Category Archives: Olympia

Hester Pips Dujardin in Battle of the British Olympians in London

Carl Hester and Nip Tuck. (FEI/Jon Stroud)

Olympia, London (GBR) 16 December 2015 – Carl Hester pipped his super-star protégé, fellow-Olympian and world no. 1 rider Charlotte Dujardin, for victory in the spell-binding sixth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015/2016 Western European League at Olympia in London (GBR). Riding Nip Tuck, the 11-year-old gelding with which he helped clinch team silver at this summer’s FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany, the 48-year-old rider delivered a performance that simply demonstrated why he has long been a legend in this sport.

Winner of the third leg of the series in Stockholm, Sweden last month, Hans Peter Minderhoud from The Netherlands lined up third with Glock’s Flirt, while on a great night for the home-country contenders, Lara Griffith claimed fourth spot with Rubin Al Asad.

Ground Jury President, Great Britain’s Stephen Clarke, put tonight’s competition into perspective when he said, “It was fantastic; the whole level was really high with all the riders going for it. Hans Peter and Charlotte both did great tests, but then Carl came in with a degree of difficulty that was just amazing. He spent the first five minutes on the centre line! It was a test with a great degree of difficulty that worked, and that’s why he won.”

Influence

Hester’s influence on tonight’s competition even extended to the rider who held pole position until after the halfway stage. Trainer and rider, 32-year-old Hayley Watson-Greaves, is coached by the man who joined Dujardin on the British gold medal winning side at the London 2012 Olympic Games. And she sparkled when second to go with the fabulous black gelding Rubins Nite, taking all the risks to post a mark of 75.075.

It was fellow-countrywoman Griffith who demoted her from the top of the order, showing rhythm and relaxation as her 13-year-old gelding strutted his stuff to a rousing Scottish-themed musical score. Posting 78.025 for a test the judges described as “close to perfection technically,” this 27-year-old rider was always going to finish well in the frame, but Dujardin created a whole new parameter when next into the arena with Uthopia.

The 14-year-old stallion has not shown for the last two years and Dujardin has only competed him “seven or eight times” during her sensational career which has principally been dominated by her extraordinary partnership with the amazing gelding Valegro. But she stormed to victory in yesterday’s Grand Prix, pinning Hester and Nip Tuck into runner-up spot ahead of Minderhoud and Glock’s Flirt, and a repeat performance seemed very much on the cards this evening.

Calling card

The pair produced breathtaking extended trot and fabulous tempi changes, and although their final few movements didn’t come together they stamped 82.550 on their calling card, leaving it up to the rest to chase that. Minderhoud followed with a great effort that earned 80.975, but, second last to go, it was clear that Hester wasn’t riding for runner-up spot this time out.

“I just chucked everything at it to see what I could do! I know the degree of difficulty is being stepped up so I took every movement that was difficult and just rode it one day, wrote it down and then did it again the next day. With this horse I have no choice; if I want to be in the top lot I have to do something that showcases that,” he said after posting the winning mark of 83.750.

Stephen Clarke said at the post-competition press conference, “This man (Hester) just keeps opening all sorts of chapters! It was certainly a very exciting test and the music also worked beautifully. It wasn’t just that it was a difficult test, but that he managed to make it look easy. Pirouettes on centre line – both of them were really really good; he kept adding to the degree of difficulty and it really worked,” he added.

Never say never

Hester said that Nip Tuck has taught him to “never say never!” He had a long history of runner-up placings at Olympia since he first competed at the hugely popular Christmas fixture back in 2003, so this result was particularly satisfying. “I’m very proud of Nip Tuck; I’ve had him since he was a year old and he’s still only 11. He’s over 18 hands high – not a traditional dressage horse, not really made to do dressage, but in his head he is a gold medallist and that’s why his body gets better and better,” he explained.

Dujardin, who affectionately calls Hester “granddad,” said she didn’t mind having to settle for second place tonight. “If there’s one person to be beaten by, it’s granddad; he inspires me every day,” she said. “Watching him made me have goose-pimples. He said he was going to nail his floorplan tonight and he did such a cracking job, he made it look effortless. I’m so thrilled for him because he’s always wanted to win here and he’s done it at last!” said the rider who, with her no. 1 horse Valegro, holds every record and every title in the sport.

Today’s third placing has now promoted Hans Peter Minderhoud to the top of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Western European League table. I’m very lucky that I have three fantastic horses,” the Dutchman said. “I did two qualifiers with Glock’s Romanov and two with Flirt, and I will do two next year with Johnson and then decide which one to ride in the Final,” he explained.

“Yesterday it was quite close in the Grand Prix; I knew it would be hard to beat one of the Brit superstars, but they are great friends and I’m very happy for them!” he insisted.

