The All England Jumping Course will once again play host to the Hickstead Derby, one of the most iconic equestrian events in the world.
Originally founded in 1960 by the late Douglas Bunn, this will be the 51st running of the Derby, known officially as the British Jumping Derby Meeting, on the course that holds as much prestige as the horses and riders that compete.
Sky Sports will have exclusive coverage of the final three days of the event, featuring the showpiece event of the week, the Carpetright Derby, on Sunday, June 24.
At more than 1,195 metres in length, the All England Jumping Course boasts some fiendishly tricky jumps.
The aptly named ‘Devil’s Dyke’ is particularly imposing and yet, despite its difficulty, it is overshadowed by the Derby Bank.
With a ten foot six inch descent, the Bank is the biggest obstacle of its type anywhere in the world.
Given the plethora of potential pitfalls, it should come as no surprise that only three people have triumphed in the event four times and that no-one has been able to match Eddie Macken’s stunning run of four consecutive wins on the same horse.
Macken’s mare was the legendary Boomerang, the horse that now lends its name to the trophy that all those appearing in this year’s Derby hope to lift.
Last year, it was Olympic hopeful Tina Fletcher who achieved that accolade, becoming the first woman to triumph at Hickstead since 1973.
Hickstead has been delivering drama and excitement for over half a century and, this year, that proud tradition is set to continue with Sunday’s big race.
As well the event’s famous Carpetright Derby, the British Jumping Derby Meeting also hosts a full range of senior national showjumping classes, with something for nearly every calibre of affiliated rider.
All the action from the international stages of the competition will be screened live and in high-definition on Sky Sports.
The Hickstead Derby forms part of a busy and high-profile summer of equestrian sport, with the London 2012 Olympic Games just five weeks away.
Alex Hammond presents Sky Sports’ live coverage across all three days.
Sky Sports will also be screening exclusive coverage of the Longines Royal International Horse Show, also at Hickstead, which takes place on July 19-22.
.Friday 22nd June Day 3 – Incl. LED Sport Europe Hickstead Master’s Challenge LIVE – 3pm-5.30pm – Sky Sports 4 Highlights – 8pm-10pm – Sky Sports 4 Saturday 23rd June Day 4 – Incl. Bunn Leisure Speed Derby LIVE – 3pm-5.30pm – Sky Sports 4 Highlights – 9pm-11pm – Sky Sports 4 Sunday 24th June Day 5 – Incl. The Carpetright Derby LIVE – 2pm-5pm – Sky Sports 4 Highlights – 8pm-10pm – Sky Sports 4 . Visit the official website for more information on the 2012 Hickstead Derby – CLICK HERE . .