Category Archives: Olympia

Clare Balding among Stars to Pay Tribute to Valegro ahead of His Retirement at Olympia

Ahead of the retirement of Charlotte Dujardin’s record breaking ride, Valegro, Olympia Horse Show has created a copyright free film, ‘A Tribute to Valegro’. It features celebrities such as Clare Balding OBE, Leona Lewis, Alistair Stewart OBE, and Natasha Baker OBE, as well as Carl Hester MBE and Valegro’s groom Alan Davies. The unrivalled partnership that Charlotte and Valegro have shared has not only broken countless records and claimed multiple medals; it has also won the hearts of everyone who has had the privilege of seeing them in action. This film captures just how special their journey has been.

Valegro’s official retirement from competition will take place in the Olympia Grand Hall on Wednesday 14 December. The retirement ceremony will follow the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Freestyle competition in what promises to be an emotional evening for Valegro fans.

To view the film, click here.

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford, gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk 0203 176 0355

Equestrian Olympic and Paralympic Medallists to Parade at Olympia

Picture Credit: Eric Knoll.

Olympia, the London International Horse Show, will welcome the 2016 Team GB and Paralymics GB Equestrian medallists in a celebratory parade, to take place on the evening of Friday 16 December.

Triple gold medallist, Charlotte Dujardin OBE, and double gold medallist, Nick Skelton OBE, will lead the way in a parade to hail the fantastic achievements of the GBR Equestrian Team. Charlotte will be joined by her Dressage teammates, Carl Hester MBE, Spencer Wilton and Fiona Bigwood, who together claimed Team silver.

The parade comes at the end of what will be an emotional week for Charlotte, who will be retiring her gold medal winning ride Valegro on Wednesday 14 December in front of a sell-out crowd following the FEI World Cup™ Freestyle competition.

Great Britain’s equestrian Paralympians won a phenomenal 11 medals in Rio, seven of which were gold, including an 11th gold for Paralympics GB’s Rio flag bearer, Lee Pearson CBE, who has now won gold medals in each of his five Paralympic Games.

Lee will be commemorating his achievements on the night alongside three-time Rio gold medallist Sophie Christiansen OBE and her victorious Dressage mixed teammates Sophie Wells MBE and Anne Dunham MBE, who alongside Natasha Baker retained the team title, making them unbeaten at Paralmypic, European and World level.

The unmounted parade will be a chance for fans to reminisce about the inspirational performances from Rio, which not only captured the spirit of the Games but also produced breath taking rides to bring home the medals. It is set to be a highly emotional occasion as the equestrian heroes of 2016 are celebrated in true Olympia style.

Show Director Simon Brooks-Ward commented, “We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming such an exceptional group of riders to the Olympia Grand Hall and it will be a privilege to be able to applaud their exceptional achievements at the Show.”

Also taking part in the parade will be members of the Equestrian performance team and the owners of the medalling horses, ensuring that the event is a full celebration of the accomplishments of the Team and their associates, without whom it would not be possible.

Chief Executive of the British Equestrian Federation Clare Salmon says: “We are delighted to be able to recognise the fantastic achievements of our athletes in Rio at Olympia this year. It has been a great year for equestrian sport and what better way to celebrate than to share the moment with some of our fantastic supporters.”

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford, gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk 0203 176 0355

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 13-19 December 2016 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.

Victoria Pendleton Will Star alongside Frankie Dettori in Jump vs Flat Jockey Clash at Olympia

Olympia, The London International Horse Show, is delighted to announce that double Olympic gold medallist, Victoria Pendleton, will be gracing the Olympia arena as she turns her hand to show jumping in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund on the evening of Friday 16th December for the Markel Champions Challenge.

She will be plying her trade against the best in the racing world. The Challenge is made up of a flat jockey team captained by Frankie Dettori and a jump jockey team captained by current National Hunt Champion, Richard ‘Dickie’ Johnson. The flat team will also include about-to-be-crowned Champion flat jockey Jim Crowley. Both teams will be gunning for glory making the adrenalin fueled contest even money.

Frankie’s team: Frankie Dettori, Jim Crowley, Hayley Turner, Adam Kirby, 5th rider (TBC)
Dickie’s team: Richard Johnson, Victoria Pendleton, Sam Twiston-Davies, Tom Scudamore, Harry Skelton

The competition will see the five flat jockeys competing against the five jump jockeys over a challenging show jumping course built by the legendary course designer Bob Ellis. This exhilarating spectacle will task even the most experienced of riders, creating huge excitement around the Olympia arena for this year’s Friday evening performance.

Prior to the event, the former cyclist will undergo specialist training from a fellow Olympian, currently at the pinnacle of his career – Rio 2016’s individual show jumping gold medallist Nick Skelton. Nick will be giving Victoria special tuition as the multi-sport queen switches saddles yet again to take up this latest challenge.

Victoria Pendleton, multiple Olympic medallist, said:

“I am thrilled to be a part of such a prestigious event like Olympia. The Markel Champions Challenge will be an exciting competition with such a high calibre of jockeys and I’m really looking forward to riding in it. To be back involved in a team again and hear the excitement of the crowd will be immense. I just hope the jump jockeys can get over the line for the win!”

Juliet Redfern, Markel’s Managing Director of Equine and Livestock, said:

“It is fantastic to see the return of the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. Markel are proud to be associated with such a credible cause at a brilliant event. To see Victoria on board will be enormously inspiring to everyone, and we would like to take this opportunity to wish all the competitors the best of luck.”