Winning horse

Hester meanwhile mused about how much better he can do with tonight’s winning horse. “I missed my canter passage; I didn’t nail the transition and the walk isn’t relaxed. The halt was very difficult at end because he’s so used to everyone clapping, so there are still more points I can work on but I need to keep competing in this sort of atmosphere,” he said.

For the moment, however, Nip Tuck won’t be under any pressure. “He will have until the new year off; he’s very energetic and keeps himself very fit and is quite happy living out in field. So he will do that until January.”

He hopes that Uthopia, whose previous achievements include European team gold in Rotterdam (NED) in 2011 and Olympic team gold at London 2012, will be a reserve horse for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. “Charlotte will hopefully qualify him in Amsterdam,” Hester said. So there is every incentive to look forward to the next leg of the Reem Acra series at the Dutch fixture at the end of January.

For further information on the sixth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015/2016 Western European League at Olympia, London (GBR), go to www.olympiahorseshow.com or contact Press Officer Jo Peck, jopeck@hpower.co.uk, +44 1753 847 900.

The next leg will take place in Amsterdam (NED) on 29/30 January 2016. For information on the Dutch fixture, visit http://www.jumpingamsterdam.nl/ or contact Press Officer Charlotte Gunnink, media@jumpingamsterdam.nl, +31 638325326.

Detailed result here.

Facts and Figures:

The London International Horse Show at Olympia presented the sixth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015/2016 Western European League tonight.

15 riders from 8 nations – Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Ukraine – competed.

British horse-and-rider combinations filled the top two places, Carl Hester and Nip Tuck pipping Charlotte Dujardin and Uthopia.

Dujardin is ranked world no. 1 with her Valegro, the horse with which she claimed double-gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA), and with which she was crowned Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage champion in both 2014 and 2015.

Hester’s winning score with the 11-year-old gelding was 83.750.

The Ground Jury panel of judges consisted of: At E, Andrew Gardner (GBR); At C, Stephen Clarke (GBR); At B, Isabelle Judet (FRA); At H, Susanne Baarup (DEN); At M, Thomas Lang (AUT).

3 remaining rounds in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015/2016 Western European league – at Amsterdam (NED) in January, at Neumuenster (GER) in February and at ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in March 2016.

The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2016 Final will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden from 23 to 28 March.

Quotes:

Carl Hester GBR (1st), talking about his winning horse, Nip Tuck: “A year ago he found it difficult to go round the edge let alone do the test. You have to have a special temp to be a winner, relaxed but with the energy to be a super star with pirouettes and passage.”

Charlotte Dujardin GBR (2nd), talking about the horse she rode tonight, Uthopia: “He hadn’t competed for nearly two years so last night I surprised myself (when winning the Grand Prix). It’s a great honour to ride a horse like Uthopia, to take him on after Carl. He felt a little tired tonight but he tried really hard. He hadn’t done that freestyle since Windsor two years ago, but he felt fantastic!”

Carl Hester GBR (1st), when asked about growing a beard to support the charity Decembeard: “I think I’m hormonally challenged; it took three weeks to get something growing on my chin!

“The bowel cancer charity asked me would I (grow a beard) and I said I can’t; I’m a dressage rider and I’m supposed to look chiselled and clean! But I gave in. I tried to trim it up for today but I look like a Dalmatian at the moment!”

Ground Jury President Stephen Clarke (GBR): “I have to say I think one of the best things for the sport this evening was that out of just half an ear could hear Imke (Bartels) and the commentary. She was so positive and honest and clear; it really made such a difference to the public, helped them understand and it’s one of the best things for the sport I have seen in a long time.”

Carl Hester GBR (1st): “Lara (Griffith) and Hayley (Watson-Greaves) were incredible tonight. The confidence of Hayley was great. We need to have future teams and Lara is such an elegant beautiful rider. It’s great to see her supported by the Bechtolsheimers who started me off. I’m very confident and happy to see new riders here; this is the best show in the world and with Reem Acra as the sponsor; we’re just thrilled to be here.”

Hans Peter Minderhoud (NED), 3rd: “It was quite noisy when I went in (to the arena) as Charlotte had just come out, but my horse was really going for it and had a great feeling. I was very happy; he’s a great horse; he’s really trying for me in the ring and gives me a super nice feeling. He’s not as pretty as my stallions but much easier!”

Carl Hester GBR (1st), talking about his future plans: “I’m taking Charlotte (Dujardin) to Amsterdam to get two qualifiers under her belt for the Final, but that’s me done for the season. I’ll appear in April after this big show. I’ve got to think about Rio for next year, so I will start the outdoor shows in April.”

Full standings here.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Olympia:

Jo Peck
Press Officer
JoPeck@hpower.co.uk
+44 1753 847 900

At FEI:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

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

Charlotte Dujardin Claims 5th Consecutive Victory on Opening Night of Olympia

Photo credit Kit Houghton/Hpower.

