The stage is set for the Hickstead Derby Meeting

This year's Hickstead Derby Meeting (25-29 June 2014) has attracted record entries, with thousands of horses and riders heading here to the All England Jumping Course in West Sussex next week for one of the most famous fixtures in showjumping. 

Sky sports Derby jumping (c) Samantha Lamb.jpg

Such was the demand from competitors, entries had to close early and some classes have been rescheduled.

Our June fixture gets underway on Wednesday 25 June with a range of national showjumping classes, while the action in the International Arena begins on Thursday 26. The show culminates on Sunday 29 with our famous Hickstead Derby, which is sponsored for the first time by leading online retailer and will once again be shown live on Sky Sports.

Several former winners are due to line up for the Derby, including last year's victor Phillip Miller, three-time winner (and runner-up in 2012 and 2013) William Funnell, Guy Williams, who won in 2010, and the 2011 winner Tina Fletcher, the only female winner of the class since 1973.

Showjumping fans are being encouraged to get behind the new sponsorship by buying a Hickstead Derby Community official polo shirt. Priced at £24.99, the stylish navy polo shirt comes with a host of benefits, including access to a course walk, a free ticket to the show on Thursday, plus exclusive discounts and competitions. Everyone wearing the shirt will also be invited to take part in a special commemorative photograph during the show.

Around 1,800 horses are expected to arrive here at the All England Jumping Course next week, and thanks to a funding grant from the British Equestrian Federation, this year's competitors can expect various improvements at the showground. Showing riders in Jacksons Fencing Ring 5 now have an all-weather strip down the full length of the long side of the arena, installed by Andrews Bowen. "This means the going will remain consistent and safe whatever the weather, and will encourage younger riders to really gallop," says Hickstead's showing director, Roger Stack.

There is also a new area of hard-standing, providing parking for horseboxes during the winter months. This will allow Hickstead's top class all-weather arenas to be used for clinics and events outside of the summer season.

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