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Hickstead Derby Winners To Guest In The Scurry
World Games squads parade on the way to Spain

Past winners of the prestigious Hickstead Jumping Derby are being invited to take part in a contest likely to test their nerve even more than the 10ft 6ins Derby Bank negotiated to earn their titles.

The test will be the Osborne Refrigerators Celebrity Scurry, and so far invitations have been accepted by local rider John Popely, who took the title in 1997, Rob Hoekstra, 1999 and Ireland's Derby specialist John Ledingham, whose first win was in 1984 but who then went on to two consecutive wins in 1994 and 1995 on Kilbaha.

Invitations have also gone to Marion Mould (nee Coakes) who, on the famous pony Stroller won in 1967; 1973 winner Alison Dawes, the last lady to win the British Jumping Derby; John Whitaker, first in 1983 with the legendary Ryan's Son and then again in 1998 with Gammon; Michael Whitaker, who recorded his first win in 1980 and 11 years later the first of three consecutive wins on Mon Santa.

Competitors will each be allocated a place behind the driver on one of the small, lightweight carts drawn by pairs of very fast ponies with the aim of being the quickest through a course of cones in the famous International Arena.

The competition will be held on Sunday (August 25), last day of the Hickstead Derby Meeting (August 22-25).

Also on the afternoon's programme will be the parade of British teams due to compete in the World Equestrian Games at Jerez, Spain, next month (subs - September 10-22).

Popular favourite Tim Stockdale will represent the showjumping team as other members will be competing in Europe on the day, but local rider and European Eventing Champion Pippa Funnell will be there together with Leslie Law, Jeanette Brakewell, Kristina Cook and Polly Stockton. Other squads on parade will be Dressage, Horse Driving Trials, Endurance - the youngest team to carry the Union flag - Vaulting and Reining.

Equestrian team flags are to be distributed amongst the traditionally large crowd, which is expected to give the team a typically vocal Hickstead send-off.

Hickstead Derby day draws one of the largest audiences of the season, encouraged by the opportunity (11.45am) to walk the course to be faced in the afternoon by some of the bravest horses and best riders in the world.


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