Olympia Horse Show offers a wonderful opportunity to entertain — or to be entertained – at the height of the festive season. There are 33 hospitality boxes available around three sides of the indoor arena, offering excellent views of the action.
Dressage enthusiast Shirley Rixon, director of Twyford Mill Equestrian, has enjoyed Olympia for the past 30 years, and booked boxes for the past 15.
“Every two to three years we book a box. We’ve been very lucky as we’ve always been in a box when something spectacular has happened – from Totilas knocking everyone’s socks off to Charlotte breaking the world record to the retirement of Valegro.
“The organisation is slick, the food is good and it’s just lovely to get all dressed up for the occasion. Christmas starts with Olympia — it’s just magical.”
How much does a box cost?
Boxes are available for both daytime and evening performances. A box for 12 starts at £1,620 + VAT and includes entrance to the grand hall, shopping village and gallery level, the private box for the duration of the performance, a meal (either the two-course lunch, buffet lunch, four-course dinner or the buffet supper), up to three car parking passes for the Olympia multi-storey car park, one show programme per guest, and if you’ve booked the dinner package, a glass of Taittinger Champagne on arrival.
Additional guest badges can be purchased, taking the total number of guests to a maximum of 18. These are charged at a per-person rate starting at £135 + VAT.
It’s a special occasion – can we personalise our package?
Of course! Add ons include canapés, birthday cakes, bar nibbles, Danish pastries to have mid-morning, all billed as an optional extra.
What about booze?
The majority of box owners will pre-order a drinks package and top up on the night by ordering direct from their waiting staff. The basic drinks package (£240.50 + VAT) includes three still waters, three sparkling waters, 10 beers, six soft drinks, three red wines, three white wines and some bar nibbles.
Is there a dress code?
For the afternoon performances the dress code is smart but informal. For the evening performances gentlemen should wear a dinner jacket and ladies should wear a smart cocktail dress or evening trousers and jacket.
Can I bring my children?
Olympia is very much a family show, especially in the afternoon when the boxes are full of children. There is a children’s menu aimed at 12-year-olds and under which includes dishes such as meatballs and spaghetti, chicken goujons, fish n’ chips, ice cream sundaes and chocolate brownies.
If young children start to fidget, expect colour pencils and colouring in books to appear, keeping them occupied in the corner while you enjoy the show.
Is there any etiquette I should be aware of?
Without stating the obvious – don’t be too loud when a class is on. The riders (and horses) are in the zone.
Your complete guide to purchasing tickets ahead of the Olympia Horse Show 2018
How do I book a box?
The previous year’s box owner is always offered the chance to renew their box before it goes on general sale in the summer.
For further information contact Frances Cass at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44(0) 1753 847900.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday