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News

Posted on March 25th, 2021

National fixture to replace Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting for 2021

The directors of the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead have made the difficult decision to cancel the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting for 2021, due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

The international fixture will be replaced by a national show, the Al Shira’aa Jumping Championships, to run on the same dates (23rd-27th June). While there will be no international showjumping, there will be a range of jumping classes from British Novice to Grand Prix level as well as the usual showing and carriage driving classes that form part of the June fixture.

The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting is one of the most iconic showjumping events in the international calendar, culminating in the Al Shira’aa Derby – a class that was first held in 1961. Normally around 40,000 people attend across the five days of the show.

The meeting was cancelled in 2020, which was the first time the class had not run since its inception. The decision to miss a second year has been a very disappointing one, but despite the encouraging Government announcements and rollout of the vaccine, the situation still remains fragile and unpredictable at this time.

The replacement event, the Al Shira’aa Jumping Championships, will see seven rings of competition run throughout the show, including the Longines International Arena. The highlights will be the Al Shira’aa Trophy, a 1.40m Grand Prix with a £15,000 prize fund, as well as the Al Shira’aa age championships. There will be a number of HOYS qualifying showing classes, plus the final of the RoR/Tattersalls Show Horse series.

Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn commented: “This has been a very tough decision, but the Derby is more than just a showjumping competition, it is an occasion where a full and enthusiastic crowd plays its part.  With the uncertainty over permitted attendance, as well as other restrictions that we face, we are concentrating all our efforts on running a major five-day national show instead. We would like to thank Al Shira’aa and all our stakeholders for their continued support during this challenging time.”

The plan is to run the event with limited public attendance, along with a boutique selection of tradestands, but full details will be confirmed nearer the time.

Competitor entries will open in April at www.hickstead.co.uk.


Posted on March 3rd, 2021

SHOW UPDATE: Royal Highland Show will not go ahead in 2021

The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) has announced that the 2021 Royal Highland Show will not go ahead following guidance from senior Scottish Government officials. 

This is the second year that Scotland’s largest event, attracting in the region of 200,000 visitors each year, will not take place due to the global pandemic.

Disappointed organisers said that they had left ‘no stone unturned’ in their determination to host the 180th Royal Highland Show, but restrictions likely to still be in place by June makit impossible to plan with confidence.

Therefore, organisers have switched instead to the development of a Royal Highland Show live concept, bringing together the most-loved parts of the show including livestock judging, show jumping and competitions. It is envisaged that as much as possible of the traditional show will take place behind closed doors at the showground and be livestreamed across the globe.

Commenting on the showcaseRHASS Chairman Bill Gray said: “This thrilling initiative will effectively be a Royal Highland Show Live event, giving audiences unique access to parts of the Show they have never experienced before. Imagine being side-by-side with the judge as they select the champion Clydesdale or soaring over the jumps on the back of a competing showjumper – with technology and the finest livestock all this is possible. Further details of the live event will be announced in the coming weeks. 

In the meantime, tickets purchased for the Royal Highland Show through Ticketmaster will receive an automatic ticket refund, including booking fee, and the promise of priority access to ticket sales for the 2022 Show.

The economic impact of another ‘no show’ year will be significant. The Royal Highland Show contributes in excess of £55.7 million each year to the Scottish economy and is viewed as the Oscars of the agricultural sector, with hundreds of rosettes presented each year to the finest livestock.


Posted on March 1st, 2021

ROYAL WINDSOR HORSE SHOW TO RUN IN JULY 2021

The Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show have confirmed that Royal Windsor Horse Show will take place from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th of July this year.

“We are looking forward to running a near as normal Show at Windsor in July,” said Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward. “The start of this year has been difficult for all live events, but recent government announcements have given us the confidence to go full steam ahead with the organising of Royal Windsor, which includes planning for an audience.”

All competition will be carried out with the emphasis being on competitors’ safety and adherence to COVID-19 guidelines required at that time by the local authority, health authorities, veterinary and equestrian associations and the government.

The schedule and a day-by-day programme will go online shortly with the Show running as close to its traditional format as possible and including International Jumping, Dressage, the Land Rover International Carriage Driving Grand Prix, International Endurance and Showing.

The Windsor Pageant, which was scheduled to take place in the evenings, will not take place. However, the Show will include many of the scheduled elements in a bumper edition of equestrian displays, acts and music within the main Show programme, which will take advantage of the long summer evenings .

Visitor tickets will be made available soon, with Royal Windsor Horse Show Club members prioritised. Should guidelines change and visitors not be allowed to attend on the dates of the Show then all purchased tickets will be refunded. Additionally, organisers have also committed to increasing the number of hours of live streaming and broadcast from the Show so that everyone can enjoy Royal Windsor online even if they are not able to attend in person.

“We are very grateful for the tremendous backing of our supporters, which has allowed us to plan with confidence,” continued Brooks-Ward. “They include Rolex, Bahrain Endurance, Hermès, Coworth Park, DAKS, Al Shira’aa, Champagne Laurent-Perrier and, in particular, our Principal Partner, Jaguar Land Rover.

“We are determined to produce one of our best events for the horse world to enjoy, with a competitive and upbeat edition of this 78-year-old horse show.”