Harriet Nuttall gains a well deserved victory in the Hickstead speed Derby

Harriet Nuttall finally gained a well-seserved victory in Hickstead’s main arena, taking the Hickstead Speed Derby with Silver Lift.

Harriet was second no less than four times in major classes at the 2015 Hickstead Derby meeting, including the speed Derby – won by Guy Williams. This year Harriet claimed the top two places

Harriet had taken an early lead with first ride Highland Cruiser, but she added eight sec with two fences down, leaving her lead vulnerable. She beat her own time with Silver Lift to commandingly hold the top two.

“This is my first win [at Hickstead] so it’s a burden removed to be honest – Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn keeps saying I’m always the bridesmaid, never the bride,” joked Harriet.

Nicole Pavitt finished third on the Darco 17-year-old Welshman II. Joss Williams took fourth with his great campaigner Culmore Prospect, a 16-year-old mare who takes on puissance and the speed derby with enthusiasm that belies her years. Jordan Thompson was fifth on Christine Spanner's Topflight True Carlo with Paul Crago sixth on Valentino X.

Ireland’s Billy Twomey topped the Tom Hudson Derby trophy on Michael Bates’ Thomas, a Quidam De Revel nine-year-old. They won by 0.55 sec from the opening draw, beating Phillip Miller on Brendon Stud’s home-bred Unbelievable Darco daughter Unbelievable Lady.

“The ground was at its best when I went, so maybe I had an advantage going first, but I don’t think the conditions were too much of a factor because the jump-off ground felt great,” said Billy. “I know Phillip’s horse is fast and careful so I wanted to put down a decent marker.”

He has ridden Thomas for two months and finds him – “very straightforward but relatively inexperienced.”

Fellow Irishman Anthony Condon took third and fourth on Balzac and Aristio. And Ireland was also in fifth with Darryl Walker on Cushions. Henry Turrell took sixth on Blaze of Glory, just ahead of 2015 Queen’s Cup winner Chloe Winchester and Avoka Valkyrie.

Hickstead-based Shane Breen triumphed in the Beethoven seven and eight-year-old championship with the eight-year-old Stakkato Gold stallion Silbermond by 0.44 sec. A bunch of Brits followed closely, the nearest being Holly Gillott on PLS Halo Diamond. Nicole Pavitt was third on Gemmarco 16 with William Whitaker on Dublin V fourth and David McPherson in fifth and sixth on Dicas and Sirocco VII.

Ireland’s Enda Ivanhoff proved victorious in the Animo amateur championship, riding Quinsflight into a 0.55 sec win. Monica Ballard took second on Anemoon Van De Kapel with Chris O’Bryan and Cool Runnings in third. Heidi Sellar was fourth on Posh Totty, Charlotte Foreman took fifth with Tubbercurry Lass and Jack Moore was sixth on Annie Oakley II in the eight-strong jump-off.

Photos © Jumping Around & Sian Hayden/Hickstead