After enjoying record levels of entries all season, the organisers of the All England Jumping Championships at Hickstead are pleased to report a massive 50% rise in competitor numbers for this weekend’s show (5-8 September). Rider numbers are up from around 800 in 2012 to more than 1,200 this year. Most classes exceed 100 entries – and one class has more than 260 entries – meaning the show directors have had to make the decision to open an extra ring for the show to cater for everyone.
The brand new all-weather ring four, which has been a huge hit with Hickstead competitors at the two international fixtures, will be busy all weekend at the September fixture, hosting some of the show’s biggest qualifying classes. A host of the country’s top national riders are due to attend, including European gold medallist William Funnell, Laura Renwick, David McPherson, husband and wife Ronnie and Charlotte Healy, sisters Louise and Nicole Pavitt, Paul Crago, Damian Charles, Michael Lonsdale, James Fisher, David Simpson, Jessie Drea and James Hughes. There are also competitors representing Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Australia and South Africa.
The show culminates in the All England Grand Prix, which has a £9,000 prize fund, and two former winners are back for another crack at the title – Tim Davies, who won at the inaugural show, and Trevor Breen, who won last year with Adventure De Kannan. The All England Jumping Championships were formed in 2011 to give amateur riders and young horses the chance to compete at Hickstead. Every height and age class culminates in a final held in the famous International Arena.
Entry and parking is completely free of charge to spectators, with a select shopping village open throughout. There’s plenty of picnic spots as well as several ringside bars to choose from, so you can sip a cold glass of Pimms while watching the showjumping action. Each evening of the show there will be a choice of bars or restaurants to go to, with a BBQ held on Thursday night and live entertainment on Saturday evening.