Tickets to showjumping’s famous Hickstead venue are being made electronically for the first time this year.
The All England Jumping Course Box Office is officially open, with tickets now on sale for the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting (26-29 June) and the Longines Royal International Horse Show (29 July – 3 August).
The new electronic system aims to reduce the risk of lost or stolen tickets, as well as allowing visitors to pre-book their tickets right up to the night before their visit.
“By introducing the e-ticketing, Hickstead has moved its box office into the 21st century,” said Hickstead director Edward Bunn. “It is an environmentally sound solution as it cuts out the production and postage of tickets. The new eTicket can be printed or presented on a smart phone or tablet at the gate.”
The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting has long been regarded as one of the most popular events in showjumping. A number of showjumping’s superstars have previously won the Derby and held the famous Boomerang trophy aloft, including recent Olympic and European gold medalists Nick Skelton, Peter Charles, Michael Whitaker, Ben Maher and William Funnell. Last year Funnell came so close to joining the elite band of riders who have won the class four times, only to finish joint second with Trevor Breen behind the eventual victor, Phillip Miller and Caritiar Z, who jumped the only clear round of the day.
This year’s show could well be a vital preparation run for many before the Alltech World Equestrian Games, which start just a few weeks later. Many of global showjumping’s best teams are set to take part in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup, held on Friday 1 August, including Germany, The Netherlands and Ireland. This thrilling competition is the only place to see the British team compete on home turf, and this year Team GB will be hoping for a good performance to boost their confidence before the world championships.
The Longines Royal International Horse Show, the official show of The British Horse Society, features jumping classes for every level from ponies, novices and grassroots riders, right up to the very pinnacle of the sport – the Longines King George V Gold Cup. Last year, Britain’s world number two Ben Maher won the class for the first time, riding his London 2012 Olympic partner Tripple X III.
In the showing world, the Longines Royal International Horse Show is regarded as the most important showing championships of the summer season. Thousands of horses and ponies around the country battle it out for a coveted qualifying ticket to come to Hickstead, and only the very best of the best will make it through to the ultimate finals – the British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Underwood Supreme Pony Championships.
General admission tickets start from £16 per adult and £8 for children. Visitors can choose from private boxes, ringside lodges, the exclusive 120-seater Members’ Restaurant, the al fresco Ringside Restaurant and the Beethoven Suite, at the top of the Members’ Grandstand.
To book, go to www.hickstead.co.uk or call 01273 834315.