On Saturday 24th July the weather was forecast to be raining with a strong possibility of thunderstorms. After the heatwave we have had, it was typical that this was set to blight our F&I day out at Hickstead. BUT, we were blessed with dry humid weather and no rain.
12 of us congregated first of all in the Members’ Enclosure, where everyone had access this year for the very reasonable price of your normal admission ticket.
Our Chairman Jillie Rogers BHSI made it across the water (from Ireland) to join us, but she went slightly astray giving an interview in the BHS tent, so very nearly missed the celebratory glass of Champagne we sneaked in! (Don’t worry, we saved her one!)
We watched the RIHS Southdown Stakes which was a CSI2* class whilst catching up on our “lost” year, then headed up to our tables in the Beethoven Suite overlooking the International Arena for lunch. We were happy to be joined by our host for the day, Alec Copeland, BHS Director of Education. There was a great choice on the menu, and service was swift, so we enjoyed a really lovely 3 course meal with good conversation and a glass (or two!) of wine.
This was a change from our normal Hospitality Box, but we were all very grateful to have this opportunity to meet up and be invited by the BHS/F&I Association into the upper tier of the Members’ Grandstand.
During lunch we watched the BMHS Miniature Horse Championship, the presentation of the Brereton Supreme Hack Championship, the Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry, then it was the Prenetics Castle Stakes, again a CSI2* followed by the final judging and presentation of the Small Hunter Championship.
Sadly we had to vacate our table to make room for others at 3pm, but that gave us time to go and see the other rings, where there was the usual mix of showing and showjumping.
Having access to all areas was much appreciated and we finished up in the Members’ Grandstand watching the RIHS 1.10m Amateur Championship which was a speed class. A wonderful opportunity for riders to ride at this height in the International Arena.
Thank you BHS and F&I for a really super day!
Report written by Sam Champney-Warrener BHSI