William steps up to first International win at Hickstead

Sunday 23 June 2024

William steps up to first International win at Hickstead

William Fletcher’s childhood and subsequent career may be knitted into the fabric of Hickstead history – but today, at the Al Shira’aa Derby Meeting, he enjoyed the buzz of an International Arena win for the very first time.

“It’s fantastic – I just cannot believe it,” he said, after topping a 56-strong line-up to take the win in the Hickstead Masters Trophy with Iwalinde. “The horse jumped her absolute socks off. I’m just so pleased – to go in that ring with so much history, and so much prestige, and to come out with a win like that against some of the best riders in the world just felt fantastic.”

William’s parents, Graham and Tina Fletcher, have left big shoes for Will and his younger brother, Olli, to fill in the showjumping ring – but Will, who’s grown up alongside the competing children of no shortage of famous jumping parents, doesn’t let the pressure get to him.

“What's lovely is we come here every year, and there's so many good memories that we've had,” he said. “My mum winning the Hickstead Derby in 2011 was one of the best day’s we’ve ever had – when she jumped clear in the first round, I was celebrating so much that I fell over the row of people in front of me! And me, Jack Whitaker, and Harry Charles watching our parents in the Nations Cup here when they won was fantastic. It’s lovely to add onto that and share the good memories.”

Winning at Hickstead represents a major box ticked in Will’s career – but where Hickstead is concerned, he’s far from finished.

“I'd love to have a go at the Derby – it’s definitely on the bucket list,” he said. “I've always wanted to do it at some point – it’s an itch I really want to scratch. But if we come back and do the King George, that would be just as good.”

The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting runs from 20-23 June at Hickstead in West Sussex. Tickets are available at the gate or can be booked online at www.hickstead.co.uk. All the action from the International Arena will be livestreamed on ClipMyHorse.TV and Hickstead.TV. 

Image Credit: Boots and Hooves Photography

 
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