Category Archives: Olympia

Top Influencers to Attend London International Horse Show

The London International Horse Show ‘Live Zone’ is set to return for the 2021 edition, from 16-20 December, featuring more stars than ever. The Live Zone presents an exciting opportunity for fans and spectators to meet and interact with their favourite equestrian influencers, riders, and celebrities and this year will host talks, Q&A sessions, and interviews.

Social media sensation ‘This Esme’ returns to the London International Horse Show for the third time and will be in attendance at the Live Zone on Sunday 19 and Monday 20 December. Esme is one of the world’s most popular equestrian influencers; her career took off whilst documenting her life with her ponies and donkeys. Her engaging personality and lifestyle have seen her YouTube channel ‘This Esme’ reach over 600,000 subscribers and over 160 million views, as well as gaining a spectacular 7.8 million likes on TikTok and 272,000 followers on Instagram.

Speaking in anticipation of her appearance at the Show, Esme said: “I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be back at the amazing London International Horse Show for the third year running. Christmas just wasn’t Christmas last year without it, so I can’t wait to experience the spectacle, the Show, and of course the shopping at the London International’s new home at the Excel. It’s so exciting to be at this wonderful new venue, and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever!”

International Dressage rider, content creator, and influencer Erin Williams makes her debut as part of the Live Zone line-up for 2021. The six-time Youth European Dressage rider and owner of the clothing brand ‘Black Heart Equestrian’ has amassed an impressive 441,000 Instagram and 3.8 million TikTok followers. She has recently been dubbed the ‘most followed female equestrian on social media worldwide.’ Williams will be at the Show on Thursday 16 December.

Fan favourite, the ever-popular Teddy the Shetland, returns to the London International Horse Show on Friday 17 December and Saturday 18 December for a ‘meet and greet’ and photo opportunities. The miniature Shetland, who has over 160,000 Instagram followers and 2.2 million likes on TikTok, has become a social media superstar and even spent the summer in residence at The Goring Hotel in London meeting his fans.

Also in attendance are eventing and lifestyle influencers Megan Elphick, Tina Wallace, Emily Dunstan, and Lucy Robinson, who will be appearing on the Live Zone on Friday 17 December. The quartet’s content covers everything from schooling to stable care, alongside plenty of light-hearted action and challenges.

Alongside the exclusive opportunity to meet some of the biggest equestrian influencers in the world, the Live Zone presents a unique chance to hear from and meet elite equestrian athletes. These will include international competitors from Show Jumping, Dressage, and Driving as well as specialist equestrian experts, and guest appearances from other stars of the Show. Past guests have included Ben Maher, Charlotte Dujardin, and Clare Blading. The complete 2021 timetable will be announced in due course.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “The London International Horse Show is hugely excited to announce the return of the ever-popular Live Zone. We recognise the importance and growth of social media influencers and digital bloggers, so we are delighted to be welcoming more influencers than ever before. We want to enable our visitors to have an unforgettable experience interacting with their favourite stars.”

More information about The London International Horse Show, including how to buy tickets to be part of this exclusive Olympic celebration, can be found here.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com

Household Cavalry Leads the Charge for London International Horse Show

The London International Horse Show, taking place at ExCeL London from 16-20 December 2021, will host performances from the Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment as part of the spectacular schedule of equestrian action across the five-day Show.

Organisers have confirmed the attendance of the much-loved Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, made up of 28 horses and 36 personnel, adding to the diverse range of equestrian activity already planned. As the only mounted ceremonial soldiers who also serve as fighting soldiers, the Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is unique globally as it demonstrates exceptional horsemanship and the very best of British tradition. The drills, which are based on movements mounted soldiers would have historically used in battle, will be carried out to music and performed in a routine that is strongly focused on precise timing and coordination.

The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry will join the roster for each performance, which also includes scintillating action from The Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

In addition to the breath-taking display acts, spectators will be treated to world-class competitive action, including FEI World Cup competitions in three disciplines: Dressage, Driving, and Show Jumping. The traditional crowd favourites, The Puissance and The London International Horse Show Grand Prix, will also take their place at ExCeL London, featuring the world’s best show jumping horse and rider combinations, with the next generation of riders set to star in The Mini Stakes and The U25 British Championship.

Show Director Simon Brooks‐Ward said: “We are delighted to be welcoming The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry to The London International Horse Show 2021. They are always a firm favourite amongst the crowd, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store this year.”

Captain William Long of The Life Guards said: “The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is thrilled to be returning to the London International Horse Show. It will be very exciting to perform at the Show’s new venue, the ExCeL, this year.  It is always a privilege to take part in the show and truly does signal the start of the festive period.”

More information about The London International Horse Show, including how to buy tickets, can be found here.

