ll eyes were on 2014 and 2015 Derby winner Trevor Breen as the final day of competition unfolded at the Hickstead Derby Meeting to see if he could make it three wins in a row of the Equestrian.com Derby.
But this time it was England’s William Whitaker who took a triumphant win in the €140,000 Equestrian.com Derby, riding the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Glenavadra Brilliant (Brilliant Lad X Powerswood Purple). They were the only pair of the day that kept all the poles up despite scoring a time fault in 180.64 seconds.
William is the third member of the Whitaker showjumping dynasty to win the Hickstead Derby. John and Michael Whitaker have both won Hickstead’s most famous class a total of four times, and now William’s name will join theirs on the Boomerang Trophy.
“It’s one of the classes I’ve always really wanted to win. My horse is always knocking on the door, having been second in several other derbies in Europe, so I’m pleased to finally get the win today,” said Whitaker. “He’s strong and scopey, and he’s got a lot of stamina, when he jumped the last fence he almost felt as if he could have done it again.”
The class proved to be a real challenge as none of the 34 riders managed to complete the course on 0 faults.
Second place went to England’s Harriet Nuttall, who truly enjoyed a banner weekend at Hickstead. She won Saturday’s British Speed Derby and earned several other top placings throughout the weekend. In the Equestrian.com Derby, she was fastest of the 4 faulters in a time of 172.04 seconds aboard the 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding A Touch Imperious (Touchdown X Cavalier Royale).
Two seconds behind Nuttall in a time of 174.09 seconds was also with 4 faults the Irish rider Richard Howley riding the 9-year-old Dutch gelding Chinook (Tygo X Welington) earning the 3rd place.
Ireland’s Billy Twomey, winner of Saturday’s Tom Hudson Derby Trophy, was on target for a clear round on Hamburg Derby winner Diaghilev but knocked a pole and finished in 4th place in 176.02 seconds and the 5th place went to Italy’s Luca Maria Moneta riding Neptune Brecourt and finishing with 8 faults in 166.54 seconds which was the fastest time of the class.
See the complete results list at this link.