Coming under starter’s orders for this year’s Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National at Olympia Horse Show are a whole host of familiar names following in the footsteps of their famous racing parents.
Among the brightest young names lining up for this year’s ultra-competitive contest at Olympia, the London International Horse Show (17-23 December) is Olive Nicholls, daughter of 10-time champion National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls. She rides the pint-sized racing Shetland Briar Tiffany.
Olive will be up against Alice Crowley, daughter of 2016 British Flat racing champion jockey Jim Crowley, who himself is a graduate of the Shetland Pony Grand National at Olympia.
Lucy Aspell, whose father Leighton won back-to-back Grand Nationals at Aintree in 2014 and 2015 riding Pineau De Re and Many Clouds, will be heading to the Grand Hall, Olympia, for the second year.
Nine-year-old Lucas Murphy is another blessed with racing genes as his father Timmy won the 2008 Grand National riding Comply Or Die. Up-and-coming jockey Lucas won a race at Chepstow racecourse earlier this month and heads to Olympia on Shelcroft Buttercup.
The fast and furious Shetland Pony Grand National is open to jockeys aged 8-14, who must be under 5ft tall. Past contenders who kick-started their racing careers at Olympia include Sam Twiston-Davies and Tom Garner. All proceeds go to The Bob Champion Cancer Trust.
The full field of runners and riders who have qualified to race at Olympia this year is as follows:
- Lucy Aspell riding Magherdartin Beeswax
- Alice Crowley riding Hillcroft Denzel
- Poppy Dadson riding Merkisayre Sea Duble
- Alfie Diaper riding Damerham Brair Lilly
- Archie Gubb riding Gruntness Inogee
- Daisy Harrap riding Cranford Fantastic
- Zak Kent riding Briar Smokey Joe
- Lucas Murphy riding Shelcroft Buttercup
- Olive Nicholls riding Briar Tiffany
- Madeline Reader-Smith riding Hollydell Poseidon
- Scarlett Thornton riding Broadspring Phantom
The medallists will take place in a celebratory parade on Thursday 20 December
The three-time Olympic gold medallist will ride her new star, Mount St John Freestyle
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Keep up to date with all the action from Olympia from 17-23 December right here on HorseandHound.co.uk with indepth reports on all the action in Horse & Hound magazine.