One of our favourite shows of the year has to be the CSI4* Hickstead Derby Meeting. It’s only just down the road, and not only has some of the most exciting international jumping of the year, but also offers the opportunity for the younger horses to gain invaluable experience jumping on grass and in the amazing all-weather surfaces in a busy “big show” atmosphere. David had two entries in the CSI4*, new ride Gentleman VH Veldehof and the Breen Equestrian’s Foudre F.
The national classes started on Wednesday - Louise rode the Don VHP daughter Donna Pascale into a place in the Newcomers, and David jumped Gentleman VH Veldehof in the 1.35 in Ring 2 for invaluable familiarisation. Louise rode two of our five year olds in the 1 metre open in ring 4, Noble de Reve and the Full Monty. David also jumped I’m Special Too DH into a place the six year old qualifier in the beautifully revamped ring three.
On Thursday David opened his account in the CSI4* with 7th place on Foudre F in the Stoner Jewellers Vase, a 1.45 speed class, and jumped Gentleman in the 1.50 Derby Tankard speed class.
In the national classes on Thursday I’m Special Too DH was placed again in the six year olds, this time on the grass in Ring 2, and both David with Verdi’s Mexico and Louise with Donna Pascale jumped in the first 7 & 8 year old qualifier in ring 3. Donna Pascale showed her versatility by finishing 7th in the Foxhunters with David.
On Friday Foudre F was placed again in the CSI4*, 7th again in the 1.45 two phase. Louise jumped the five year olds in the 1 metre again and David jumped Verdi’s Mexico in the 7 & 8 year old qualifier.
On Saturday David rode both Foudre F and Gentleman in the 1.50 Hickstead Masters finishing 5th with Foudre and 16th with Gentleman. Louise was 5th in the Newcomers on Donna Pascale. David and I’m Special Too VH jumped three clear rounds in the Big Star Six Year Old class in Ring 4 to qualify for the Big Star Six Year Old Final at the National Championships in August.
Last, but most definitely not least, Charlie and the lovely Dancer jumped in the Hickstead Mini Challenge to win a rosette every day.