A brand new dressage extravaganza — a dry run for a possible future dressage World Cup qualifier in Britain — will take place at this year’s Olympia, sponsored by Horse & Hound.

Show director Simon Brooks Ward and his team have masterminded a gala dressage evening on Wednesday, 17 December. Its highlight will be a freestyle to music starring six international riders, and invitations have been sent to all the members of Britain’s European bronze medal-winning team.

Simon Brooks Ward says: “By hosting this gala dressage evening we will be in a position to consider hosting a World Cup qualifier in the future.

“This was one of our thoughts behind the creation of the gala. However, we also wished to acknowledge our dressage team’s success this year. Dressage is becoming increasingly popular, so we wanted to include this sport at Olympia.”

This is the first time in Olympia’s 32-year history that an extra performance has been added to the extremely popular five-day Christmas show.

Lucy Higginson, Editor of Horse & Hound, says: “Horse & Hound is delighted to support this dressage gala at Olympia. The British dressage team has marked itself this year as a force to be reckoned with at the Olympics next year, and the magazine is keen to pay tribute. This event should be fun, informative and spectacular.”

Ticket sales will help boost the Olympic dressage fund-raising campaign, with 50p from every ticket sold donated to this fund.

For further details and bookings, contact the box office (tel: 0870 733 0733) or visit www.olympiashowjumping.com.International visitors should contact (tel: 0044 115 912 9220).