Several hundred grassroots riders will now have the chance to compete at the prestigious Hickstead showground in Sussex. In September the home of the famous Hickstead Derby will host the finals of the Sunshine Tour UK, a national series of unaffiliated championships in three disciplines of dressage, showjumping and showing designed to encourage grassroots and unaffiliated riders to participate in competition. Qualifying classes for the finals will be held at venues throughout the UK during the next eight months.
“We are delighted to be hosting The Sunshine Tour UK championships, which will offer hundreds of unaffiliated riders the opportunity to compete here,” says Hickstead Director Edward Bunn who has recently created an all-weather arena and hard-standing for parking at the venue.
“We have been able to extend our season and ensure that many more people benefit from access to the wonderful facilities at the All England Jumping Course,”
The Sunshine Tour UK series was initiated in 2006 and last year more than 600 riders took part in the Championships, having qualified at equestrian centres, riding clubs, show centres and Pony Club events around the UK. Organisers are now keen to expand the series and qualifying dressage, showjumping and showing events are already underway across the country.
Riders who finish in the top six places at their event will qualify for the Championships at Hickstead.
“The Sunshine Tour offers a fabulous opportunity for unaffiliated riders to experience the fun and excitement of competition. We want to welcome as many people as possible, so we’re keen to team up with more venues right across the country,” says Rebecca Stansfield, Director of Sunshine Tour UK.
Riders who wish to enter should visit the Sunshine Tour UK website at www.sunshinetour.co.uk
The finals will be held at Hickstead on September 18