Paul Beecher became the first Irish winner of England's famous Hickstead Derby in nine years today.

Beecher went clear in a two horse jump-off, riding the Spring Elegance gelding Loughnatousa W B.

With 31 starters at Hickstead, only Beecher and Britain's William Funnell, aboard the Irish Sport Horse Dorada, managed a zero score in the first round of the traditionally gruelling course, but when the Irish rider went clear again Funnell did not complete the second round and retired.

Beecher, who came 13th in last year's Hickstead Derby, collected €42,000 for his win today, and also saw fellow Irish riders feature strongly in the top ten finishers.

David O'Brien with Mo Chroi was one of six combinations who tied for third place, as was Trevor Breen and Adventure de Kannan.

Shane Breen and the KEC Alicante was one of eight who tied for tenth place, along with Gerard Clarke and the Kellswater Crimson. Shane Breen also piloted the stallion Balloon into equal tenth.