Top veterans head for Olympia

  • This year’s top veterans from around the country will be fighting it out for the Veteran of the Year title at Olympia

    Veteran owners and riders now have a top class championship to look forward to at one of the UK’s most prestigious indoor equestrian events – the Olympia International Show Jumping Championships (19-23 December) in London.

    The Veteran Horse Society(VHS) and Super Solvitax’s Veteran Horse/Pony of the Year supreme final will take place at Olympia on Sunday 22 December.

    Overall champions from 11 UK regions will go forward to the Olympia finals where they will be asked judged by apanel, including VHS founder Julianne Aston.

    “We will be judging each of the horses on their personality, condition, movement and conformation bearing in mind their age and history,” explains Julianne.

    “We realise it will be difficult to judge a 30-year-old riding school pony shown in hand against an 18-year-old former show horse under saddle for example, but we believe our marks scheme will ensure the right veteran claims the prestigious supreme veteran of the yeartitle.”

    The supreme champion will walk away with the Minty Memorial trophy, plus a range of prizes, including a year’s free membership of the VHS, Super Solvitax products and champion’s rug.

    “We hope that this showing series will demonstrate to the whole equestrian community that horses and ponies can continue to live useful and happy lives well beyond their 15th birthday,” says Caroline Griffin of the VHS national show office.

    About the qualifiers

    The VHS qualifying competitions are separated into the following six classes:

    • Pre-Veteran 15-19yrs (Horse or Pony) In Hand or Ridden
    • Veteran 20-29yrs (Pony) In Hand
    • Veteran 20-29yrs (Horse) In Hand
    • Veteran 20-29yrs (Pony) Ridden
    • Veteran 20-29yrs (Horse) Ridden
    • Golden Veteran 30yrs+ (Horse or Pony) In Hand or Ridden

    Most of the area qualifying competitions have already taken place with the top two members in each class going forward to the regional championships, from where just one horse or pony will qualify for Olympia.

    All horses qualifying for the supreme final will have to be certified by a vet that they are fit to travel to London.

    “We are aware of the difficulties associated with travelling older animals and are insisting that every finalist has written approval by a vet that the horse is fit and able to travel what, in some cases, will be extremely long distances,” explains Julianne.

    To find out more about the competition call (tel: 01905 621900) or visit www.veteran-horse-society.co.uk.

    For tickets and information about Olympia call the box office (tel: 0870 733 0733) or visit www.olympiashowjumping.com

    Read more veteran advice:

    You may like...