Jockeys to go head to head over showjumps at Olympia

  • Jump jockeys will be going head-to-head against their Flat counterparts once again at this year’s Olympia (13-19 December).

    Champion Flat rider Frankie Dettori and newly crowed National Hunt champion Richard Johnson are the team captains in the Markel Champions Challenge.

    The event is raising funds for the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF), H&H’s charity of the year.

    The jockeys will compete in teams of three over a timed relay showjumping course.

    The challenge, first run in 2014, takes place during the Friday evening performance (16 December).

    The captains will be selecting their teams over the coming months, with the final line-up announced in the autumn.

    “We are delighted to see the return of the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund,” said Lisa Hancock, the charity’s chief executive.

    “The 2014 event was a great success and helped raise awareness of the important work we do at the IJF in supporting injured jockeys and their families.”

    AP McCoy helped secure the jump riders’ success in the debut running (pictured, above).

    Each team had coaching from a top rider. The jump team was helped by Andrew Nicholson and the flat team by Ben Maher in the first event. This year’s trainers are yet to be announced.

    “We are looking forward to seeing the top jockeys once again demonstrating their equine skills in the Olympia Exhibition Hall in an event which was one of the highlights of the 2014 show,” said Simon Brooks-Ward, director of Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

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    “With likes of Frankie Dettori and Richard Johnson involved this year, it is sure to be another great spectacle which will wow the audience.”

    Juliet Redfern, Markel’s managing director, said the insurer was “thrilled to be supporting this exciting event at Olympia for a second time” and hopes it raises a large sum for the IJF.

    Since it was founded in 1964, the IJF has spent over £18m helping 1,000 jockeys. For more information, visit the charity’s website, and to donate, click here.


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