UK top 10 head for Olympia

  • The 10 British riders who will be heading into battle with some of the world’s top names at the Olympia International Show Jumping Championships in London (18-22 December) have been named.

    British hopes at the pre-Christmas show will be carried by Britain’s current No.1 rider Robert Smith and three members of the Whitaker family — John, Michael and Robert — as well as Andrew Davies, Nick Skelton, William Funnell, Paul Barker, John Renwick and Keith Shore.

    In previous years three “wild-card” riders have also been given the chance to compete at Olympia through a pre-show qualifier, but this year only the top 10 riders on the BSJA’s official rankings list at 30 September have been invited to compete.

    Although there will be no female British riders in action, visitors to the show can look forward to seeing 26 top riders from countries throughout Europe, as well as the USA and Brazil, competing for a slice of the record £234,000 purse.

    It is expected that the riders who have narrowly missed out on qualification for Olympia, such as Guy Williams (raked 11th) and Mark Armstrong (ranked 12th) may be invited to take part if any of the foreign riders are unable to attend.

    Show director Simon Brooks-Ward told Horse & Hound: “I would love to have more British riders at Olympia, but stabling and parking limits mean that we can’t expand.”

    For more information about the show and to book tickets visit: www.olympiashowjumping.com.

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