The London International Horse Show
www.londonhorseshow.com
Niki McEwen / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

Team GB Olympic Medallists to Parade at London International Horse Show

In a tribute to the outstanding achievements of the British equestrian athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, The London International Horse Show will welcome the Team GB Olympic and Paralympic Equestrian heroes in a celebratory parade, which will take place during the afternoon performance on Friday 17 December.

Leading the way will be Individual Show Jumping gold medallist, Ben Maher, who adds a Tokyo medal to his Team gold at the London Olympics in 2012. Maher will be joined by the gold medal-winning Eventing team of Oliver Townend, Laura Collett, and Tom McEwen. After a fantastic performance across all three phases, the team secured Great Britain’s first Eventing Team title for 49 years. 30-year-old McEwen then went on to claim the Individual silver medal with a foot-perfect performance aboard Toledo De Kerser.

Despite an inexperienced team of horses heading to Tokyo for the Dressage, the British team, comprising Charlotte Dujardin, Charlotte Fry, and Carl Hester, surpassed all expectations to come away with a Team bronze medal. Dujardin, riding the stunning chestnut Gio, followed up with an Individual bronze to add to her already impressive medal tally, which now includes three golds, one silver, and two bronzes. In doing so, Dujardin rewrote history to briefly become Britain’s all-time most decorated female Olympian – a feat she now shares with Cycling’s Laura Kenny, after Kenny’s triumphs a few days later.

Joining their Olympic counterparts will be Team GB’s Paralympic stars, who will be in action in Tokyo from Thursday 26-30 August. The team includes four defending Paralympic champions, including 11-time Paralympic champion Lee Pearson, eight-time gold medallist Sophie Christiansen, five-time gold medallist Natasha Baker, and two-time gold medallist Sophie Wells.

The London International Horse Show – this year taking place at ExCeL London from 16-20 December 2021 – will provide an opportunity for the athletes to celebrate in front of a crowd, something they were unable to experience in Tokyo. For fans, it will be a chance to hail the exceptional performances put on during the Games, proving Great Britain to be at the forefront of the sport, with some of the best horses and riders in the world.

More information about The London International Horse Show, including how to buy tickets to be part of this exclusive Olympic celebration, can be found here.

The London International Horse Show
www.londonhorseshow.com
Niki McEwen / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

Olympia, The London International Horse Show 2021 Moves to ExCeL London

Olympia, The London International Horse Show’s 2021 edition will relocate to ExCeL London and take place from Thursday 16 to Monday 20 December 2021.

The Olympia London venue in West Kensington, which has been home to the iconic horse show for the last 49 years, is currently undergoing a re-development plan. As a result of COVID-19, the building activity for the re-development programme has accelerated. The revised construction programme will restrict the use of the venue for events in December 2021, hence the decision to move the Christmas horse show from Olympia London to ExCeL London.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Event Director, commented: “We are very pleased that we are able to stage the event at ExCeL London. This modern venue offers us the opportunity to build on all the aspects of the Christmas horse show that our visitors, hospitality guests, sponsors, competitors, and officials know and love. The scope and flexibility of ExCeL will enable us to add exciting new features and will allow a larger arena with integrated hospitality.

“Our 90,000 strong audience can expect to see the best international competition, including three FEI World Cup Qualifiers in Jumping, Dressage, and Driving, alongside the usual wonderful mix of international equestrian displays, The Kennel Club Dog Agility, The Shetland Pony Grand National, and of course, the Christmas Finale.

“ExCeL will offer our horse show customers excellent facilities, first class restaurants, fast digital connection, multiple parking spaces, and a relaxing environment for Christmas present buying in the Show’s renowned Shopping Village.

“Our partners, sponsors, and exhibitors including the FEI, British Equestrian, and Longines are all supportive of the move and are looking forward to seeing a new version of the Show at ExCeL.”

The London International Horse Show
www.londonhorseshow.com
Niki McEwen / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

ExCeL London
www.excel.london
Lucy Merritt / lucymerritt@excel.london / +44 (0)7793 305 736

OLYMPIA London
www.olympia.london
Sandra Porto / sandraporto@olympia.london / +44 (0)207 598 2777

Brits on Top on Final Day of Olympia

Olympia, The London International Horse Show concluded in spectacular fashion, with the world’s top Show Jumpers in action in the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix, which was won by Britain’s Scott Brash. Meanwhile, Emanuele Gaudiano demonstrated why he is known as one of the fastest riders on the circuit with a win in The Turkish Airlines Speed Stakes. The evening wrapped up with the British flag flying once more as Holly Smith was crowned with the 2019 Leading Rider Award.

The day also included action from the country’s best young riders, with The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship going to Jodie Hall-McAteer and Scotland’s Millie Lawson taking the Equine Rescue Services Mini Stakes for 128cm ponies.

The BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship Final sponsored by LeMieux was taken by Emma Burrow with Welsh Section D Dyffryngwy Sir Picasso.

