Spectators at this year’s Olympia, the London International Horse Show (12-18 Dec) will be treated to a head-to-head battle between two of the world’s greatest jockeys.

Twenty-time National Hunt champion Sir AP McCoy and Flat legend Frankie Dettori will be heading to the London venue to test their skills over a course of showjumps.

Last year, crowds witnessed the Markel Champions Challenge, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, which saw Frankie’s team defeat Richard Johnson’s band of jump jockeys in a relay contest against the clock.

This year, it will be AP who steps out of retirement to spearhead the opposition during Olympia’s Friday night “race night”.

Both Frankie, AP and their team members will receive specialist coaching from top international showjumpers in the run-up to the show down.

“Last year, I watched from the sidelines as my fellow jump jockeys got thrashed by Dettori’s boys, so this year I shall be picking my own team and shall be looking to the greats of the past to help me do this,” AP said. “Whilst we’ll be ultra-competitive, it’s all for such a great cause in the Injured Jockeys Fund.”

As two of the most successful jockeys in history, there is no doubt that Frankie and AP will be seeking to field the most competent team members, with their line-ups to be announced closer to the show.

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Juliet Redfern, managing director of Markel’s equine and livestock team said: “Markel are so pleased to continue its involvement with the Markel Champions Challenge. As a child I remember watching similar classes so having the opportunity to be involved in resurrecting this concept and bringing it to the public on the Olympia stage was really exciting.

“Over the past three years the success and support we’ve seen just keeps growing.”

“The jockeys love it as much as the audience,” said Lisa Hancock, CEO of the Injured Jockeys Fund. “It also serves to highlight the important work the Injured Jockeys Fund does in racing and across the wider equestrian world.”

Friday night at Olympia will witness an entire evening of racing-themed excitement. Spectators can also expect to see appearances from racing legend Bob Champion whose charity, The Bob Champion Cancer Trust, is supported by The Shetland Pony Grand National.

For tickets and more information about Olympia’s London International Horse Show, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com

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