Tina Fletcher lands Carpetright Derby...

Tina Fletcher won the Carpetright Derby at Hickstead today, becoming the first female winner of the class since 1973. 

Tina Fletcher Derby (c) Samantha Lamb LOW RES.jpg

Tina rode the 16-year-old gelding Promised Land to score the only clear round and take home the £40,000 first prize.

Having finished second in 2010, Tina and Promised Land started as one of the favourites for this year's class. A number of riders had already notched up four-fault rounds - including last year's winner Guy Williams (this time on board Richi Rich III), 27-year-old Ronnie Healy (Carlow Cruiser), and Irish riders David O'Brien (Mo Chroi) and Shane Breen (Mullaghdrin Gold Rain).

A jump-off was looking likely until third-last to go Tina came into the International Arena and jumped a perfectly judged clear to go top. Penultimate drawn Michael Whitaker then joined the list of four-faulters, but when the final rider, Germany's Andre Thieme, retired after the Carpetright Balustrade (fence 14) it left Tina's round as the only clear.

"I grew up watching Hickstead on TV, and it was always the biggest event of the year for me -all my life I have wanted to win it," said Tina. "Promised Land is an unbelievably brave horse, but at home he lives out in the field and I hardly ride him," she added.

The other big class of the day was the Equimax Under 25 British Masters, which went to Daniel Moseley. Like Tina Fletcher, he went one better this year, having finished second in 2010. In the showring the Tattersalls and Retraining of Racehorses Show Horse championship went to Lizzie Richmond and Treat Em Mean; while the Supreme Hunter championship was won by Lucinda Freedman and Mr Mick

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