The final Saracen Horse Feeds Shetland Pony Grand National races of the season saw wins for Lily Phelan on Sedgehill Talisman and Lucy Aspell riding Merkisayre Sea Duble in her last year of being eligible for the competition. Meanwhile, The Kennel Club Small Agility Stakes Final went to Dave Munnings with Boost Bite for the third year in a row.

The final night crowd was in for a real treat as a thrilling competition unfolded in the showpiece Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix. It was horsemanship at its best as Scott Brash, in the very last round of 2019, produced a magical display on Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham’s Hello Vincent to snatch the prize from his six rivals in the jump-off.

“Winning my last grand prix of the year, in front of a home crowd – it doesn’t get any better than that,” said a visibly thrilled Brash.

Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander, on brand new ride Identity Vitseroel, had given it her all, her 11-year-old bay gelding trying his heart out with prodigious leaps and turns on a sixpence, but Brash’s smooth horsemanship was pure class and, with the crowd screaming him down to the final fence, the clock showed that he had shaved 0.82 off her time.

Holly Smith, who has enjoyed an outstanding show and took the Leading Rider accolade by an astonishing 28 points, finished third on Hearts Destiny and sealed a brilliant season.

“I’m absolutely delighted with all three of my horses, but Hearts Destiny has taken me to places I’ve only dreamed of – a bronze medal at the Europeans, winning the Aga Khan Trophy in Dublin. And the calibre of riders here at Olympia – seven of the world’s top 10 – makes it all the more special.”

In fourth place was new face James Wilson, 25, on Imagine de Muze, a mare that has given him a dream year. “I’ve been watching Olympia since I was a kid, so this is particularly special,” he said. “This horse has made all my dreams come true: my first World Cup, my first Nations Cup, and now my first Grand Prix placing. She has catapulted me right up there and now I’ve got Tokyo in my sights.”

Seven riders made it through to the jump-off, four of them British, and, as tension built, Brash was coolly waiting in the wings on Hello Vincent, a horse produced by new Voltaire Design under-25 champion Jodie Hall-McAteer and which he’s only been riding for a few months.

“The others were very fast, and I knew I had to pull out all the stops,” said Brash. “I just tried to keep it tight. I got a good first forward distance and then managed the seven strides to the tray, which is what you had to do to win. The crowd was great and really gets behind you. I’m so proud of Vincent – he was amazing.”

Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano led from the front to take the Turkish Airlines Speed Stakes with Carlotta. As fourth to go in the 20-strong class, he set a tough target and held on for the victory.

“There was not so many options for me, so I just had to follow the course,” said Gaudiano. “My horse is a bit smaller than some of the others, who would be able to take out a stride, so I knew I had to go fast.”

Gaudiano has ridden Carlotta, a 10-year-old mare, since her first competition and she has been a prolific winner for him. “She has now won over 65 international classes, and is my [specialist] speed horse,” he said.

Britain’s Holly Smith finished second with Denver, a result which was part of her tactics to clinch the Leading Rider of The Show. “I was going to jump Denver in the Grand Prix, but decided to enter him in this,” she said.

Meanwhile, rising star Jodie Hall-McAteer punched the air and hugged her horse as she realised she had won the coveted Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship with two superb clear rounds on Shalt’n Peppa.

Under a new format, the young riders went through a qualifier on Friday, won by Georgia Tame on Quintella, with the top 10 competing in front of a packed house on the prestigious final night of the Show. The best five – all of whom went clear in the first round – then progressed to the jump-off.

Jodie, 19, was first to go in the jump-off and set the target of a clear round in a time of 30.75 seconds. The consistent Georgia came closest, riding a mature round for clear in 32.38 seconds.

“I’m so proud of my horse,” said Jodie, who competed on her first senior FEI Nations Cup team this year. “It’s right up there with the highlights of my career. Everyone wants to win this.”

Earlier in the day, Millie Lawson made the most of her long journey from Aberdeen to London with victory in the Equine Rescue Services Mini Stakes for 128cm ponies. Riding Priestwood Hardy, she was chasing a tough target set by Tabitha Kyle (Living the Dream) in the six-pony jump-off, but the 12-year-old utilised her mount’s natural enthusiasm and strength to pinch 0.05 seconds from the time.

“He was very hyper,” joked Millie. “I managed to get tight to the [penultimate] upright and just gallop at the last. It’s a dream come true to win here; it’s amazing!”

Emma Burrow had the perfect wedding and Christmas present combined when her Welsh Section D Dyffryngwy Sir Picasso was judged champion of the BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship Final sponsored by LeMieux.

The 26 ponies qualified for the Final, representing all the native breeds – Shetland, Exmoor, Dartmoor, New Forests, Dales, Fell, Connemara, Highland, and Welsh (Section A, B, C, and D) – made a spectacular sight assembled in the Grand Hall of Olympia.

Emma (née Boardman), a native pony producer from Carlisle who only got married a fortnight ago, bought Dyffryngwy Sir Picasso as a six-month-old foal from his breeder, Gwyneth Griffiths, who had travelled from Wales to watch.

