Emily Routledge Begins Her Week at the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting with Something to Celebrate

Thursday 20 June 2024

Emily Routledge Begins Her Week at the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting with Something to Celebrate

Surrey-based Emily Routledge began her week at the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting with something to celebrate, with a win in Thursday morning’s Hickstead Annual Grade C Championship, held in memory of Sarah Davidson.

“It’s my favourite show – it’s amazing,” said Emily, whose win came courtesy of the seven-year-old Mister Jones.

“He went a little bit green in there, because he’s not done much like that before, but he’s really good, and such a straightforward horse,” said Emily, who finished 13th last year at Lanaken in the Six-Year-Old World Championships with the son of Comme Il Faut. “He’s a pleasure to ride, and he has this really rare thing where he’s good enough for a professional but would be easy enough for an amateur – he’s just so simple. And so talented, which is really hard to find, so that's why I love him so much!”

Emily was a stalwart of the British Pony, Junior, and Young Rider eventing teams and rode at Badminton and Burghley on numerous occasions, before switching to showjumping full-time in 2019. But that background in eventing is something that, she says, is a great boon when tackling Hickstead’s capacious grass arena.

“I think having the horses with a good balance on the flat obviously helps them when you add in a big ring with a bit of an undulation,” says Emily. “It can be a really tricky ring – last year, I came here two months after having my last baby. It was my second or third show, and I was a disaster! I felt like I couldn’t ride – so I think it's also just being in the rhythm of it. Yesterday, the qualifier was on another grass ring on a bit of an incline, and that all prepares you to then be able to cope with how it feels in there when you go in.”

Now, Emily’s looking ahead to a week full of exciting up-and-comers, who she hopes will enjoy similar success and similar educational opportunities in their respective classes.

“I’m probably going to try and do the Foxhunter second rounds with Mister Jones on Sunday,” said Emily. “He’ll probably just have a day in the field tomorrow, and then a bit of flat work on Saturday to get ready. I have a couple of really nice young horses here for the rest of the week, just giving them all experience and producing them on, because I've been off with having children myself so most of my horses are young and on the way up. So it’s actually really nice, producing them here.”

The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting runs from 20-23 June at Hickstead in West Sussex. Tickets are available at the gate or can be booked online at www.hickstead.co.uk. All the action from the International Arena will be livestreamed on ClipMyHorse.TV and Hickstead.TV.

Image credit: Boots and Hooves Photography

 
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