The reigning Olympic champion Nick Skelton may have hung up his boots, but there could be a Skelton in the Olympia winner’s enclosure once again — when the jockeys line up to compete in the Markel Champions Challenge on the Friday evening (1 December).
Nick’s son Harry Skelton is competing as part of Sir Anthony “AP” McCoy’s boys’ team, who will take on a squad of female jockeys in a battle of the sexes over a course of showjumps in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.
Lining up alongside AP and Harry is current champion jump jockey Richard Johnson, 2016 Flat champion jockey Jim Crowley and three-time champion Ryan Moore.
The now retired 20-time champion AP McCoy will hope to continue his Olympia winning streak in this, his third appearance in the contest in the Grand Hall.
“The Markel Champions Challenge is such a crowd-pleaser and we all love it,” he said. “I thought I would ‘retire’ after last year’s win but my kids had other ideas, so I’ll be back to beat the girls and claim another win.”
The team of girls, who have received showjumping training from William and Pippa Funnell, will be represented by captain Bridget Andrews, Lizzie Kelly, Hollie Doyle, Bryony Frost and Josephine Gordon.
Lisa Hancock, CEO of the Injured Jockeys Fund, said: “Olympia is becoming one of the highlights of the jockeys’ year, as they have so much fun. We can’t thank Markel enough for its continued support of the work we do, and we’re looking forward to being part of ‘Race Night’ again.”
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This is the fourth year of the Markel Champions Challenge at Olympia and is the feature of Friday’s ‘Race Night’ — an evening of race-themed entertainment in which spectators can also expect an appearance from Grand National-winning jockey Bob Champion.
This year’s show takes place from 17 to 23 December 2018 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall in London.
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