Al Shira’aa Derby Reaches New Heights Thanks To Facebook
More than 35,000 visitors came through the gates at the All England Jumping Course for last month’s Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting. With considerably better weather for this year’s event compared to that of 12 months ago, the gate figures were up by more than five percent.
An increased number of equestrian fans were also able to watch the showjumping, showing and driving action from afar thanks to the livestream on the Hickstead.TV platform. With a single camera livestream covering all the classes in the International Arena from Thursday onwards, plus a full multi-camera broadcast of the main classes each day, more coverage of Hickstead was shown live than ever before. For the first time ever, the livestream was also embedded on Facebook, giving the video feed a much greater reach and also allowing viewers to comment on the action and interact with other showjumping enthusiasts during the classes.
“We were pleased to see an increase in viewing figures for this year’s Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting, with more people watching via Hickstead.tv and Facebook,” says Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. “With highlights being shown on Sky Sports and Horse & Country TV soon after the event, we were able to deliver the best of both worlds and ensure that everyone was able to watch the show from anywhere in the world.”
It was a superb week of equestrian sport, with highlights including Holly Smith returning from a broken leg to win the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial; Matthew Sampson scoring his first major international win at Hickstead in the British Speed Derby; and of course the epic jump-off final of the Al Shira’aa Derby, in which Nigel Coupe came out on top ahead of Harriet Nuttall.
This was the first year of a new sponsorship from Al Shira’aa Stables, an Abu-Dhabi based equestrian company founded by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. “We’d like to express our sincere gratitude to the team from Al Shira’aa for sponsoring the Hickstead Derby Meeting. Our sport simply couldn’t exist without the generosity of such sponsors, and we’re extremely lucky that Al Shira’aa has come on board to support our most famous class,” said Lizzie Bunn. Kate Moisson, Project Manager for Al Shira’aa, added: “It’s been a fantastic collaboration between the Bunns and Al Shira’aa, and it’s one which we hope will continue for many years to come.”
Next year’s Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting runs from 21 – 24 June 2018.
Photos by Craig Payne