William Whitaker won the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard on board his nine-year-old dark bay Fandango. “It’s always fantastic to win at Hickstead. It’s my first time jumping here since the upgrade work – I thought the arena was good before, but it’s fantastic out there now,” he said.
William has had the ride on Fandango for just under a year, and the gelding is owned by William’s girlfriend’s parents. “He has a lot of potential, and the assets to go a long way,” he said.
The 22-year-old will jump Fandango again tomorrow in the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial, along with his other ride Animation, who he will ride in this year’s Carpetright Derby.
William’s uncle Steven was earlier victorious in the Stoner Jewellers Vase. It was the second year in a row that Steven had won the class on board Royal Rose, a 14-year-old chestnut stallion.
“He’s been on good form and has had a couple of international wins recently, so I expected him to go well. But you never know how the rest of the field is going to perform – he’s a stallion and a feisty little horse,” said Steven.
He has qualified for Saturday’s Bunn Leisure Speed Derby on Lolita, and will compete Locarno, formerly his daughter Ellen’s ride, in the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial tomorrow.