For the fifth consecutive year, Charlotte Dujardin has won the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix (supported by Horse & Hound), much to the delight of the packed crowds at Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

While the last four Grands Prix have been won with her Olympic gold medal partner Valegro, this year her winning ride was Uthopia (77.46%). The 14-year-old breeding stallion owned by Carl Hester was last ridden in competition by Dujardin to win the Grand Prix at Royal Windsor 19 months ago. He was also the horse that gave Hester his first team gold (European in 2011).

Uthopia came back to competition like he had never been away with a mistake free test full of expression and as first to go, the pair was the one to catch. Hester and Jane De La Mare’s team horse Nip Tuck (76.66%) couldn’t quite match the score. Despite highlights of clean piaffe and pirouettes the extensions failed to match those of the stallion and the pair was just less than 1% behind for second. While Dutch rider Hans Peter Minderhoud, a regular at Olympia, produced a strong test with Glock’s Flirt (76.12%) the 10-year-old Florestan gelding ran out of steam on the final line, losing balance and rhythm and valuable marks, to be a close third.

Unlike the past four years, this year’s win was an unexpected one for Dujardin especially as the indoor arena and the electric atmosphere at Olympia can prove difficult to master.

“It was quite a risk to come here and you couldn’t do that with many horses, but he has the best temperament in the world and I am over the moon to win.”

“It was also nice to bring another horse, take the pressure off Valegro and give another horse a chance,” said Dujardin who would now like to take Uthopia to Amsterdam.

Hester intends to come out fighting in tomorrow’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Freestyle with a new test for Nip Tuck set to new music based on the TV programme Mr Selfridge.

“I have gone for the most difficult test possible,” said Hester.

To view the full results, click HERE.

For more information, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44(0)778 757 6490 or +44(0)207 592 1207

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

Olympia, the London International Horse Show Extends Broadcast Deal with BBC

Olympia, the London International Horse Show has extended its relationship with the BBC to provide planned coverage of the world-renowned show for the next four years.

The planned coverage will run from 2016 to 2019 inclusive, including broadcast on the BBC of the major classes including the Longines FEI World Cup™ Show Jumping qualifier and the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage to music. The broadcast agreement comes at a significant time for UK equestrian sport prior to the 2016 Olympics.

Olympia has been broadcast on the BBC since its inception in 1971. During that time viewers have been treated to thrilling performances from a variety of top class riders from around the world including team GB gold medalists Scott Brash, Ben Maher and Nick Skelton. The nail biting Alltech Puissance remains a highlight for many and has allowed viewers to witness heights of over 7ft being jumped as horse and rider combinations battle it out for victory.

Olympia Commercial Director, Jonathan Goold, said: “This is great news for Olympia and Equestrianism in general. The BBC and Olympia have a long-standing relationship and I am delighted that BBC viewers will continue to be able to see the best international Dressage and Show Jumping riders in the world competing at Olympia”.

Barbara Slater, Director BBC Sport, said: “We’re pleased to be continuing our relationship with Olympia. It is always a great event in the run up to Christmas, showcasing top class Show Jumping and dressage with some of the best riders in the world, along with the festivities and special events that make the show so special. With the 2016 Rio Olympics coming up, this is a great showcase for some of the best of Olympic sport for our audiences.”

For more information and for details on the TV Schedule for this year’s show, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

Three World Number Ones under One Roof at Olympia, the London International Horse Show

The world’s best riders, including three FEI world no. 1s in Dressage, Show Jumping and Carriage Driving, have announced they will be descending upon the capital to compete at Olympia, the London International Horse Show which takes place from 15-21 December.

Show Jumping sensation Scott Brash will be making a rare competitive appearance in the UK along with Team GBR Dressage legend Charlotte Dujardin and Carriage Driving’s unstoppable Boyd Exell, who will head up the first-rate quality of competitors taking part over the seven days at London’s premier horse show.

SHOW JUMPING

Once again, the world’s top-class show jumpers will gravitate to the Olympia Exhibition Halls to compete at the UK’s biggest indoor equestrian show and wow fans with unforgettable competition. A collection of the world’s top 10 riders are among the entries along with the top British riders in attendance, including British world no.1 Scott Brash.

The talented Scotsman, and Team GBR gold medal hopeful for Rio next year, has had an incredible 2015 and hopes to end it on a high at Olympia: “I love Olympia. The atmosphere is always great and the home crowd always cheers me so I’m looking forward to that. I don’t often get the chance to ride in front of home fans as there aren’t many five star events in Britain so it’s always nice to come home and compete in front of the home crowd.”

Brash will face fierce competition with some of the biggest international names in the sport confirmed, including an incredibly formidable team of German riders: Daniel Deusser, Marcus Ehning, Ludger Beerbaum and Hans-Dieter Dreher.