Dyffryngwy Sir Picasso has swept the board this year, winning at HOYS, the RIHS, Royal Welsh and Royal Lancashire, qualifying at Westmoreland County Show where judge Tom Best told Emma: “Now go and win the big one.”

Taking the reserve position was striking Highland stallion Melanie Stanford’s Benbreac of Croila, shown by Matthew Cooper in a fitting end to his showing career. The 16-year-old grey, who will retire after Olympia, obviously has a charming temperament, standing rock-still amid all the post-class hubbub back in the stables.

The final result was extremely close, with the combined scores from conformation judges Helen Horsfall and John Harvey and performance judges Nigel Hollings and Nicola Turner adding up to 177 for the winner and 176 to the reserve.

Please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Sheer Exell-ence at Olympia

The penultimate day of Olympia, The London International Horse Show featured two top-class FEI World Cup™ competitions in Show Jumping and Driving, where the world’s best athletes went head-to-head in thrilling performances which wowed the crowds.

The FEI Driving World Cup™ presented by Eurofip International was once again dominated by Australia’s Boyd Exell in a gripping two round competition, with Koos de Ronde, his closest challenger, over 4 seconds behind.

Earlier in the day, the Longines FEI World Cup™ was won by reigning European Champion and current World No. 2 Martin Fuchs riding The Sinner, whose spectacular jump-off round was over a second faster than Max Kühner in second.

Two runnings of The Saracen Horse Feeds Shetland Pony Grand National saw victories for Alfie Diaper riding Damerham Briar Lilly and Leighton Aspell’s daughter Niamh Aspell aboard Magheradartin Beeswax. The Kennel Club Large Agility Stakes Finals was won by Claire Bacon with Tynevermoor Secret Mission and Megan Hunt with A Moment in Thyme.

Three days of flawless and thrilling rounds culminated in victory in the FEI Driving World Cup™ Leg, presented by Eurofip International, for maestro Boyd Exell. “One of the most incredible things was the crowd,” said Boyd. “They are really loud and they are really with us.”

Dutch course designer Jeroen Houterman’s course included twisting but flowing obstacles and cones requiring accurate curving to remain faultless. However, there were plenty of places for gallops as well. “The plan was to keep everything as simple as possible. For most of the course they could go at 90-100% [speed],” said Jeroen. “But when you go too fast, that’s when there is the risk of having a ball.”

That was certainly the case in round one, where over half the field picked up additional time penalties, which decided the three to go forward to the final.

The Netherlands’ Ijsbrand Chardon was first to go. Having driven one of the steadier, but clean, first rounds, he was determined to better his time after an inauspicious start to the show in the first two driving classes. His speed certainly improved, knocking almost six seconds off his initial run’s time. However, this came at the expense of two early balls, leaving the door ajar.

“My first two days at the show were pretty bad,” said Ijsbrand, a multiple championship winner. “My mare Candy was in season at the Budapest show two weeks ago, and still wasn’t great here. I was training at 6am this morning, but it just didn’t work out the way I wanted.”

Following was fellow countryman Koos de Ronde, whose speed in round one gained him access to the drive-off despite having hit cone number two. “Some of the cones were a little tricky and I was mad with myself [in the first round],” he said. “But I was more focused in the second round.”

If the pressure was on multiple medallist Boyd to maintain his rank, he certainly didn’t show it here. However, Koos’ round wasn’t so steady that Boyd could relax. “There was less than a cone between Koos’ time and my time in the first round,” said Boyd, who is based in Valkenswaard in The Netherlands. “So I aimed to go for the same again.” It worked beautifully and secured the win.

Although this class carried points towards qualification for the FEI Driving World Cup™ final, Boyd was competing at Olympia on a Wild Card, so maximum points were passed down to Koos.

Britain’s Daniel Naprous, who has a busy schedule as a stunt rider, finished sixth having had a promising second place at Olympia earlier in the week.

Belgium’s Wilm Vermeir achieved his first Olympia win with a bold display of speed riding in the Martin Collins Enterprises Christmas Tree Stakes. Riding King Kong d’Avifauna, Vermeir, who was last to go in the six-horse jump-off, had to throw his heart into the round to take the win.

“I thought they were going faster and faster so I knew I really had to go for it,” Vermeir explained. “This show is unbelievable and it’s not easy to win here.”

Holly Smith, who now heads the Leading Rider of the Show standings from William Whitaker by a 15-point margin, rode a brilliant round on Denver, but Vermeir managed to shave 0.9 of a second off her time of 33.82.

Christian Ahlmann (Zampano Z) and Ben Maher (Ginger-Blue) were also clear to take third and fourth places.

Earlier in the day, Cheshire’s Red Morgan, 15, claimed his biggest win to date with the sole double clear in The Voltaire Design Mince Pie Stakes. Riding Bodyssee des Avelines in the class for 148cm ponies, he remained cool under pressure in both rounds of the exhilarating competition.

