Prepare for festive fun at Olympia

  • Guy Williams, Mark Armstrong and Tim Stockdale have received late invites to the Olympia International Show Jumping Championships (17-22 December), which brings the number of home riders to 13 — the same number as in previous years.

    They will be competing alongside British number one, Robert Smith, and three members of the Whitaker family, Michael, John and Robert. World Cup champion Marcus Ehning will lead the foreign challenge, alongside Jos Lansink, Ludo Philippaerts and Peter Charles to name but a few.

    World number one Markus Fuchs, who is currently unable to ride due to an injury, is expected to be taking an active part in the show, but on two legs rather than four.

    Showing supremes

    Alongside top class international show jumping, visitors can look forward to watching native ponies contesting the prestigious NPS/Baileys Horse Feeds championship, equine OAPs going head-to-head in the Veteran Horse Society’s Veteran Horse of the Year title, and the colourful SEIB British Riding Clubs quadrille.

    Shop til you drop

    This festive event is always popular for its shopping and this year’s show will prove no exception with the shopping village extended to two tiers. Shoppers should make sure you stop at the Horse & Hound stand, by the main entrance to the Great Hall (stand SJ8).

    One lucky visitor will win a “lesson of a lifetime” from such equestrian superstars as Richard Davison, John Whitaker or Mary King. Visitors can also enter our exclusive Harry Hall competition to win £500 of clothing. Great discounts and gift incentives will be on offer to readers who wish to take out a subscription.

    Festive entertainment

    Olympia is as famous for its fantastic entertainment as it is for its top class jumping. This year’s event includes the crowd-pleasing Pedigree Dog Agility Stakes and Shetland Grand National, which this year will raise funds for The Pony Club.

    Spectators will be treated to the “Celtic Dance”, a display choreographed by Jennie Loriston-Clarke of eight grand prix riders and horses performing to a blend of Gaelic tunes as well as the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, which returns to this year’s show with a new display.

    Those not lucky enough to make it to the show will have the opportunity to watch the Sony Ericsson World Cup Qualifier Live on BBC2’s Sunday Grandstand and a comprehensive Eurosport schedule will cover all the main classes.

  • Click here to view the complete timetable.

    For further information contact the box office (tel: 0870 733 0733) or visit: www.olympiashowjumping.com

  • Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s comprehensive preview of Olympia in the current issue (11 December).
  • Sport presenters Andrew Castle and Julia Bradbury will hold a live chat from Olympia on Thursday 18 December from 2:30pm to 3pm. To submit questions, email questions@webchats.co.uk. To access the chat, visit www.webchats.co.uk or visit Horse & Hound Online later in the day for a full transcript. The show will also be broadcast on British Eurosport from 18 to 22 December.
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