class of the day was the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial, the qualifying competition for the Derby itself.  Last to go, Ireland's Shane Breen on Can Ya Makan pulled out all the stops in the jump-off to win ahead of top lady riders Holly Smith riding Hearts Desire and Harriet Nuttall with A Touch Imperious.  Shane also took top honours in the Hickstead Master's Trophy on Saturday, this time partnered by the 9 year-old Holsteiner stallion Clyde VA.

Emotions ran high after the British Speed Derby, won for the second year running by Matt Sampson and Christine Spanner's 14 year-old chestnut gelding, Topflight True Carlo. Spectators would have been forgiven for thinking they were at a football match with Matt's team mates clamouring to congratulate him in the funnel!

Joe Whitaker on Diola

Joe Whitaker on Diola

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting CSI 4* 2018. Joe Whitaker on Diola wins the Stoner Jewellers Vase. Photo by Julian Portch

Scott Brash on Hello Shelby

Scott Brash on Hello Shelby

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting CSI 4* 2018. Scott Brash on Hello Shelby wins the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard. Photo by Julian Portch

Scott Brash on Hello Shelby

Scott Brash on Hello Shelby

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting CSI 4* 2018. Scott Brash on Hello Shelby wins the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard. This is Scott's first win in the International Arena at Hickastead. Photo by Julian Portch

Scott Brash on Hello Shelby

Scott Brash on Hello Shelby

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting CSI 4* 2018. Scott Brash on Hello Shelby wins the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard. Photo by Julian Portch

Donald Whitaker on Nero van de Kwade

Donald Whitaker on Nero van de Kwade

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting CSI 4* 2018. Donald Whitaker on Nero van de Kwade wins the British 5 Yr Old Championship. Photo by Julian Portch

Joe Whitaker on Hulahupe JR

Joe Whitaker on Hulahupe JR

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting CSI 4* 2018. Joe Whitaker on Hulahupe JR wins the British 6 Yr Old Championship. Photo by Julian Portch

Shane Breen on Can Ya Makan

Shane Breen on Can Ya Makan

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting CSI 4* 2018. Shane Breen on Can Ya Makan wins the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial. Photo by Julian Portch

Yazmin Pinchen on Van de Vivaldi

Yazmin Pinchen on Van de Vivaldi

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting CSI 4* 2018. Yazmin Pinchen on Van de Vivaldi wins the Bunn Leisure Derby Two Phase. Photo by Julian Portch

Shane Breen on Clyde VA

Shane Breen on Clyde VA

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting CSI 4* 2018. Shane Breen on Clyde VA wins the Hickstead Master's Trophy. Photo by Julian Portch

Matt Sampson on Topflight True Carlo

Matt Sampson on Topflight True Carlo

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting CSI 4* 2018. Matt Sampson on Topflight True Carlo wins the Hickstead Master's Trophy. Photo by Julian Portch

Nicole Pavitt on Paris 16

Nicole Pavitt on Paris 16

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting CSI 4* 2018. Nicole Pavitt on Paris 16 wins the Beethoven 7 & 8 Yr Old Championship. Photo by Julian Portch

William Funnell on Billy Buckingham

William Funnell on Billy Buckingham

The Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting CSI 4* 2018. William Funnell on Billy Buckingham edging down the Derby bank. Photo by Julian Portch

Copyright © Julian Portch (West Sussex) 07768 398333