Fun For All The Family At Hickstead’s Famous Al Shira’aa Derby Meeting
The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting (21-24 June) at Hickstead is one of the most popular events in the equestrian calendar, but there’s more than just horses on offer at the All England Jumping Course this summer.
Around 45,000 spectators are expected to flock to the West Sussex showground in June, with visitor numbers peaking during the famous Al Shira’aa Derby on the Sunday afternoon. The Derby course is fearsomely tricky, with iconic obstacles such as the Derby Bank, the Devil’s Dyke and the double of water ditches guaranteeing plenty of thrills and spills for spectators.
As well as the eight busy rings of equestrian action, there is a lot more to see and do during the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting. The new Family Zone will feature a funfair, with half price rides on Thursday and Friday, as well as entertainment from popular local company Tomfoolery. Admission is free for all children under four for the duration of the show, with discounts available for children aged five to 16, pensioners and on family tickets.
There are more than 150 stands in the Charles Owen Shopping Village, giving shoppers the chance to browse many of the leading countryside brands. This year, there is free general admission on the Thursday of the show, to encourage people to come along to experience the fabulous shopping for themselves. Then there’s the wide range of bars and eateries, from the street food vans, the artisan food hall or one of the many bars and restaurants, all the way up to fine dining in one of the hospitality options.
Hickstead is to showjumping what Wembley is to football or Wimbledon is to tennis – and the showground has attracted some suitably big stars over the years, and we’re not just talking Olympic gold medal-winning riders like Nick Skelton or Scott Brash. Friends and Top Gear star Matt Le Blanc and Hollywood film star Henry Cavill have both been spotted at the showground in recent years, while model and presenter Jodie Kidd is a regular.
Tickets are on sale now from www.hickstead.co.uk, with discounts applying in advance.
Photographs by Craig Payne