“It was a tricky course,” said Red, who is based between Britain and Belgium, where he competes internationally. “The track was tight in places with a tight time, and there was a double you needed to be really straight for.”

Hannah Barker (Ammanvalley Santino) was first of three to go through to the jump-off to challenge for this year’s title. A pole down gave Red the advantage: “I just aimed to be quick without being stupid,” he said. It worked perfectly as he and his 12-year-old mare came home cleanly to put the pressure on the final rider, Lila Bremner (Lapislazuli), who with four faults handed the victory to Red.

Please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Fuchs’ Sinner Is a Saint in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup

Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs brought his storming year to a close with a superbly ridden win in the eighth leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™.

The reigning European Champion, fresh from a big win in Geneva last weekend, was second to go in a six-horse jump-off and pulled off a brilliantly accurate turn to the wall on The Sinner to achieve a time of 31.99 seconds that no one could match.

Austria’s Max Kühner (Elektric Blue P) and Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels (Delux van T & L) were also immaculate over the fences, but had to surrender to Fuchs’s speed, taking second and third places, respectively.

Marcus Ehning from Germany, a three-time winner of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, was fourth with a fence down on the grey Cornado NRW.

Scott Brash, who won this class in 2016 on Hello M’Lady, was the best Briton in fifth on the promising 10-year-old Hello Jefferson, his mount in the winning FEI Nations Cup™ team in Dublin in August, and looks to have sealed his place at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas in April as well as having a potential horse for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

His Team GB teammate Holly Smith, who produced the only clear of the first 20 horses, enjoyed her best Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ result so far, sixth on her Nations Cup horse Hearts Destiny.

Irish course-designer Alan Wade set a fair but deceptively testing track, as befits a competition of this stature, and many of the distinguished names faulted unexpectedly.

“It was a great course. I wasn’t sure it would be stiff enough, but it had some light questions – and it got the right result!” said Fuchs. “I had a great round in the jump-off. I knew I would have to take all the risks to put the pressure on the others and it came off exactly as I wanted. I probably couldn’t repeat it if I tried.”

The FEI’s Director of Jumping for three decades, John Roche, described Olympia as “a shining example to other organisers,” and was echoed by second-time visitor Fuchs, who said: “It’s an amazing Show with a beautiful atmosphere and you really feel when you’re in the ring that you’re in a unique place.”

Please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Fuchs on Fire as The Sinner Shines at Olympia

Martin Fuchs with The Sinner. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs scooped his second win of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League at the London International Horse Show at Olympia, London (GBR), while Austria’s Max Kuhner lined up second ahead of Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels in third.

Partnering his top ride, the lightning-fast grey Clooney, Fuchs took the third leg in Lyon (FRA) by storm last month, and in today’s eighth round of the 14-leg series he galloped to victory with a stunning performance from The Sinner. He’s the reigning European champion, and looks set to take over the No. 1 spot on the Longines World Rankings as 2020 gets underway after an incredible run of recent form.

He also became the first Swiss winner of the Olympia leg of the FEI World Cup™ series in 29 years. The 27-year-old rider wasn’t even born when his uncle, Markus Fuchs, stood top of the podium at the London fixture back in 1990.

Just six horse-and-rider combinations made it through to the jump-off, and Fuchs was fulsome in his praise of Irish course designer, Alan Wade.

“The first round wasn’t crazy big, but Alan set a great course as he always does – it was another of his masterpieces!” — Martin Fuchs (SUI)

It was definitely no walk in the park, with the relatively small Olympia arena jam-packed with fences and an intense atmosphere in the packed Grand Hall adding to the pressure. Only six of the 37 starters qualified for the deciding round but it was a classic, Fuchs, who was second to go, putting it up to the rest with a great ride that saw him take a brave turn to the wall, now the fourth fence on the track, and a super-tight line to the penultimate oxer followed by a great gallop to the last. Throwing down a time of 31.99 seconds he then sat back and watched the remaining four give it their best.

Austria’s Max Kuhner followed with an extraordinary second clear from the hugely promising eight-year-old gelding Elektric Blue P, but their time of 33.83 seconds was no threat. However, as German ace, and three-time FEI World Cup™ champion, Marcus Ehning set off with Cornado NRW, he clearly meant business only to get too close to the penultimate oxer for four faults in 32.17 seconds.

Great Britain’s Scott Brash decided this was the day to put some jump-off pressure on his latest shining star, the 10-year-old Hello Jefferson, but when the second fence fell then there was only Niels Bruynseels and his 10-year-old Delux van T & L standing between Fuchs and victory. And for once things just didn’t go his way, none of the distances coming up nicely for the brilliant Belgian and his big horse with a long stride, so they stayed clear but had to settle for third place behind Kuhner in second and Fuchs at the head of affairs.

