Autumn may have only just begun but the stage has already been set for the yearly Christmas spectacular at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. And there’s 30% off selected performances for readers of Horse & Hound
It wouldn’t be Christmas without Olympia, the London International Horse Show and a chance to see international action across three FEI disciplines, as well as all your favourite displays and the very best in festive equine shopping.
This year, Olympia has announced displays from French horse-whisperer Jean-François Pignon and crowd-favourite The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, who will be on show during every performance (so there’s no need to worry about missing out!). Each performance will also see action from the fast, the furious and the furry in the Shetland Pony Grand National and the Kennel Club Dog Agility from Wednesday 18 December to Sunday 22 December.
Jean-François Pignon is delighted to be returning to Olympia with his new act, ‘Black and White’.
He explains: “The idea for the display originally came from my vet, who asked me to work with these young mares who had never been handled by humans before. One year down the line and the idea is in full development and it is such a pleasure to be able to share this magic with an audience!”
The renowned Frenchman, who has been performing internationally for more than 30 years, has been training horses since he was 11 years old with his goal being to communicate with his horses on another level, by working with them in a natural way. He now educates people all over the world by demonstrating his methods.
The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, made up of 28 horses and 36 personnel, has been confirmed to headline this year’s impressive line-up of displays and performances. As the only mounted ceremonial service men and women who also serve as fighting soldiers, The Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is unique across the globe as it demonstrates exceptional horsemanship and the very best of British tradition. The drills will be carried out to music and performed in a routine that is strongly focused on precise timing and impeccable coordination.
Olympia week kicks off on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 December with two evening performances of international competition: the FEI dressage World Cup grand prix and FEI dressage World Cup freestyle to music.
On Wednesday, the first day of showjumping sees exciting action throughout the day with the Welcome Stakes, the Pony Club Mini-Major, the Santa Stakes and the Musto Inside Edge Stakes, ending with the classic Olympia Puissance class in the evening featuring the big red wall.
Thursday features Extreme Driving, supported by Karen and Hugh Scott-Barrett, as well as a selection of jumping classes in which to spot your heroes including the Snowflake Stakes, the LeMieux Six-Bar and the Champagne-Tattinger Ivy Stakes.
Friday sees more high-class jumping, as well as the first leg of two FEI Driving World Cup classes, and ‘race night’ – an evening of fun featuring the Markel Jockeys Jumping class in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.
Saturday plays host to two international competitions – the second leg of the FEI Driving World Cup, plus the €170,000 Longines FEI jumping World Cup, a thrilling competition which sees the best of the best in international showjumping competing for the top prizes.
Sunday rounds off the week with the BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux, The Turkish Airlines Speed Stakes and, of course, The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix.
Away from the action in the arena, the extensive shopping village of more than 200 exhibitors is definitely worth a visit to pick up some last-minute Christmas gifts and something for yourself too. Then make sure you end your Olympia experience with a visit from Santa in the Christmas Finale to send you merrily on your way to Christmas Day.
Horse & Hound ticket offer
We are delighted to offer Horse & Hound readers 30% off tickets for the Monday evening, Tuesday evening, Wednesday afternoon, Thursday afternoon, Thursday evening and Friday evening performances. (NB: Offer excludes top price tickets)
Book your tickets online at olympiahorseshow.com using the code HORSEANDHOUND or call the box office on 0844 995 0995.
What to watch at this year’s show
Here are just some of our highlights to look out for during this year’s show…
- The FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix and Freestyle to Music, supported by Horse & Hound (Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 evening performance)
- The FEI Driving World Cup (Friday 20 afternoon performance and Saturday 21 evening performance)
- The Markel Champions Challenge, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (Friday 20 evening performance
- The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping leg (Saturday 21 afternoon performance)
- The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix (Sunday 22 evening performance)
The Olympia Live Zone
With famous faces, informative talks and four legged friends, make sure that you take the time to check out the Olympia Live Zone during your visit. The Live Zone is located in the Winter Market on the gallery level of the shopping village and a timetable of events will be available on the Olympia website.