It is the equestrian Christmas extravaganza of the year — whether it is watching exciting showjumping action, indulging in the shopping or marveling at the dressage — Olympia is the place to be this week for every horse enthusiast.
But do you know exactly what it takes to transform the venue into the spectacle we all enjoy? H&H reveals the facts and figures from the London International Horse Show (15-21 December 2015).
1. Watch 400 equines in action
Throughout the seven-day show more than 400 horses and ponies will take to the Olympia arena, competing in showjumping, dressage, showing and more. A total of 230 horseboxes will be used to transport the equine stars into London.
2. Top riders will be among the 300 competitors
Across the disciplines, there will be an almighty 300 riders competing during the show — 66 of which are FEI competitors.
3. That’s a lot of horse poo!
The horses will reside in more than 285 temporary stables put up inside the venue. Some 50 bales of hay and a further 85 bales haylage will be munched on — while the horses will sleep on a total of 32 tonnes of bedding. Finally, a rather smelly fact — 360 cubic metres of horse poo is produced each year…
If you can’t make Olympia this year, there are plenty of ways to keep up with all the action
4. The people working behind the scenes…
There will be eight vets on duty during Olympia, ensuring the well being of the equine visitors, while two farriers will tend to any shoeing needs.
5. 220 shops to indulge in
Whether you are buying a Christmas present for your horse, dog or maybe just treating yourself to something new, Olympia’s popular shopping village is the place to be. With an array of tweed, plenty of bling and all the riding gear you will ever need, 220 shops cater for every visitor — just don’t forget your wallet!
6. See the Shetland ponies go head-to-head
Watch out for any future star jockeys — a total of 11 ponies will go to post with their diminutive riders in this year’s Shetland Pony Grand National. A blur of colour will fly around the mini jumps each day.
7. Don’t forget the canine stars
102 dogs will compete in the agility classes over a course of 10 obstacles.
8. 8,000 pizzas will be sold
With so much going on, you will also need to find time to eat. With a variety of food outlets, you don’t want to be counting the calories at Olympia — the onsite Pizza Express will sell 8,000 pizzas and 3,565 glasses of coke.
9. A festive finale
26 litres of fake snow will fall during the show’s closing finale each night. A total of 24 dancers will keep everyone entertained, while two Father Christmas costumes will be used.