From across the pond top French riders Simon Delestre and Kevin Staut will be hoping to continue their 2015 success at Olympia. European Team Champions, Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and Jur Vrieling (NED), will also be returning to the famous arena, whilst world number six, Bertram Allen, will be hungry for a victory to end the year on.

The best of the British will be out in force much to the delight of the home crowd, including Olympia’s favourite family, the Whitakers, with John, Michael, Robert and William all confirmed and armed with a strong team of horses. Former world no.1 Ben Maher will be hoping to defend his Olympia Grand Prix title, bringing with him a solid selection of horses, including Diva II. Young rising star, Jessica Mendoza, will be the one to watch hoping to round off a stellar year with a win at Olympia. Joe Clee, Laura Renwick and Guy Williams will complete the impressive line-up.

Show Jumping takes place during every performance from Thursday 17 December to Monday 21 December. Highlights include the Alltech Olympia Puissance on Thursday 17 December, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Leg presented by H&M on Sunday 20 December, and the Olympia Grand Prix on Monday 21 December.

DRESSAGE

The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage, supported by Horse & Hound, which takes place on the first and second day of Olympia, welcomes a star-studded line-up. Returning this year is the current world, Olympic and European champion, Charlotte Dujardin, who will be hoping to retain her unbeaten record at the event.

Joining Dujardin is crowd favourite Carl Hester upon his noble partner Nip Tuck, with whom he helped the team to score a silver medal at the European Championships earlier this year. With a career spanning over three decades, Hester is arguably one of the greatest dressage riders the world has seen and will be hoping to produce a shining performance under the bright lights of the Olympia arena. Fiona Bigwood, Henriette Andersen and Lara Griffith will complete the British line-up.

Leading the international contingent is one of The Netherlands’ best riders, Hans Peter Minderhoud, on his chestnut gelding Glock’s Flirt. Individual Bronze medallist at this year’s European Championships, Minderhoud will be joined by fellow Dutchmen, Diederik van Silfhout, both of whom will certainly provide stiff competition for the British riders.

DRIVING

A total of seven of the world’s leading four-in-hand drivers will set the arena alight in what promises to be a flurry of nail biting competitions on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 December, with the Final taking place on Saturday 19 December.

Defending champion, Boyd Exell (AUS), who has won the FEI World Cup Driving Championship title a record six times, will be hoping to repeat last year’s success where he drove an unimpeachable round to win by a four-second margin.

Ranked second and fourth from the outdoor season are Dutch competitors, Ijsbrand Chardon and Koos de Ronde, both of whom have competed at the show each year since 2011. Chardon has been at the top of world four-in-hand driving longer than any other driver currently on the circuit and his tally of medals is correspondingly larger; most recently he was on the gold medal winning team at last year’s WEG and this year’s European championships where he claimed second place individually. Just pipped to the post by Exell in 2014, he will be hungry for the win this year. De Ronde is also serially successful, having been a team member with Chardon over several years; he was third in the 2015 European Championships.

Jozsef Dobrovitz snr (HUN), ranked third in the world, is making his Olympia debut. Georg von Stein (GER) and Glen Geerts (BEL) will be looking to make the mark on the competition, and flying the flag for Great Britain is Daniel Naprous, lead member of the Devil’s Horsemen Stunt Team, who emerged victorious from the three events staged in the autumn to be selected as the home driver. He will be bringing the daring, precision and skill of his display and film work to driving a four-in-hand.

For more information, please visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information or imagery, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

World Class Dressage Riders Reveal Training Tips at Olympia, the London International Horse Show

29 October 2015 – OLYMPIA, the London International Horse Show welcomes two of the world’s top dressage riders, Kyra Kyrklund and Laura Tomlinson, to each perform a fascinating masterclass on Tuesday 15 December and Wednesday 16 December, respectively.

Fans have the rare opportunity to get up close and personal to dressage legend and six-time Olympian Kyra Kyrklund whose career spans over an impressive four decades. Kyrklund has not only competed around the world; she has also trained top international competitors across the globe from Finland, Sweden, USA, UK, Portugal, Holland and Australia. Kyrklund’s impressive portfolio of students along with her exceptional results has established her as one of the world’s most respected and admired dressage trainers. Kyrklund, who is known for her traditional techniques, will be working with an aspiring Grand Prix rider advising on the ‘dos and don’ts’ of dressage.

On Wednesday 16 December British rider, Laura Tomlinson, who retired her Olympic team gold medal winning partner – Mistral Højris – at Olympia in 2013, returns to the famous arena to treat the audience to a uniquely crafted demonstration. Taking the audience through their paces Tomlinson’s masterclass will provide the perfect insight into her training techniques, focusing in particular on how to deal with a difficult competition environment.