“I was early to go so I had to take all the risks to put the pressure on the others and everything worked perfectly today!” Fuchs said. He was of course delighted with The Sinner who belied his name. “It was Denis Lynch (IRL) who gave him his name and he was already a good horse for Denis,” he explained. He’s had the 11-year-old gelding since the beginning of the year, and they made their first major appearance together at CSIO Rome in May.

“At first I found him difficult to ride, but now we definitely have a better partnership; he has better rideabililty and we know each other a lot better now,” he pointed out. And The Sinner can look forward to some nice sunshine as he heads to Wellington, USA for the Winter Equestrian Festival with his rider in the new year.

Having moved into fourth place on the Western European League table after this brilliant result, Fuchs is now well qualified for the Longines 2020 Final in Las Vegas, USA next April and his biggest headache will be to decide which horse to take – his wonder-horse Clooney or his latest star, The Sinner. His uncle, Markus Fuchs, was runner-up at the series Final in Las Vegas in 2000 and was crowned champion with the great Tinka’s Boy the following year in Gothenburg, Sweden. Martin was runner-up to compatriot Steve Guerdat at the 2019 Final which was also staged in Gothenburg, so could history be about to repeat itself over the coming months?

There are 18 qualifying spots on offer to riders in the Western European series and normally 40 points is enough to make the cut. As it stands, and with six more qualifiers yet to go, the top five riders on the League table have more than enough points: defending champion Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat has 55 but anyway gains automatic qualification, Belgium’s Pieter Devos also has 55, fifth placing for Great Britain’s Scott Brash leaves him with 47, Fuchs has 44, and Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano is in fifth in the current standings with 43.

For the rest, the next opportunity to collect those precious points will be at the ninth leg of the series in Mechelen, Belgium on Monday 30 December.

Watch highlights here.

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Full Speed Ahead on Race Night at Olympia

Race Night returned to Olympia, The London International Horse Show on day five of the Show, with fast and furious action throughout.

The Markel Jockeys Jumping in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund saw Bridget Andrews’ team of girls beat their male counterparts, including Sir AP McCoy, as a selection of the country’s best jockeys tested their mettle over show jumps. There was further racing action from The Saracen Horse Feeds Shetland Pony Grand National, which saw wins for Zak Kent on Briar Smokey Joe and Lucas Murphy riding Cranford Fantastic.

The afternoon performance kicked off with the opening FEI Driving World Cup Leg presented by Eurofip International and, in a repeat of last year, it was Australia’s Boyd Exell who dominated proceedings, thus heading into the second session in pole position.

In Show Jumping, The Father Christmas Stakes, an accumulator class, was won by home favourite William Funnell, with the main class of the day, The Longines Christmas Cracker, going to Ireland’s Darragh Kenny.

The competition was fierce in the FEI Driving World Cup Leg presented by Eurofip International, with drivers aiming to gain maximum points towards their FEI World Cup Final qualification.

First to go was Britain’s Daniel Naprous, whose fast driving has impressed many on the circuit; however, on this occasion 16 seconds to add took him out of contention. Boyd Exell was next into the arena, driving the clean skillful lines for which he is renowned, putting the pressure on those to come.

Jozsef Dobrovitz of Hungary could not match the speed of Exell, but tactical driving kept a clean slate and a good finish at 143.83. Koos de Ronde (NED) took a slick no-nonsense approach to the first course and slotted just behind Exell on 136.49, with last to go, Chester Weber (USA), driving very fast and cleanly to finish third and progress into the drive-off.

An uncharacteristic early error from Weber in the second round resulted in elimination and an enforced third place. Koos de Ronde came in meaning business, but his horses could not catch the speed merchant Exell, whose total score was six seconds ahead of his rivals.

Boyd said: “We went very fast, but the whole team is integral to the success. My navigator and long-time groom Emma Olsson was really important as the course had many twists and turns and, of course, Hugh Scott-Barrett as backstep ensures we get through the cones cleanly. I am happy, but we all work hard to make it happen.”

It was a night for the girls as the female jockeys’ team trounced their male counterparts in an exhilarating battle for the Markel Jockeys Jumping in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. The contest had the packed Olympia audience roaring with excitement as the two teams of five got to grips with borrowed horses and unfamiliar knock-down fences against the clock.

The girls’ team, coached on the night by eventer Pippa Funnell and captained by Bridget Andrews, reversed last year’s result and got off to a brilliant start when Lizzie Kelly flew around clear, including at the final joker fence. Josephine Gordon was fastest of the team, eventually taking second place in the individual rankings behind Jim Crowley, who restored male pride with a flying round.

Nicola Currie also put up a terrific performance and both Bryony Frost, on an enchanting dun Connemara, and team captain Bridget Andrews put in some audacious turns, making up for rails down with their speed. “The girls really performed this year on horses they’ve never sat on,” said Andrews, who married opposing team member Harry Skelton in the summer.

