Reigning champion Shane Breen is among the riders competing this year’s Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby, which takes place on Sunday 25 June.

He will be returning with his 2022 winner Can Ya Makan (pictured), in the hope of securing a back-to-back victory. He also brings rising star Scarteen, who impressed in Hamburg when finishing second in one of their Derby qualifiers.

Shane’s brother Trevor Breen is also entered. He was victorious in 2014 with Adventure De Kannan and in 2015 with Loughnatousa WB. This year he brings Gonzalo, who finished fourth in last year’s Longines King George V Gold Cup.

William Funnell is in with a chance of making history if he can secure a fifth Derby win. Five riders share the record with four wins apiece, and William has an strong chance of bettering this, having won in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2018. His ride Equine America Billy Diamo made his Hickstead Derby debut last summer, winning Friday’s Derby Trial before going on to finish in 11th place in the Al Shira’aa Derby.

Guy Williams last won the Derby in 2010, but he’s consistently been in the placings in the years since. His puissance star Mr Blue Sky UK is another who has jumped well round the challenging track on a number of occasions, so has a good chance later this month.

In 2016 William Whitaker became the third member of his family to lift the Boomerang Trophy, following in the footsteps of his uncles John and Michael. He finished sixth with Flamboyant III in 2022, in what was the horse’s first attempt at the class, so they could also be ones to watch this year.

Several other riders on the entries list have come close to winning the Derby, including Dermott Lennon, Carlos Mota Ribas and Holly Smith. Other names to look out for include David Simpson, Robert Whitaker and Graham Gillespie, all of whom have been placed in the Derby.

Riders have to qualify for the Derby in Friday’s Agria Derby Trial.

Tickets are on sale now from To find out how to watch the action from home, click here.

Lead image credit: Elli Birch/Boots and Hooves Photography 

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