Living up to its reputation as one of Europe’s premier indoor equestrian events, Olympia 2015 will once again host the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage leg taking place on 15 and 16 December. Kyra Kyrklund will be performing on Tuesday 15 December, with Laura Tomlinson’s demonstration on Wednesday 16 December.

For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

Event Highlights:

• Tuesday 15 December: Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Leg – Grand Prix
• Wednesday 16 December: Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Leg – Freestyle to Music
• Thursday 17 December: Alltech Christmas Puissance
• Friday 18 December: FEI World Cup™ Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell
• Saturday 19 December: FEI World Cup™ Driving Leg Final presented by Dodson & Horrell
• Sunday 20 December: Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping leg presented by H&M
• Monday 21 December: Olympia Grand Prix

TomlinsonVisit the website here for a full programme of events.

For more information, please contact Hollie Bostock, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: hollie.bostock@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

World Famous Horse Whisperer to Headline Olympia

July 8, 2015 – The world’s biggest equestrian Christmas party, Olympia, The London International Horse Show, has announced an impressive line-up of displays for this year’s show, which takes place from 15-21 December 2015.

French Horse Whisperer, Jean-François Pignon, will return to centre stage this year and wow the crowds with his skills of natural horsemanship with his Liberty Horses.

The 90,000 visitors will also be treated to performances from The Household Cavalry Musical Ride and all the old favourites including The Shetland Pony Grand National, The Kennel Club Dog Agility and The Olympia Finale.

Jean-François Pignon said: “I’m so excited to be returning to the UK with my horses to showcase our skills for the crowd at Olympia.

“London is such a special show with a wonderful atmosphere and I can’t wait to return and perform our latest routine.”

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “Olympia, The London International Horse Show, is the ultimate celebration of equestrianism. Every year we endeavour to bring the very best horsemen and women from around the world to London for this truly special occasion.

“The enormously talented Jean-François Pignon has been a real crowd pleaser in the past and I’m sure he will once again dazzle the audiences with his magical performance.”

Living up to its reputation as one of Europe’s premier indoor equestrian events, Olympia 2015 will once again host three FEI World Cups™ in Carriage Driving, Dressage and Show Jumping. The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage leg takes place on 15 and 16 December, the FEI World Cup™ Driving leg presented by Dodson & Horrell on 18 and 19 December and the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping leg presented by H&M on 20 December. The climax of the seven day equine extravaganza will finish with the Olympia Grand Prix on Monday 21 December.

For more information on Olympia and to purchase tickets to this year’s show, please go to www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

For more information, please contact Hollie Bostock hollie@revolutionsports.co.uk or +44 (0)207 592 1207.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for charity. The show’s official charity for 2015 is World Horse Welfare.

Tickets Now on Sale for Olympia, The London International Horse Show 2015

30 April 2015 – CHRISTMAS has come early for fans wanting to get their hands on tickets to this year’s Olympia, The London International Horse Show, which will take place from 15th to 21st December.

After a virtual sell-out show last year, organisers are urging fans to apply for tickets early to avoid missing out on the chance to see the world’s top riders compete at the week-long equine extravaganza.

Over 90,000 spectators visited the show in 2014 and were wowed by world class performances across the board, including:

• Two magical and memorable Dressage World Records from Charlotte Dujardin
• An impressive number of victories from our top British show jumpers who felt the effects of the home advantage, culminating in Ben Maher taking the Olympia Grand Prix and H&M Leading Rider Award in style on the final night
• Thrilling entertainment from the Ukrainian Cossack riders and the Metropolitan Mounted Police – both acts were returning to the famous West London venue for the first time since 2009

“We’re delighted that we can offer equestrian fans the best in world class sport and family entertainment – this is what has made Olympia one of the most sought after events to attend and we’ll be pulling out all the stops to make sure that 2015 is even bigger and better.”

Olympia is one of Europe’s premier indoor equestrian events and will once again host three FEI World Cups™ in driving, dressage and jumping. The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ dressage leg takes place on 15th and 16th December, the FEI World Cup™ driving leg on 17th and 18th December and the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping leg presented by H&M on 20th December.

In addition to the FEI World Cups™, Olympia will feature a mix of top class equestrian competition – including the famous Alltech Christmas Puissance on the Thursday evening performance, international equestrian displays (to be announced), an outstanding shopping village, the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, the Kennel Club Dog Agility and an amazing selection of bars and restaurants.

For more information on Olympia and the performances at 2015, please go to www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information or imagery, please contact Hollie Bostock, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: hollie.bostock@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: +44 (0)207 592 1207.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show

The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

London Olympia Wins Best Press Office Award for Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Series

FEI Director of Press Relations Grania Willis presents Jo Peck, press officer for the London International Horse Show, Olympia, with the Best Press Office award for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League 2014/2015. (Photo: Dirk Caremans/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 21 April 2013 – The London International Horse Show, Olympia (GBR) has been unveiled as the “Best Press Office” for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League 2014/2015, following voting by global media.

