Crowds set for Hickstead return after two years away

Next month’s Prenetics Royal International Horse Show will see crowds welcomed back to Hickstead for the first time since summer 2019.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 9:00 am
Hickstead stages the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show in July / Picture: Elli Birch - Boots and Hooves Photography
Hickstead stages the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show in July / Picture: Elli Birch - Boots and Hooves Photography

Tickets for the show (21-25 July) are on sale now, costing just £15 per person with concessions available and under 16s going free. A strict limit of 4,000 people per day will apply, so visitors are advised to book quickly before tickets sell out.

The show is running as a two-star international, and a strong line-up of British-based riders will be in action, including Guy Williams, Holly Smith, Harriet Biddick, Trevor Breen and William and Pippa Funnell. Seven members of the famous Whitaker showjumping dynasty are also due to compete, with John, Michael, Robert, William, James, Joanne and Jack Whitaker all entered.

Feature classes include the Prenetics Royal International Vase, and the £24,000 Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup, which moves from its traditional Saturday slot to form Sunday’s grand finale. Ireland’s David Simpson, who won the most recent renewal of the class in 2019, will be among those trying to take this year’s title.

There will be a full programme of championship showing classes, culminating in Sunday’s British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Supreme Products Supreme Pony finals, plus carriage driving classes including the popular Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry class.

There will be around 50 tradestands on site, giving crowds the perfect opportunity to do some shopping in between watching the country’s best riders compete at one of the most famous equestrian venues of all. A range of bars, restaurants and eateries will be available, with hospitality options bookable in advance, plus a children’s funfair will be on site to entertain younger visitors.

“It’s been two years since we’ve been able to welcome the public to Hickstead due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation,” says Hickstead's Lizzie Bunn. “Under current guidelines, we are allowed up to 4,000 spectators per day, and we cannot wait to see our grandstands filled with people again, all enjoying some superb sport at Hickstead.

“We are fortunate that the All England Jumping Course is a huge outdoor site with multiple large open grandstands around the International Arena, allowing people to have plenty of seating options as well as being able to move around the showground with ease.”

The show already meets the government’s stage three requirements, and further tickets may be available nearer the time if the country moves to the next stage of lockdown release planned for 19 July. Title sponsors Prenetics will be in attendance at the show, offering on-site testing for any visitors who wish to take a PCR test.

All tickets must be booked in advance from www.hickstead.co.uk