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First June Derby Meeting Will Still Draw Showjumping Fans

The British Jumping Derby Meeting (June 3-6) breaks new ground this year, moving for the first time in its 43 year history from August to June to avoid clashing with this summer's Athens Olympic Games. But it is still a great draw for showjumping fans.

The DFS Derby is wide open. Peter Charles, who last year went into the record books with a third successive win, is looking for a new Derby specialist after losing Corrada to an overseas sale, which leaves local rider William Funnell and his on-form Cortaflex Mondriaan as possible favourites.

Prize money for the Derby, carrying new sponsorship from the furniture giant DFS, goes up to £75,000, with the winner claiming a £25,000 share.

The four-day show has all its popular classes - the Gladwish Land Sales Speed Derby, the Alberta Canada Salver, Hickstead Derby Tankard and Osborne Refrigerators Derby Trial. Juniors, too, have, for the second year, their chance in the International Arena. The Hickstead Pony Masters starts in two outside arenas to whittle entries down to 20 for the third leg in the International Arena on Saturday and then to 10 for Sunday's final, where the winner goes home with a £2,500 share of £7,500, the richest competition in Europe for juniors.

New to the schedule this year is the Hickstead Amateur Championship, supported by GBR Team Challenge. This class is designed for riders outside of the top 100 on the BSJA Riders Ranking List and excludes also anyone who has been on a senior Nations Cup team. It comes to a final in the International Arena on Saturday.


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