Big names and rising stars at the Al Shira'aa Jumping Championships

Find out who won at Hickstead's special national show 

Pollyanna Gredley_UNEX ARANTOS (1)

The Al Shira'aa Jumping Championships (24-27 June) drew to a close on Sunday after five days of superb competition. 

The show was held in place of the scheduled Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby Meeting, which was cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. This national show took place with no public attendance, so while the grandstands were mostly empty the sport was as exciting as you would expect from a Hickstead event. 

The star of the show was of course Guy Williams, winner of Sunday's showcase Grand Prix, the Al Shira'aa Trophy. The former Hickstead Derby champion made his intentions clear from the outset, having won both divisions of Thursday's Al Shira'aa 1.40m Open classes. In the morning, Guy and his experienced Puissance horse Mr Blue Sky UK held off competition from runner-up Yazmin Pinchen (Van De Vivaldi), and was back at the head of the line-up in the afternoon, this time with the prolific winner Rouge De Ravel. Being drawn third to go out of 61 proved no barrier to this pair, who set such a speedy time that no one could catch them.

Friday was an extremely successful day for Ronnie Jones, who proved himself a master at producing young horses. The Essex-based rider not only took the Al Shira'aa British Five-Year-Old Championship with the mare L'Amour; he also claimed the honours in the hotly-contested Six-Year-Old final too, with his second win in quick succession coming courtesy of the stallion Key West RSH.  

A huge field of 108 horses came forward for Friday morning's opener, the Al Shira'aa 1.40m Open, with James Whitaker heading the line-up with Lammy Beach. James, who is a former winner of the Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup, saw off close opposition from runner-up Holly Smith and Billy Sarafina. Holly originally produced Lammy Beach, a 13-year-old Irish sports horse, before he moved to the Whitakers' yard to be campaigned by William and then younger brother James. 

In the Hy Equestrian British 1.10m Amateur Championship, 14 made it through to the jump-off, with Alice Clennan and Henry W finishing nearly 0.5sec faster than her nearest rival to take the title. 

Pollyanna Gredley had her first Hickstead showjumping win in the International Arena in the I.C.E. Horseboxes British 1.20m Amateur Championship. Only four combinations made it into the jump-off and Polly's time of 40.94sec with Unex Arantos was more than 2sec clear of their nearest rivals. It marked a successful return to showjumping for Pollyanna, who has had a two-year break from competition.

The Al Shira'aa young horse finals reached their conclusion with the British Seven Year Old final, with Warwickshire's Adam Botham and Ebanking the fastest of the three in the jump-off. The stallion had quite the busy week - while he has been off competing at Hickstead, three of his foals were born!

In the EQ Horseboxes British 1.30m Open Championship, Helen Rees won with Bart VI. Fourteen went through to the jump-off, with half of these producing a double clear. Ben Walker ended up with three in the top six, taking the second and third spots behind Helen. 

Leicestershire-based Joss Williams finished the show in style with a double of wins. In the Animo UK British 1.00m Open Championship, his ride Zandokan proved the fastest of three in the jump-off to take the title, and picked up another winner’s sash in the Equitop GLME Senior Foxhunter Championship second round, meaning he picked up one of those exclusive qualifying tickets to the Horse of the Year Show in October. 

The I.C.E Horseboxes Novice Championship went to William Rekert and Kyra SH, with Nicholas Edwards and Copain winning the I.C.E Horseboxes British 1.20m Open Championship. 

For more rider interviews and videos of the winning rounds, click here

For all the showjumping results, click here

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