Riders from nine nations are expected to appear at Britain’s first World Cup dressage qualifier since 1996, at the renamed and extended Olympia, The London International Horse Show. The pre-Christmas show now runs across five days/seven evenings (14-20 December).

Big names due to travel from abroad to take part in the World Cup dressage qualifier — which has a prize-fund of £21,700 — include Olympic bronze medallist Beatriz Ferrer-Salat from Spain and members of the German gold medal-winning team such as Heike Kemmer and Hubertus Schmidt. A strong British contingent is expected among the total entry of 22.

Last year’s “trial run” of dressage to music, staged on the Wednesday evening, was hailed a success by organisers, spectators and the six riders who took part, and paved the way for this year’s fixture.

The grand prix takes place on the Tuesday and the kür — which will be preceded by displays from the Barcelona and Metropolitan Mounted Police — on the Wednesday.

The show, which attracted 90,000 visitors last year, supports two main charities: the Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy and Racing Welfare.

Doors open around an hour before the evening dressage performances on the first two days and discounts are available on tickets for spectators attending both dressage evenings.

The shopping village is not open on the Tuesday, and no displays or show jumping take place on Tuesday, when tickets cost £12.50. Adult rates for performances from Wednesday to Monday are £16-£39. Senior citizens, children and groups qualify for a discount.

For details and to book (tel: 0870 733 0733) or visit: www.olympiahorseshow.com

  • This story was first published in Horse & Hound (28 October ’04)


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