Posted 11 June 2012 by Andrew Gardner
Hickstead is a fabulous international equestrian venue right on our doorstep in Sussex and in the midst of everything we do with our Sussex holiday rentals. This month something really special is happening, and it's free, yes a day out on holiday for nothing!.
On 18-19 June, the All-England Jumping Course at Hickstead hosts the British Para Dressage Championships – a major event in itself, but this year it's also the final Olympic selection event. The organisers want lots of supporters there to boost the para dressage profile and help the squad (both human and equine) get a feel for the atmosphere of a major show. The entry list includes top riders Sophie Wells, Natasha Baker, Anne Dunham and Sophie Cristiansen, as well as nine-times gold medallist Lee Pearson.
The competition will be first class, the Paralympians would love your support, you'll have a lovely day out in the midst of the South Downs and you won't even have to pay to get in. As Sussex boy Ray Mears always says at the end of his programmes, it doesn't get any better than that.
And still in an equestrian frame of mind, don't forget the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup polo series runs from 19 June-15 July at Cowdray Park . Cowdray is very close to the lovely market town of Midhurst and we have a wonderful selection of country cottages in the area, as well as executive-style holiday cottages that make the perfect base for entertaining corporate clients. If you haven't already found somewhere to stay, try our Late-availability accommodation page for ideas.
If you've been to polo before you'll know the thrill and the adrenaline rush very well. There's nothing quite like sipping bubbly next to the pitch as the ponies charge by and rushing out to tread the divots between chukkas. If you haven't been yet, put a picnic party together and make a day of it. You don't always need to book in advance, although it's often advisable to for major tournaments. Dressing up is not compulsory but it does add to the fun!