The Sports Archives – Planning The Hickstead Derby Meeting

show jumping

Hickstead is an event that takes a lot of planning – from selecting staff to ensuring that there’s enough power to keep things running smoothly.

The Hickstead Derby Meeting is regularly cited as one of the most important show jumping events on the equestrian calendar. Riders from all over the world come to compete on its famous course, which features the Hickstead Bank, one of the most difficult jumps they can expect to face. It also draws huge spectator crowds too.

Last year around 35,000 people attended the show over the course of four days; a phenomenal success for the organisers of the event. Of course, with such large attendance figures comes a need for meticulous planning – so how much preparation is required for an event like this?

Staff and officials

Stewards, programme sellers and admissions staff are all firm fixtures at big events, but Hickstead needs more specialist staff too. At a show-jumping event archives such as this, there need to be a certain number of officials present. These include a Course Builder, a judge and writer, Tack Inspector, commentators and a time judge, among others.

The health and safety of spectators, competitors and everyone else involved in a show of this scale is incredibly important too. A Safety Officer will therefore be placed in charge of these proceedings. They should have the appropriate knowledge and experience, and consider health and safety at every stage of the event.


The facilities on offer at the event take a lot of organising too. First of all, there’s seating for the spectators. Then there are hospitality areas – some of which may feature temporary structures, such as marquees.

Food and drink help to make a great good day, so caterers need to be selected too. Food needs to be prepared in areas that comply with the all the current hygiene regulations, and a licence is needed to sell alcohol. An event of this scale needs to have an adequate amount of medical supplies available, and fully trained First Aid personnel to provide treatment to anyone who needs it.

Last but not least are the toilets. Not particularly glamorous, we know – but an essential facility to have! Modern portable toilets are of such a high standard that they are on par with toilets in the finest hotels. Many have music, an array of soaps and moisturizers, hot air hand driers and they never run out of toilet paper!

All the hard work is worth it in the end

Once everything is up and running, it’s easy to forget just how much work can go into putting on a large event like this. Whether you watch it on TV or attend in person, your attention is probably going to be on the riders and their horses – not the work of the organisers!

Without all of this planning and hard graft, Hickstead would not be able to go ahead. When the winners are announced and everyone leaves after having a fantastic time though, it’s all worth it. Now, is it too early to start planning next year?

Featured images:


An event like this needs a lot of power, which is where Templant come in. We’re providing the power generators for this year’s Hickstead Derby Meeting, so that both the competitors and attendees can enjoy the event as much as possible. Our services include complete event power design, support throughout the event and of course, fully qualified electricians carrying out the work. For such a prestigious event, a constant power supply from start to finish is essential.

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