Boost for British breeders as the Young Horse Championships move to Hickstead

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Boost for British breeders as the Young Horse Championships move to Hickstead

British Showjumping has selected the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead as the new host venue for the British Young Horse Championships (9-12 August 2024).

The show, which boasts a total prize fund of nearly £80,000, will take place on the all-weather arenas and will host qualifiers and finals for four-, five, six- and seven-year-old horses. There will be additional prizes, sponsored by British Showjumping, for the breeders of the top five British Bred horses in their respective Finals, as well as generous bonuses for horses jumping clear throughout the week.

The Finals will also act as the UK qualifier for the prestigious World Breeding Championship for Young Horses in Lanaken in Belgium, which takes place each year in September.

“We are really pleased to be the new hosts of this prestigious championships, which will be a showcase for the very best of young showjumping horses in this country,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. “While there are a few other Open classes at this show, ranging from 1.10m up to a 1.40m Grand Prix, the focus is very much on our young horse classes and celebrating the up-and-coming equine talent in this country.”

Riders in the Prestige Italia Six Year Old Championship will compete for the Big Star Trophy, awarded in honour of Nick Skelton’s 2016 Olympic gold medal winner. Any horse jumping a treble clear in one of the four Big Star qualifiers held between May and July will automatically be eligible for the £1,000 Big Star Bonus, which will be awarded in the Final.

“The Prestige Italia Six Year Old Championship is one of the most important championships in this country for young equine stars,” said Iain Graham, Chief Executive of British Showjumping. “We are delighted that the final will form part of the British Young Horse Championships in its new home at Hickstead.”

William Funnell, who has won countless Hickstead titles over the years, has agreed to sponsor the Billy Stud Auction Five Year Old Championship as well as putting forward two special £5,000 prizes for the highest-placed horse bought in a Billy Stud Auction in both the four- and five-year-old championships. “As a breeder, shows like the Hickstead Young Horse Championships are invaluable for producing young horses and highlighting their abilities. Having chaired the committee that established and spearheaded these Championships 15 years ago, I think the move to Hickstead is an excellent choice.”

Al Shira’aa, already a major sponsor of Hickstead including the iconic Al Shira’aa Derby, has taken naming rights for the Four-Year-Old final. “We are happy to support the Four Year Old Championship at the first ever young horse championships at Hickstead. We at Al Shira'aa thoroughly enjoy the production of young horses and look forward to being a part of this event,” said Alicia MacDonald, Director of Al Shira’aa Farms.

Hickstead-based Breen Equestrian has also taken on sponsorship of one of the young horse finals. Chloe Breen says: "Breeding future superstars has always been the goal of Breen Equestrian, and as such we are delighted to sponsor the British Seven Year Old Championship at its new home, here at Hickstead.”

Spectator admission and parking is free of charge for the duration of the show, with competitor entries opening in July.

For more information, visit www.hickstead.co.uk

 

Image credit: Boots and Hooves Photography

 
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