The Olympia press office, led by Jo Peck, who has worked in the equestrian events industry for 12 years and in the wider events industry for 20 years, first represented her team when they won this coveted award in 2013. This same team was celebrated by media at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Las Vegas (USA) last weekend.

“In 2014 we invested in a better working environment for the media at Olympia and our team was very focused on making the media experience as easy and user-friendly as possible,” said Jo Peck.

“This work has paid great dividends and this award is testament to all our efforts. Olympia is the Christmas highlight of the prestigious Longines series, attracting large numbers of visitors and the media centre is always a hive of industry, generating significant international coverage for the event.”

“The media teams working to raise awareness of our sport and the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping do a tremendous job, making sure that media have all the latest information and tools necessary to put our athletes and sponsors into the limelight,” said FEI Director of Press Relations, Grania Willis.

“The Best Press Office award is hard-fought, and the media who voted for Olympia were really enthusiastic, highlighting their positive experiences of working at the event. To win this award once is fantastic, but to win it twice is seriously impressive and very well deserved.”

The Stuttgart Masters was the first to win the Best Press Office Award when it was introduced in 2011. Jumping Verona then took the award in 2012, with London Olympia winning the media accolade in 2013 and Gothenburg talking the honours in 2014.

Media Contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Press Relations
malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33

Kutscher Is King at Longines Leg in Olympia

Germany’s Marco Kutscher steered Cornet’s Cristallo to victory at the seventh leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League at Olympia in London (GBR) today. (FEI/Jon Stroud)

Olympia, London (GBR), 21 December 2014 – German riders dominated the prizewinner’s line-up at the seventh leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League at Olympia in London, Great Britain, where Marco Kutscher steered Cornet’s Cristallo to victory ahead of defending series champion Daniel Deusser riding Carriere.

Excitement is always guaranteed at the hugely popular pre-Christmas fixture staged in the Grand Hall, where the proximity of the spectators and the tight confines of the arena combine to create an electric atmosphere. And today’s competition sizzled from start to finish, with 13 of the 38 starters qualifying for the second-round jump-off against the clock.

Deceptively uncomplicated

Britain’s Robert Whitaker made the first-round course designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade look deceptively uncomplicated when foot-perfect as first rider into the ring. However, it quickly became clear that the track was best suited to horses requiring minimal adjustment to their stride pattern, while the time-allowed of 72-seconds took its toll. And for three of today’s starters – Britain’s Ben Maher and Michael Whitaker and Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander – it was utterly frustrating to miss out on the deciding round when collecting just a single time fault each.

Wade tested control of pace all the way, and the tall vertical at four was influential as was the following triple combination of a double of oxers followed by a vertical. The next line of three fences also proved testing, the vertical at six requiring caution before kicking on to the wide oxer at seven and then a tricky three-stride distance to a water-tray vertical at eight which came up very quickly for onward-bound horses. Wade also set them a challenge on the last line of fences, with the oxer at 11 followed by a double of verticals before the run down to the final oxer. The was a huge moan from the crowd when long-time World No. 1, Britain’s Scott Brash, made it all the way here only to leave it on the ground with Hello Sunshine.

A little careful

Robert Whitaker and Catwalk IV set the jump-off target with a clear in 40.49 seconds, while the normally super-fast Italian combination of Luca Moneta and Connery were also a little careful when leaving all the poles in place in 42.10. Norway’s Geir Gulliksen and Edesa S Banjan were fault-free in 41.42, but Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson and H&M Tornesch raised the temperature when first to break the 40-second barrier in 39.70 seconds, and that result was always going to count.

Last year’s Olympia winners, The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten and VDL Groep Sapphire B, hit the penultimate vertical, formerly fence four, which played a major role this time out. Located close to the arena entrance and on an angle to the remaining two elements of the former triple combination which brought this second course to a close, it caught a number of horses off-balance including the fabulous 8-year-old stallion, Singular LS La Silla, who looks another real star-ride for Germany’s Marcus Ehning.

Took command

With five left to run, defending Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion, Daniel Deusser, took command with a superb run from the 11-year-old mare Carriere who broke the beam in 38.44 seconds, but his lead was short-lived, because fellow-countryman Kutscher galloped through the timers in 37.66 seconds despite an unsettling moment at the double at 9, now three from home. “The beginning of the jump-off wasn’t perfect and I wanted to do one less to the double but he was a bit behind me – he really helped me there. I was very deep, very close – but he made it!” Kutscher said afterwards.

