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Hickstead Schools Championships Get Major Sponsor

Alpine Electronics, a market leader in car audio and navigation systems, is to support the popular National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships at the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead (July 31).

Schools and Pony Club branches from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland travel hundreds of miles to compete in the championships, which in recent years have been heavily influenced by Irish success.

Alpine are at the forefront of in-car navigation and rear seat entertainment and has a positive following amongst people involved in equestrian sport, something that Alpine would like to develop further.

Hickstead owner Douglas Bunn, who introduced the championships for schools in 1964 and added Pony Clubs in 1966, said: "I thoroughly enjoy this meeting because I like to see youngsters competing in my International Arena. With Alpine in support, we should see even more riders getting experience which may lead to even greater things."

Up to 180 schools and pony club branches have taken part in the championships, which starts with qualifying rounds in Hickstead's outside arenas leading to up to ten teams in each category - junior schools, senior schools and Pony Clubs - going forward to the International Arena.

Graham Johnson, sales and marketing director of Coventry-based Alpine Electronics UK Ltd, commented "Alpine is delighted to be linked with Hickstead and with this particular event as it offers us the opportunity to support up and coming riders at grass roots level in a positive and proactive manner, which can only be good for the sport as a whole".

There is no prize money. Winners are awarded perpetual trophies and members of all winning and placed teams are given coveted Hickstead Gold Medals and horse rugs. First-placed teams also get the famous Hickstead sashes.

One of the highlights of the day and an occasion which attracts audiences - no entry is charged for spectators - is the finalo parade of teams and the prize giving ceremony in the International Arena, when every competitor receives a rosette


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