Derby show jumping: The Hickstead example

The huge majority of our club members have no experience of derby show jumping. Derbies aren’t common events in any area but they’re particularly rare in Donegal where all equestrian activities are thinner on the ground than elsewhere. But most of us do know the Hickstead Derby and have ridden the mighty track vicariously on many occasions. This year’s Hickstead Derby was won on Sunday by Britain’s Tina Fletcher. She rode the only clear round of the entire competition. So, don’t be downhearted if you rack up a few faults in our own derby on 10 July — it’s par for the course even amongst the high flyers of the show jumping world.

For a report on the Irish performance in this year’s Hickstead Derby, see the Horse Sport Ireland website. The greatest Derby partnership of all time was an Irish one — the legendary Eddie Macken and Boomerang. A search of the YouTube world draws a surprising blank on the duo but you can see the course being ridden by one of their great rivals, John Whitaker and Ryan’s Son.

P.S. Word has it that Geraldine has built an impressive new derby bank at Lenamore. It will make an exciting feature for our hunter trials on Sunday 4 September.