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A new era for Hickstead with historic Agria deal

Tuesday, 12 December 2023

Photo © Elli Birch/Boots and Hooves Photography Agria is the new sponsor of the Royal International Horse Show and the Nations Cup of Great Britain. Photo © Elli Birch/Boots and Hooves Photography.

Agria has today been announced as the new title sponsor of both the Royal International Horse Show, as well as the Nations Cup of Great Britain, at Hickstead. The Agria Royal International Horse Show will run from the 23-28 July 2024, with the Agria Nations Cup of Great Britain taking place on Friday 26 July. This year will see the 50th running of this historic competition at Hickstead.

The Royal International Horse Show was first held in 1907, making it one of the oldest events of its kind in the world – and it found a permanent home at Hickstead in 1992. The Nations Cup of Great Britain first took place in 1929, and has been held at Hickstead since 1971. But, despite being deeply rooted in the history of international showjumping, The Royal International Horse Show was not among the four events that earlier this year won forward with their bids to host the 2024-qualifiers in the FEI's new Nations Cup series Longines League of Nations – which meant it would have to go independent as a CSIO. With Agria as a new title sponsor, the future of this historic event and Nations Cup has now been secured.

Agria, an insurance company for horses, as well as pets, joined Hickstead’s stable of sponsors in 2023. “We are enormously grateful to Agria for increasing their support of Hickstead,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn in the press release. “Their contribution towards safeguarding the future of equestrian sport in this country cannot be underestimated. It is important for us to partner with sponsors who share our values particularly in respect of horse welfare in top class sport.”

“The past few months have been a period of great change, but it also presents a fabulous new opportunity for us,” said Bunn. “Agria coming on board as sponsor of the Nations Cup means we can now guarantee this hugely popular and iconic class will remain at Hickstead. It gives us much more freedom and flexibility, allowing us to take the class in the direction we and our international riders want, following the example of other fantastic independent Nations Cups in venues such as Spruce Meadows and Aachen.”

Agria UK’s CEO Vicki Wentworth added: “Agria is thrilled to become title sponsor of this historic show as we continue to spread the word about our game-changing lifetime insurance which has already made such an impact in Britain. Agria’s roots are in Sweden, a nation which is mad about showjumping, and it’s exciting to be so highly involved with the sport in Britain now too.”

British Chef d’Equipe Di Lampard, who led the British team to victory at this summer’s Hickstead Nations Cup, said in the press release: "It's fantastic news to hear that Hickstead has secured a sponsor for the Nations Cup. It's so important for British Showjumping that we have our own Nations Cup competition in this country, as well as having a five-star show to allow some of the top up and coming horses and riders to have their chance to compete on the international stage. Hickstead has always appealed to the animal-loving British public, so Agria seems tailor-made to sponsor this event."

Reigning Olympic champion Ben Maher, who was part of the winning Nations Cup team at Hickstead in 2023, added: “The Nations Cup is a very important competition, and growing up it was one of those classes that I always dreamt of being able to take part in. There's a lot of history surrounding the Royal International and the Nations Cup as a whole, so for Agria to be able to step in and secure the future of this event is great news for Hickstead, the sport of showjumping, and for us as a country.”

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