Williams wows on opening day of Derby meeting

The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting got underway today with a double of wins for Andrew Williams. 

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Andrew made the 7hr long trip from Cornwall to West Sussex more than worthwhile when he landed both the Horse & Hound Senior Foxhunter first round with Nancy Phillips’ Bodieve Toyboy; then followed up with a second victory in the Spillers Grade C championship with Codar.

He also finished fourth in the Camardo Coffee 1.35m Open, which was won by Joss Williams and Culmore Prospect.

The Beethoven 7 & 8 Year Old first qualifier attracted a strong field of riders, but none could better than 23-year-old Norwegian Victoria Gulliksen, who is the daughter of international showjumper Geir. Today she piloted the locally-bred Billy Blue Bell to victory ahead of Sussex-based Nicole Pavitt, who took second and third spots.

Tomorrow sees the start of the international action, beginning with the Stoner Jewellers Vase – a €4,000 class that was won last year by Irish rider Michael Duffy. The feature class is the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard, which gives the first indication of rider form ahead of Sunday’s Derby. On Friday, horses and riders will contest the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial, in which they need to finish in the top 35 in order to qualify for the Equestrian.com Derby itself. Saturday’s feature class is the British Speed Derby, in which riders tackle some of Hickstead’s permanent fences at top speed.

But it all builds up to the finale, Sunday’s Equestrian.com Derby. A host of former winners will be aiming to get their name on the Boomerang Trophy once again, but they’ll face some stiff opposition from those yet to win Hickstead’s most iconic class.

As well as showjumping, there are lots of showing, scurry driving and carriage driving classes to enjoy, plus the vast Charles Owen Shopping Village, which boasts hundreds of tradestands catering for all tastes. 

The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting will be streamed live from Friday to Sunday at Hickstead.tv, while the Equestrian.com Derby will also be shown live on Horse & Country TV on Sunday 28 June from 1pm.

Tickets are available online, and can be purchased at the gate throughout the show.

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