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Royal Horse Gala returns to London’s 02 Arena this September

A dressage display by five of the world’s top riding schools, takes place this September in the O2 Arena, London.

The Royal Horse Gala, over the weekend of 11/12 September, will include performances from 36 Lipizzaner, Lusitano, Andalusian, Arab and Friesian stallions. Riding schools taking part are the Lipica Stud, Spanish Riding School of Samuel Lopez at Albecete, Cabalos Espanoles, the Royal Stud of the Netherlands, and the Stud Farm Ismer in Germany.

The show was last seen in the UK in 1996, at the Birmingham NEC and Wembley Arena. Promoter Sarah Galbraith said this year’s Royal Horse Gala will be “even more spectacular, more exciting and more entertaining” than the sell-out 1996 show.

The Gala will include brightly dressed circus acts, horse ballet and group performances.

Highlights will be a long rein display by Raphael Lopez, Master Horse Trainer of the Caballos Espagnol, and a simulated “garrocha” — the Spanish cowboys’ method of mustering bulls with a long pole that has morphed into a highly skilled artistic performance.

Traditional schools, such as the Lipica — the former Royal and Imperial Hapsburg Stud founded in 1580 — will contrast with more modern riders, like the French horse whisperer Jean-Marc Imbert, who trains horses bareback using only his voice.

The three shows are more than two hours hours long, with matinee (3pm) and evening performances (8pm) on Saturday, 11 September, and a matinee on Sunday, 12 September.

Prices start at £20. For tickets call (0844) 8560202 or see www.kililive.com

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