In the video below, Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester reveal what makes Olympia so magical and unique for them by divulging their fondest memories of the show

If a lack of shopping and missing out on the full Olympia Christmas experience has put you off attending on the opening night of Olympia, The London International Horse Show (16-22 December) in the past, then take note.

The show kicks off on Tuesday 16 December this year with the shopping village open from 2pm and a packed evening of entertainment in the main hall. A full program of displays will be running alongside the Reem Acra FEI World Cup dressage grand prix, supported by Horse & Hound, for the first time.

This year’s headline acts include the spectacular Ukrainian Cossack Stunt Riders and the breath-taking Metropolitan Police Activity Ride. In addition, the crowd-pleasing Shetland Pony Grand National and the Olympia Finale will also form part of Tuesday night’s performance.

Olympic team gold medallist Carl Hester said: “The grand prix is a great competition to watch. We have to qualify to ride in Wednesday’s freestyle to music by performing well in Tuesday’s grand prix, which is more technically difficult. It’s especially good if you watch both days of competition because on freestyle day you can see how we enhance our program from one test to the next.”

The World Cup grand prix on the opening night will be followed by the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Freestyle to Music, supported by Horse & Hound, on Wednesday evening. Last year, double Olympic gold medallists Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro sent the Olympia audience into raptures when smashing the freestyle world record with their London 2012 floor plan and music.

Charlotte said: “This year I have a new freestyle routine and I actually think this music is better and my floor plan is harder, so if I can get it all right on the night it could possibly beat my world record. But obviously saying it and doing it are two different things. Either way I always look forward to being at Olympia.”

Former world champion dressage rider Imke Schellekens-Bartels will be in the commentary box to give expert insight and opinion on all the dressage performances. The two-time Olympian will join regular commentators Nick Brooks-Ward and Mike Tucker in guiding the crowd through all the action.

For more information and to purchase tickets online visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.