By the time the men’s captain, 20-time National Hunt champion jockey AP McCoy, entered the arena it was all over – which was perhaps just as well, as his mount proved a testing ride.

“The girls were so stylish – they knocked the boys for six and Josephine Gordon was on fire,” said a visibly delighted Pippa Funnell.

“It’s something different and gets the adrenaline going,” said Gordon, “and the fact that we won makes it even better.”

Olympic gold medal-winning showjumper Nick Skelton, who may have some words after his son Harry hit the final joker, admitted that the girls’ speed had his lads on the back foot, “but it was great fun and all in a good cause.”

Britain’s William Funnell scored a thrilling win in The Father Christmas Stakes with Denise Stamp’s Cevin Z gelding Billy McCain. The accumulator competition, in which points are gained for each fence jumped clear and a final optional joker fence carrying double points, encouraged risk taking moves throughout, with the joker catching out many of the fastest riders.

“The crowds love fast classes,” said William. “A lot of riders will be looking for the bigger tracks, so a class like this is a good middle ground.”

Of the 32 starters, 13 remained faultless to collect a maximum of 65 points, and although William hadn’t seen some of the fastest go, he clipped almost a second from the previous best time set by Spain’s Manuel Fernandez Saro aboard Santiago de Blondel.

“He’s normally in with a chance,” said William of the 11-year-old grey. “He’s careful, and it is nice to have a quick horse to bring along to a Show like this.”

Darragh Kenny became the third Irishman to win the big evening class at Olympia when scooping the Longines Christmas Cracker on his exciting Tokyo Olympic prospect Classic Dream. Kenny was the fastest rider in a thrilling eight-man jump-off, beating the Netherlands’ Bart Bles on Gin D by 1.27 seconds.

William Whitaker’s great show continued with equal third place on RMF Echo with Austria’s Max Kühner on Cornet Kalua, ahead of British young rider Harry Charles, who put up a spirited challenge on Borsato, but had a fence down and finished fifth.

Earlier this year, Kenny was third on the nine-year-old Classic Dream behind Ben Maher and the season’s equine phenomenon Explosion W at the London leg of the GCT tour; this was no mean achievement and his rider admits that he is quietly excited about the chestnut gelding’s prospects.

“I’ve known for a couple of years that he was a proper grand prix horse,” explained Kenny, who will ride Classic Dream in Sunday night’s Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix. “He’s still quite green, but he was exceptional in this jump-off, really picking up, and he’s a horse for the future. He seems to like London anyway!

“I know him inside out and have always thought that he’s a Tokyo horse. He’s a little bit quirky, but he always wants to win.”

Kenny is now seventh on the Leading Rider of the Show rankings, which is led by Britain’s William Whitaker from Holly Smith. The remarkably consistent Michael Jung from Germany, whose first discipline is eventing, is now in third place from Ben Maher, but all could change in the showpiece Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifier.

There was further action from The Voltaire Design Under 25 Championship Qualifier, from which the top 10 riders qualified for the Final on Sunday evening. Georgia Tame rode two immaculate clear rounds to come out on top. “Everyone wants to win this,” said Tame, 22, of the prestigious contest that helped launch former World No. 1 Scott Brash on his path to fame.

She rode with admirable tact on Quintella, a mare that’s talented but clearly not the easiest to handle. “She certainly has her own way of going; you can’t argue with her,” said Tame, having taken over the ride from Shane Breen, with whom she has been based for the past five years.

Only four of the field of 24 went through to the jump-off, with Oliver Fletcher riding Temple Rebus in the only other double clear, finishing in second. Charlie Jones, who is trained by his uncle, Nick Skelton, and Laura Kraut was third on Dexter and Harry Charles was fourth on Valkiry de Zance.

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Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Irish Eyes Are Smiling Again on Day Four of Olympia

The fourth day of Olympia, The London International Horse Show provided top class sport and entertainment from the outset, with another exceptional day for Great Britain.

William Whitaker, fresh from victory in the Cayenne Puissance, took the opening CSI5* Show Jumping competition of the day, The Shelley Ashman International Shipping Ltd, E M Rogers (Transport) Ltd Snowflake Stakes, with the Lemieux Six Bar going to Laura Renwick. The Champagne Taittinger Ivy Stakes, the feature class of the evening, was won by Anthony Condon.

Meanwhile, Extreme Driving got underway with a win for World No. 1 Boyd Exell, with Britain’s Daniel Naprous recording his best-ever result in second.

A 20-year-old dressage horse belied his age to win the Olympia Senior Showing & Dressage Championships sponsored by Anthony D Evans Insurance Brokers. Helen Christie’s Silvano KR, ridden by 16-year-old GCSE student Gracie Catling, looked in peak condition to take the laurels. In the in-hand section, the remarkable 32-year-old Hot Fuss, shown by Laura Oughton-Aker, took the honours.

