David Simpson steals the show at Hickstead

British-based Irishman David Simpson scored his first major win in Hickstead’s International Arena , taking the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial on Gotti Van Paemel with the sole couble clear.

Tactics played a major role in the three-horse jump-off, as William Funnell on Billy Onslow came home on four and Shane Breen with Acoustik Solo Du Baloubet finished on eight faults. It paved the way for David to ride a steady clear.

“He’s not fast, but he’s very careful,” said David who is based locally in Horsham. “I’d decided if the lads went clear, I’d jump a few fences, pull him up and give him a pat as I knew we’d come third and could save him for the Derby. But when they had faults, I knew we could jump a clear.”

David now has his hopes set on the Equestrian.com Derby.

“He was really good in last year’s Derby but took a dislike to the hedge for some reason, so I went home, built a hedge to train over and he’s fine now. This is the best chance I’ve ever had in the Derby, I just need to get him freshened back up and Feeling as good as he does today.”

For the second year running, Guy Williams claimed the Hickstead Masters Challenge – a speed and power ending with a series of white gates of ascending heights on the 14-year-old Casper De Muze.

“Casper is brave, careful and a very good gate jumper. He’s a grand prix horse demoted to a speed horse, so he wins a lot,” said Guy.

Hickstead-based Shane Breen Took second just 0.14 sec in arrears on Tango D’Ecry with Matt Sampson on Perfect Rouge in third. Twenty-six horses posted clears, with Douglas Duffin on Chiquito Z in fourth and Nicole Pavitt’s Areeb OL fifth. Zoe Adams took sixth with Satonamillion.

Rowan Willis headed the Ready Supp six-year-old championship on Flow Girl, just a tenth of a sec ahead of Ben Dunning with KS S Kannan Dee. France’s Julien Feuillerac on Don Gerhard took third ahead of Carron Nicol in fourth on Finnegan D. Chad Fellows finished fifth and sixth on Cassalfino and Foss.

Pippa Goddard topped the R&R Stevenson Jewellers five-year-old on the Cascall mare Toki II. They finished 0.28 sec ahead of Holly Broad, in second on the Vigaro/Phin Phin gelding Mannie 11. Seven horses produced double clears. Trevor Breen took third and fourth with Get Off and Zilton SL Z with Julian Mincher in fifth on Red Ladette. Jane Annett was sixth on Meadowvale Cruise with Pippa also seventh riding Zoon Van London.

Johnathan Bowman won the Magnus Deo 1.25m championship on Marcel Des Rosiers, a 16-year-old he bought as a three-year-old. They won with more than three sec to spare over Tristan Gray on Billy Boundary with Christopher Franks in third on Continue Baloo-Bay.

Photo © Jumping Around & Sian Hayden/Hickstead