7 bits of trivia to stash away ahead of Olympia

  • Thrilling showjumping, elegant dressage and more shopping you can shake the proverbial festive stick at — Olympia is the only place for horse lovers to be this week (16-22 December).

    The west London exhibition centre transforms in to an equestrian Aladdin’s cave for seven days — but do you know how many temporary stables there are? Or how much Champagne is guzzled?

    Let H&H enlighten you with some fun facts about the London International Horse Show.

    1. 400 horses and ponies will be in action
    Over the seven-day show, 400 horses and ponies will be in action in the famous Olympia great hall. From showjumping to dressage and demos, almost every equine base is covered. Valegro is sure to be a massive crowd-pleaser while Kauto Star fans will be able to see how his dressage career is progressing. And who will win the famous Christmas puissance….?

    2. 1,878 bottles of champagne will be quaffed
    Tis the season to be jolly…. 1,878 bottles of champagne will be quaffed throughout the show by thirsty horse lovers. If bubbles aren’t for you, 12,000 hot drinks are served to defrost chilly arrivals.

    3. 220 shops to enjoy
    Need a new rug? Or breeches? Or fake fur head band? No, nor do we but no doubt we’ll buy one anyway. With all that shopping at your finger tips the exhibition hall’s massive array of equestrian wear can prove just too tempting — particularly if you’re one that’s helped consume the aforementioned champagne. The sea of tweed, acres of rugs and the glitter of bling browbands will help speed you round the 220 shops in no time. We hope your wallets are ready.

    4. 11 Shetland ponies fly around the mini Grand National course every night
    “And he’s coming into the home straight…” Every night 11 Shetland ponies fly around the mini Grand National course, in a blur of coloured silks to the roar of the crowd. It’s where jockeys including Sam and Willy Twiston-Davies started out, and as the tiny racers charge over a diminutive Becher’s Brook it’s sure to be (nearly) as exciting as the real thing. Who’s your money on….?

    5. 276 stables will be put up
    276 stables will be put up to house the show’s visitors, while 32 tonnes of bedding will keep the equine stars comfortable for their stay in London. Add to that 50 bales of hay and 82 bales of haylage to munch on and it’s a veritable home from home. The roses of west London will be well-catered for too, a massive 360 cubic metres of horse poo is produced each year…

    6. 26 litres of snow fluid falls from the roof over the week
    We all know the arrival of Santa in the Olympia Finale is the official signal to the horse world that Christmas is here. As Father Christmas “ho-ho-hos” his way around the arena, 26 litres of snow fluid falls from the roof over the week to add to the North Pole illusion.

    7. 8,000 pizzas will be sold at Pizza Express
    And all that spectating is hungry work. After you’ve ridden every fence [from your seat] it’s time for refuelling. The onsite Pizza Express is a popular choice, and will sell 8,000 pizzas throughout the show. It’s ok though, everyone knows calories don’t count at Christmas…

    Olympia, the London International Horse Show, runs from 16-22 December. For tickets and information visit: www.olympiahorseshow.com

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