However, he had to watch three strong challengers take their turn before he would be assured of victory. Constant van Paesschen has enjoyed a tremendous season with Citizenguard Toscan de Sainte who was recently named Horse of the Year in Belgium, but a mistake at the third-last, the oxer at fence 3, was followed by two more for 12 faults. The penultimate contender was Bertram Allen who had already racked up a double of wins at the London fixture over the last few days and the 19-year-old Irish sensation who clinched victory on his World Cup debut in Verona, Italy last month looked set to do it again until his mare, Molly Malone, clipped the penultimate vertical before crossing the line in what would be the fastest time, 36.81 seconds.

Tantalising maximum points

Now only Britain’s John Whitaker stood between Kutscher and those tantalising 20 maximum qualifying points, but the 59-year-old maestro’s stallion, Argento, stood too far off the oxer at fence three to also return a four-fault result. It would be his son, Robert, who would fly the flag for family and country when slotting into fourth behind Baryard-Johnsson in third and Germany’s Kutscher and Deusser in first and second spots respectively.

“It’s my first press conference here this week. I normally have a good show in London but so far it wasn’t great, so I was a bit disappointed until today!” said Kutscher afterwards. “I knew if I was in the jump-off I’d have a good chance and it worked out for me,” he added. He congratulated his fellow-countryman Deusser who borrowed Carriere to compete in London. “It was his first time to ride the horse and he had a very good class today. Even with a horse he doesn’t know he’s always dangerous,” he pointed out.

Deusser, who competes for Stephex Stables, explained that two of his horses were injured last week. “I really wanted to come to London so I said to my boss that I have two options. Either I stay at home or I take two others, and he said on Tuesday just try this horse one time. So I rode her on Tuesday morning and she was on the truck on Tuesday afternoon!” said the man who is pre-qualified for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015 Final as defending champion.

Super-happy

Baryard-Johnsson said, “It’s my second time in three years to finish third! He (her stallion H&M Tornesch) had a very, very good round; he’s in great shape and we really tried today, both of us, so I’m super-happy!”

Fourth-placed Robert Whitaker was delighted to finish best of the British. He reflected on his bad luck at the previous leg in Madrid, Spain where he had victory in his grasp only to lose control of Catwalk who ran past the final fence. “We should have won that day!” he said. “The last few shows he’s been jumping very well and the course really suited him today,” said the rider who is getting married in Barbados next month.

With just five of the 12 qualifying legs remaining, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League now moves on to Mechelen in Belgium where the action takes place on Tuesday 30 December.

For further information on the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 leg at Olympia, London (GBR), go to www.olympiahorseshow.com or contact Press Officer Jo Peck, JoPeck@hpower.co.uk, +44 1753 847 900.

The next leg takes place at Mechelen, Belgium on 30 December. For details of the Belgian fixture, check out website www.jumping-mechelen.com or contact Press Officer Edith de Reys, Email edith.dereys@skynet.be, Tel +32 475 659281.

Full result here.

Facts and Figures:

The Grand Hall at Olympia in London (GBR) was the venue for Round 7 of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League today.

38 horse-and-riders started in the competition won by Germany’s Marco Kutscher and the 11-year-old Corent’s Cristallo.

13 qualified for the second-round jump-off against the clock.

6 horse-and-rider combinations jumped double-clear rounds.

3 horse-and-rider combinations picked up just a single time fault in the first round.

Course designer was Ireland’s Alan Wade.

4 German riders qualified for the jump-off.

Runner-up in today’s competition was reigning Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion Daniel Deusser from Germany.

2 of the riders who qualified for the jump-off were Belgium’s Jos Verlooy and Ireland’s Bertram Allen who are just 19 years of age and a full 40 years younger than British legend, John Whitaker, who was last to go in today’s deciding round.

With 40 points or more now accumulated, 5 riders are confirmed for a place at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Final in Las Vegas, USA next April – Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders, Germany’s Marco Kutscher and Daniel Deusser and Kevin Staut from France.

There are 5 remaining rounds of the series, and the next takes place at Mechelen in Belgium on Tuesday 30 December 2014.

Quotes:

Marco Kutscher GER, talking about the challenge of riding in a small arena like Olympia: “It depends on the course builder, it was really nice to ride all the courses so far.”

Daniel Deusser GER: “As I live in Mechelen I can walk to the arena next week! That’s my next show, then Basel. I don’t really need the points as I’m pre-qualified for the Final, but it’s always a better feeling if you have a few points and know you’re in the game. I don’t know which horse I’ll ride in the Final but I will try and get a few more points.”

Robert Smith GBR, when asked if he would have gone quicker if his draw in the jump-off was different: “I would’ve won! Actually I wouldn’t have changed anything.”

Daniel Deusser, talking about the course: “I didn’t think we’d get 13 clears, the fences came up very very quick, I thought it was a really difficult course and the time was really short.

There were a lot of good horses, the ground is good and the atmosphere is good. This was a super class with a great jump-off!”

