Hickstead glory for Kirkby rider and his veteran horse

Kirkby rider Jordan Cook on his faithful 16-year-old horse, Fleetwater Xecutive, better known as Darcy. (PHOTO BY: Julian Portch)
Kirkby rider Jordan Cook on his faithful 16-year-old horse, Fleetwater Xecutive, better known as Darcy. (PHOTO BY: Julian Portch)

Delighted rider Jordan Cook, of Kirkby, has landed a prestigious showing championship at one of equestrianism’s most famous meetings.

Now he has earned a place at the Horse Of The Year Show, which is to be held at the NEC in Birmingham in October.

The five-day Hickstead Derby event in Sussex, which is in its 57th year and is sponsored by Al Shira’aa, attracted about 45,000 spectators. The show-jumping Derby itself was the main event, but classes in showing were also a big feature, and Cook saw off stiff competition to regain the Alltech Supreme Hack Champion title that he won in 2015.

The victory came courtesy of his long-term partner, 16-year-old Fleetwater Xecutive, better known as Darcy, whom he keeps at stables in Swanwick, Derbyshire. The pair qualified to contest the Supreme title, having already won the Small Hack Championship earlier in the day.

Cook said: “I love riding at Hickstead, which is my favourite show. It will be Darcy’s tenth consecutive Horse Of The Year Show, where he was champion in 2007, and I think we are going to retire him there this year to end on a high. I first got him as a six-year-old as a Christmas present, and we work together so well. He can be a bit spooky, but has got better with age.”