Ireland’s David Simpson was victorious in the 2023 Al Shira’aa Derby at Hickstead this afternoon (25 June), riding eight-year-old stallion Pjotr van de Kruishoeve. Second was William Funnell and Dublon.

William produced the first clear round of the competition with 13-year-old Equine America Billy Diamo, and went on to jump a second clear with Dublon, but David, drawn 25th to go out of the 27 starters, delivered a third clear round on Pjotr Van De Kruishoeve, despite it being the horse’s first attempt in the Derby.

William retired Equine America Billy Diamo after knocking four fences in the jump off, while his second ride Dublon, had just one part of the Devil’s Dyke down to finish on four in a time of 91.68 seconds. However, despite knocking the Derby Rails, David crossed the finish line in 90.48sec to take the win.

“I came here for the first time when I was very young and working for Shane and Chloe Breen, and for as long as I can remember, the Hickstead Derby has always been the show. To lift that trophy – words can’t describe it,” David said.

Pjotr Van De Kruishoeve, a bay stallion by Bamako De Muze, is one of the youngest Derby winners. “He’s an incredible athlete, very intelligent, and just a great worker – he makes my life very easy,” David added.

Supreme for Sunbeam

Credit: Elli Birch/Boots and Hooves Photography

Earlier in the day, His Majesty King Charles III enjoyed his first-ever Hickstead victory as Katie Jerram-Hunnable took the Agria Supreme Coloured Horse Ridden Championship with the six-year-old reigning titleholder, Sunbeam. Last year, he won the Supreme title for Her Majesty the Queen, giving the late monarch a Jubilee title.

“The King will be absolutely delighted – actually, the minute I get off we’ll have a phone call to the powers above and let him know that Sunbeam’s done this today, which is special,” said Katie. “It’s emotional, because obviously he was the Queen’s, and I get very emotional about the whole run that we’ve had.”

Lead image by Elli Birch/Boots and Hooves Photography

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