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‘We’ll still be able to provide some magic’: Olympia 2020 goes online 

Olympia, the London International Horse Show is bringing fans some “festive sparkle” this year with a virtual event.

Olympia Online launches today (17 November), culminating in five days of streaming on 16-20 December, with the final day hosting the ‘Ultimate Olympia Online Christmas Party’.

The free virtual experience follows the cancellation of this year’s live show owing to the coronavirus pandemic. The organisers announced on 14 September they had taken the “difficult decision” to cancel the event.

“We are delighted that despite the troubles of this year, we will still be able to provide some of that Olympia magic for our visitors – albeit online,” event director Simon Brooks-Ward told H&H.

“We have launched Olympia Online to help support our shops and tradestands in the run-up to Christmas, but also so the equestrian world can still enjoy their yearly Christmas party – we hope lots of fans will come together and join in the fun.”

A spokesman said from 16 December visitors will be able to tune into a daily livestream at 6pm featuring highlights of Olympia from years gone by, as well as new content.

“Viewers will be encouraged to host online parties to watch with their equestrian friends and recreate the unique Olympia Christmas atmosphere,” he said.

“Olympia Online will be backed by December’s social media campaign including a puissance wall on the Olympia Instagram feed, with each brick offering throwbacks, clips and chances to win a huge range of prizes from Olympia’s many exhibitors.”

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The spokesman said visitors can win anything from a bucket of horse treats to a magnum of Champagne Taittinger, to an exclusive equine photo shoot worth £700.

“With 20 days of Advent calendar competition to get involved there are over £8,000 worth of prizes on offer,” he said.

The full programme will be available in due course but highlights will include footage from “classic Olympia moments” including camel racing, the fancy dress competition, ride and drives, Valegro’s 2016 retirement, Milton’s winning rounds, Nick Skelton’s world record high jump with Lastic in 1978 and “so much more”.

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