Olympic gold medallist Scott Brash had his first international win at Hickstead at the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting on Thursday, June 21st.
His victory in the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard came on the nine-year-old Hello Shelby, who jumped a double clear in a time of 35.60sec.
“I wasn’t really sure what he’d be like in the International Arena today but after the first round he just popped round the course like normal. He felt really good and I just picked up the pace a bit in the jump-off, kept it tight, nothing too crazy and it was enough to win,” said Scott.
The former world number one showjumper lives locally to the West Sussex showground, having relocated from his native Scotland in 2015.
“So much history has gone on in the International Arena, so it’s great to ride in there, and the footing here is amazing,” added Brash, who is now aiming for a repeat win in Saturday’s Hickstead Master’s Trophy.
The first international class of the show, the Stoner Jewellers Vase, went to Joe Whitaker. He was riding Diola, a nine-year-old mare belonging to his father Steven.
“My Dad has been riding her a little bit – he’d actually been planning to compete her this week but he had to stay at home because we had a couple of mares about to foal,” said Joe. “He’s delighted because he’s put in the hard work, and she does feel great so fair play to him!” added the 30-year-old from South Yorkshire, who is the nephew of John and Michael Whitaker.
Joe finished with almost a second in hand over speed king Guy Williams, who was the runner-up on Rouge De Ravel.
The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting runs until the June 24th, with tickets on sale now
The highlights of Friday include the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial, which acts as a qualifier for Sunday’s Al Shira’aa Derby.