British riders John and Michael Whitaker and Olympic gold medallist Peter Charles lead the entry for the inaugural Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show on 1-3 January.

The new four-star show will be held at the Echo Arena in the Albert Dock area of the city.

“We want to bring equestrian sport to the heart of the city. We see this as our Olympic legacy. I watched the equestrian events in the heart of London at the 2012 Olympics and I wanted to bring that kind of world class sport to the north west of England,” said organiser Nina Barbour of Bolesworth International.

Riders will be competing for a prize fund of £160,000 over the three days.

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The British entry also includes Laura Renwick, Guy Williams, William Funnell, Robert Whitaker and William Whitaker.

The 2015 Bolesworth International grand prix champion Yazmin Pinchen is also heading to Liverpool.

There is a strong Irish challenge led by Billy Twomey and the Breen brothers, Shane and Trevor.

“My horses are all on form, and my aim next year is to get back into the top 30 in the FEI rankings. Liverpool has six world-ranking classes, so it’s important that I perform well,” said Billy.

Former Aachen grand prix champion Denis Lynch, Cameron Hanley and Dermott Lennon complete the Irish contingent.

Overseas entries include rising Italian force Emanuele Gaudiano, America’s Lucy Davies, exciting Belgian prospect Constant van Paesschen, Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, Norway’s Geir Gulliksen and Dutch rider Johnny Pals.

The show opens on 1 January with two sessions per day culminating in the Liverpool International Grand Prix on 3 January.

Each session has a performance from the ‘Bootleg Beetles’, stunt rider Clemence Faivre and features the Shetland Grand National.

Tickets start at £21.25 for adults, £16.70 for children. For more details visit www.liverpoolhorseshow.com