The going is good for the Derby Meeting

The massive redevelopment of Hickstead's International Arena has been given the thumbs-up from competitors at the British Jumping Derby Meeting, with riders praising the 'excellent' going in the main ring.

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The Bunn family, owners of the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead, invested more than £500,000 towards improving the ground. Work began last August when the turf was completely stripped, an extensive drainage system installed, and new grass re-laid. The ground is designed to offer 'all-weather' style going combined with the absorption of natural turf.

Show director Edward Bunn, who masterminded the groundworks, is delighted with how the arena is looking.

"The results are well beyond expectations. We've had over 40mm of rain since last Friday, plus a short downpour this morning, but it's continued to perform brilliantly and the riders are all commenting on how well it is riding."

Action kicked off this morning in the main ring with the Camardo Coffee 1.35m Open Championship, the first class to be held in the new-look International Arena, and was won by Abigail Newbery and Olympia III.

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