There was fast and furious action from The Saracen Horse Feeds Shetland Pony Grand National, with wins for Alfie Diaper riding Damerham Briar Lilly and Nelly Stephens aboard Briar Tiffany. The Kennel Club Dog Agility was a close-run affair with Anthony Clarke and Eliza Doolots of Ashpen winning the afternoon’s Kennel Club Medium Jumping Grand Prix supported by Skinners and Dawn Weaver taking the Kennel Club Medium Agility Stakes Finals supported by Skinners with Galaxy’s Ace of Spades later in the evening.

Popular British rider William Whitaker is on a roll at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. Having shown his mettle over height, taking joint first by clearing 7ft 2in with RMF Charly in the Cayenne Puissance, he proved his competitive versatility with a speed win in the Shelley Ashman International Ltd, E M Rodgers (Transport) Ltd Snowflake Stakes by a massive 3 seconds with RMF Chacco Top.

Being drawn in the top half of the field, William, who is based between Germany and the USA, had to set a tough target. The tactic worked and after a number of rivals collected faults trying to chase him others opted for a steadier pace and a safer placing, with Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer riding Cas coming closest to take second place.

“He [RMF Chacco Top] had a couple down yesterday, but he needed to get used to the arena,” said William. “The crowds really help to give you a boost; they are like that right through the show; it’s great.”

The evening performance got underway with another British win in The Lemieux Six Bar. Jumping big fences is all about power and Laura Renwick’s partner Top Dollar VI has that by the bucketload. Clearing the final 1.95m fence with ease, the pair took the win as the only combination to remain faultless after four rounds.

“I hate to say he makes it easy, but the strength he has is special,” said Renwick of the 10-year-old stallion, joking: “I just wish I had a bit more control!”

The class involved the fences being raised in each round, a pole on the floor resulting in elimination. By round four, only four combinations remained. Laura and Top Dollar VI set the standard, producing their faultless run at the final four-fence line as first to go. However, each one of the three that followed – Jos Verlooy (BEL) and Fabregas, Michael Pender (IRE) and Hearton de Bois Halleux, and Emily Moffitt (GBR) and Copain du Perchet – all faulted to hand Renwick the win.

The feature class of the day saw another big win for Ireland as Anthony Condon took the Champagne Taittinger Ivy Stakes on his own and Pat Hales’ SFS Vincomte with two perfectly judged clear rounds, despite being the class pathfinder.

Condon, who is from Co Waterford but lives on the Shropshire/Cheshire border, was first to go in a competitive field of 33 and made it look easy on the nine-year-old by Veni Vidi Vici. Scott Brash, next to go on Hello Jefferson, also went clear, but then Course Designer Alan Wade’s cleverly designed track began to exert influence with faults evenly spread throughout the course.

Just when it looked like a two-horse jump-off, faultless rounds came for Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels (Delux van T & L), regular US visitor Laura Kraut (Confu), William Whitaker (RMF Echo), and German Olympian Marcus Ehning (Comme II Faut).

Condon’s jump-off time of 38.53 was clearly beatable, but surprisingly, none of the other five could produce a clear round, William Whitaker taking second with the fastest time of 34.48 seconds but a fence down.

“I wasn’t expecting to win, especially looking at the standard of the other riders in the jump-off,” admitted Condon, 32, who will ride SFS Vincomte in Sunday night’s Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix. “My horse is quite green for this level, but he was more settled today. He just needs more experience and then he will be top class.”

The Irishman, whose three-year-old son Hector was keen to tell Father Christmas about Daddy’s win, is now fourth in the Leading Rider of the Show rankings after two full days of jumping, behind the British trio of Holly Smith, William Whitaker, and Ben Maher. Michael Jung, the reigning Olympic eventing champion, who is paying his first visit to Olympia, is in equal fifth place with Laura Renwick.

The first driving competition took off with a bang, as Boyd Exell cruised home ahead of Daniel Naprous in the Extreme Driving, supported by Karen and Hugh Scott-Barrett.

The timed competition, consisting of two rounds with the fastest three going through to the second round to complete a different course against the clock, was an exciting opener to the FEI Driving World Cup classes, which will come later in the week. British driver Daniel Naprous meant business when he entered the arena for the first time, and drove with full power and determination to finish on 133.39 seconds with 4 to count.

This was a momentous occasion for Naprous, who qualified for his first ever drive-off. USA’s Chester Weber, drawn second to go, made an early error but made up for it with some spectacular driving to finish on 144.41 and 4. Last to go, Boyd Exell produced a masterclass of fluidity and speed, finishing the first round on 129.6 with nothing to add to head into the lead.

In the second round, Naprous was quick but paid the price with 12 to add. A steadier round from Weber still resulted in two balls falling for 8 faults; however, Exell’s second drive was foot perfect, driving a clear round in a time of 131.77 seconds to take the victory.

Exell said, “When I walked the course, I knew it could be very fast. Tight turns also meant you had to drive with 100% accuracy, so I’m really pleased with how my team performed.”

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For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355