Top Brits including Maher, Brash and Whitaker to take on world’s best at Olympia

Top British showjumpers including the 2018 joint puissance winners will be out in force at Olympia, The London International Horse Show (16 to 22 December) as they battle competition including six of the world’s top 10 riders across the week.

Ben Maher, Scott Brash, Robert and William Whitaker, Guy Williams, Laura Renwick, Holly Smith and William Funnell are among the riders set to compete in this year’s classes.

A spokesman for the show said Guy Williams will be looking to retain his puissance title following a thrilling five-round contest in 2018 in which he and Mr Blue Sky finished equal first with French rider Mathieu Billot on Dassler.

“Williams, notorious for his speed against the clock, will be sure to have the home crowd on their feet throughout the week, as he takes on old rivals William Funnell and Laura Renwick, both of whom are also renowned for their speed and agility,” said the spokesman.

“Robert Whitaker is another to come to this year’s show high in confidence following his World Cup victory in Helsinki. He will be joined by Holly Smith, a member of the 2019 European Championship bronze medal-winning team which secured Great Britain their ticket for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.”

British young riders Emilly Moffitt, Amy Inglis, Harry Charles and James Wilson will also compete, all of whom have represented Britain on senior Nations Cup squads this season.

The Brits will face tough competition from world number one and two Swiss riders Steve Guerdat and Martin Fuchs.

“Steve Guerdat will be returning to London, the scene of his 2012 Olympic individual gold medal, looking to ride out a spectacular season on a high,” said the spokesman.

“Germany will also be sending a strong contingent, headed by world number three Daniel Deusser, a recent winner at the CSI5* in Prague, alongside Christian Ahlmann, currently ranked ninth in the world and always a consistent performer at Olympia. Adding to the German line-up is show jumping legend Marcus Ehning, who will be vying for a victory to round off a successful 2019 season.

Three riders will attend from Belgium including world number six Pieter Devos,

“Pieter is sure to mount a strong challenge following his recent victory in the World Cup of Stuttgart. He will be joined by his 2019 European Championship gold medal winning teammate Jos Verlooy, along with Niels Bruynseels and Olivier Philippaerts,” said the spokesman.

“Flying the flag for the USA is World Equestrian Games team gold medalist Laura Kraut.”

Show director Simon Brooks said the show had received an “outstanding” list of entries.

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“We are very much looking forward to welcoming the world’s best to the show for what is set to be another fantastic competition,” he said.

“It’s rare for British fans to have the opportunity to witness so many quality athletes under one roof and we’re really excited to see how the action unfolds.”

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

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