Alan Wade, course designer: “Every night in the 1.50m classes we had plenty of clear rounds, so I knew they were jumping well. In the jump-off today I thought my countryman (Bertram Allen) could win! We put up the fences in the jump-off. We believe to keep the standard. We know they’re capable of going fast, but don’t want them to go flat out every day, we want jumpers to win, as well as fast jumpers.”

Full standings here.

FEI YouTube: http://goo.gl/wqYuei

Longines Live Timing Jumping application: available free for download from The App Store (iPhone) & Android Markets. Combining precision and performance, this is a detailed and exclusive application designed especially for Jumping fans – follow live results, see latest Longines Rankings, view competition schedules, obtain exclusive information and alerts on your favorite riders and get all the latest FEI news.

Rider biographies: view online and download from http://fei.org/fei/your-role/media/biographies.

Longines has been based at Saint-Imier (SUI) since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations.

Longines’ passion for equestrian sports began in 1878, when it produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and its mount. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with equestrian sports. In 1912, Longines was proud to partner with its first Jumping event, the Grande Concurso Hippico Internacional, in Portugal.

Today, Longines’ involvement in equestrianism includes Jumping, Endurance and flat racing.

Longines is a member of The Swatch Group S.A., the world’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With an excellent reputation for creating refined timepieces, the brand, whose emblem is the winged hourglass, has outlets in over 130 countries.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Olympia:

Jo Peck
Press Officer
JoPeck@hpower.co.uk
+44 1753 847 900

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Marco Kutscher and Cristallo Shine Brightly in Longines World Cup at Olympia

Photo: Kit Houghton/HPower.

German Olympian Marco Kutscher riding Cornet’s Cristallo produced a typically virtuoso display of smooth horsemanship to triumph in a thrilling Longines FEI World Cup™ Qualifier presented by H&M at Olympia, The London International Horse Show today.

The 2003 European Champion snatched victory by just 0.78 seconds from his fellow countryman Daniel Deusser on Carriere. Appropriately for H&M day at Olympia, the Swedish company’s rider Malin Baryard finished third on H&M Tornesch.

Britain’s Robert Whitaker didn’t allow being drawn first to put him off and finished fourth with a masterful performance on Catwalk lV, winning a handy €12,450 to put towards his wedding in Barbados next month.

Thirteen of the 38 combinations in the class went through to the jump-off, with the last four riders – Marco, Belgium’s Constant Van Paesschen, Irish teenager Bertram Allen and John Whitaker – all going clear. Constant had 12 faults and Bertram, who is 40 years John Whitaker’s junior, just missed at the penultimate fence with the lovely grey mare Molly Malone V.

John had the packed house on the edge of their seats, but he also had his stallion Argento too far off the second-last fence and, to disappointed groans, it came down. “I had to give it a go,” said John ruefully afterwards.

It wasn’t Britain’s day, as Spencer Roe (Wonder Why), William Whitaker (Fandango) and Tim Gredley (Unex Annika B) all incurred cricket scores and Michael Whitaker (Viking) and Ben Maher (Diva ll) marred clear rounds with an annoying time fault apiece. Scott Brash on the exciting youngster Hello Sunshine had the frustration of hitting the last fence.

“I thought it was good sport and entertainment,” said the course-designer, Irishman Alan Wade. “I knew it was a field of mixed experience and some new combinations and that I had to keep my head. We put up the fences in the jump-off, because we want really good jumpers to win as well as fast jumpers.”

Marco Kutscher, who has now moved up to third place in the Longines FEI World Cup™ rankings with five more rounds to go before the final in Las Vegas, takes home a cheque for €41,085. His ride, Thomas Sagel’s Cornet’s Cristallo, an 11-year-old gelding, is by Cornet Oblensky, the great stallion which whom Marco is perhaps most associated.

The rider admitted that his week had improved dramatically. “So far my show hadn’t been going that well, but I knew that if I could get into the jump-off I would have a good chance,” said Marco, who got the call-up for Olympia only 10 days ago when other German riders dropped out. “It wasn’t the perfect jump-off. I was trying to cut out a stride because my horse is brilliant and can do anything, but I got him in too deep to a fence and he really helped me out.”

The 39-year-old has recently left his long-time mentor Ludger Beerbaum to set up a yard with his girlfriend. “I will be raising a glass to Ludger tonight because he helps me a lot. And it’s partly thanks to him not coming to Olympia that I managed to get in. It’s a really special show that I always want to come to.”

To view the full results, click HERE.

For more information, please contact Hannah Rawdon-Mogg, hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk, +44(0)7786 052926 or +44(0)207 592 1207.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 16-22 December 2014 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Kennel Club Dog Agility. The show’s official charity for 2014 is The Injured Jockeys Fund.