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Grand Hall stands empty but Olympia magic is online from today

The Grand Hall at Olympia may be standing empty and silent this week, but fans can enjoy some of the Olympia magic from today (16 December).

The event, which should have run from today until Monday, was cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic. So organisers have put on Olympia Online instead.

Every day at 6pm, a new streamed performance will be uploaded on the Olympia website, including new interviews and footage from past performances.

Today’s stream features a “dressage unwrapped” masterclass, including Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin, Gareth Hughes, Stephen Clarke, Richard Davison, Pippa Funnell and Dickie Waygood, and a throwback to Valegro’s emotional 2016 retirement ceremony.

Tomorrow focusses on “the next generation” with a look at Olympia’s young riders, the Turkish Airlines grand prix, the Devil’s Horsemen display and the Barcelona mounted police.

Friday’s performance includes the Shetland Pony Grand National, the Ukrainian Cossacks, World Cup driving and jockeys swapping saddles in a showjumping challenge.

On Saturday, the Olympia grand prix will feature, along with the musical ride of the Household Cavalry, horse whisperer Santi Serra, the jumping World Cup and a new “heroes of Olympia” feature with David Broome and William Funnell.

Sunday (20 December) will be the “ultimate equestrian Christmas party”, with “extreme driving”, the best of Olympia including fancy dress jumping, the Metropolitan Police and “royalty in a camel race”, not to mention riders’ Christmas messages and a look at the puissance.

Each stream will be available for 24 hours, and each performance concludes with the traditional Christmas finale.

Nick Brooks-Ward, the “voice of Olympia”, told H&H: “Although, of course, we’re incredibly sad not to be there in the Olympia halls this year, we are delighted with the response to Olympia Online.

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“We have received Christmas messages from riders all around the world, who have really got into the festive spirit – and we’re hugely pleased to be releasing some new interviews with the likes of David Broome, William Funnell, Carl Hester, Richard Davison and some of the brilliant younger riders who have come through Olympia.

“Released at 6pm every evening, it’s a fantastic way to mark what would have been the week of the show – and we are all very much looking forward to seeing everyone back in the halls in 2021 for our 50th year.”

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