Lisa Hancock, Chief Executive of the Injured Jockeys Fund, said:

“The Injured Jockeys Fund is delighted to be involved in this fantastic event. Not only will it be a lot of fun but it will help to raise awareness and crucial support for all injured jockeys and their families.”

To buy your tickets to this unique event and secure your place at one of the equestrian performances of the year, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone box office on 0871 230 5580.

For more information, please contact:

Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford, gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk, 0203 176 0355
Injured Jockeys Fund: Liz Ampairee, liz@lizampairee.com 0773 333 1945
Markel International: Michael Henman, michael.henman@markelintl.com 0207 953 6000

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 13-19 December 2016 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.

The Injured Jockeys Fund
The Injured Jockeys Fund was founded in 1964 following the devastating accidents to Tim Brookshaw, and then Paddy Farrell in the 1964 Grand National. In the 50 years since, The Fund has spent over £18m in helping over 1000 jockeys and their families. The IJF has two respite and rehabilitation centres, Oaksey House in Berkshire, opened by Patron HRH The Princess Royal in 2009, and Jack Berry House in Yorkshire, which opened in the Summer of 2015. A third facility in Newmarket to be called Peter O’Sullevan House is currently being planned. www.ijf.org.uk

Spectacular Line Up of Int’l Displays Set to Perform at Olympia, the London International Horse Show

Organisers of the world’s favourite equestrian Christmas party, Olympia, The London International Horse Show, have announced a stunning new line up of international equestrian displays to be featured at this year’s Show, which runs from 13-19 December 2016.

The headliners include the world-renowned equestrian artist, Santi Serra, who is set to wow the 90,000 visitors with his Spanish flair and unique performance. Joining him will be the elegant Portuguese Lusitanos, often referred to as ‘The Pride of Portugal’, who will be showcasing their beautiful skills of horsemanship and harmony. In addition, the ever popular elements which make London’s premier horse show magical, such as The Shetland Pony Grand National, The Kennel Club Dog Agility and The Olympia Finale, will be back once again to delight the crowds of spectators attending this year’s Show.

Santi Serra will be making his debut at the Olympia Exhibition Halls with his beloved horses as well as his loyal four-pawed companions. Born in Spain, Santi Serra has a unique relationship with his animals, who he often refers to as ‘actors’. He communicates with them through mind and body and is able to put on a thrilling show demonstrating extraordinary choreography between horse, human and dog. Making a rare appearance in the UK this new to Olympia act will have the audience in awe.

Serra spoke of his delight at coming to London. “It is such a compliment to be asked to perform at Olympia. It is one of the best Shows in the world and the atmosphere is always electric. My team and I are really looking forward to entertaining the audience with our special routine.”

The world-class Lusitano Display is comprised of Portugal’s top riders and 16 stallions, hand-picked to represent their country in this demonstration of traditional Portuguese equestrian skills. The striking horses are mesmerising to watch with their beauty and flexibility emphasised through the breath-taking carousel routine.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “Olympia, The London International Horse Show is a celebration of equestrianism and we work hard to bring a variety of displays to the event each year. This year we are delighted to be bringing a new display to Olympia which, combined with the Lusitanos, will bring high levels of entertainment for the audience and will complement the world-class competitions in Dressage, Show Jumping and Carriage Driving. It is very exciting to have such an impressive line-up at Olympia this year.”

As well as the displays, audience members will be treated to the highly anticipated return of the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund on the evening of Friday 16 December, which will feature high profile names, such as the legendary Frankie Dettori, in a relay jumping competition.

The world’s top competitors will be in attendance, as once again Olympia will host three FEI World Cup™ Legs in Carriage Driving, Dressage and Show Jumping.  The FEI World Cup™ Dressage Leg supported by Horse&Hound takes place on 13 and 14 December, the FEI World Cup™ Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell on 16 and 17 December and the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Leg presented by H&M on 18 December. The climax of the seven-day equine extravaganza will finish with the Olympia Grand Prix on Monday 19 December.

For more information, 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 13-19 December 2016 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.

Markel Champions Challenge in Aid of Injured Jockeys Fund Set to Return to Olympia

Olympia, The London International Horse Show is delighted to announce the highly anticipated return of the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund on the evening of Friday 16th December, which will feature high profile names such as the legendary Frankie Dettori and newly crowned National Hunt Champion, Richard Johnson.

The event, which sees some of the UK’s top jump jockeys test their mettle against their flat counterparts, made its debut at Olympia, The London International Horse Show back in 2014 and returns by popular demand for the second time in 2016.

Markel International, the specialist insurer, is proud to return as sponsor of the special class, which is set to be one of the highlights of the evening.

Captaining the flat team will be Frankie Dettori, a champion on the flat, who never fails to provide top class entertainment wherever he goes. Frankie will go head-to-head with 2015-2016 National Hunt Champion Richard ‘Dickie’ Johnson, stepping out of the shadows of Sir Anthony McCoy on the track and looking to fill ‘A.P.’s’ boots at Olympia too, following the success of the jumps team back in 2014.

The captains will select their teams over the coming months, with the final line-up set to be announced early in the autumn. Always highly competitive, there is no doubt that both Frankie and Richard will be looking to field the strongest teams available, as they lay down the gauntlet for the challenge. The class is sure to be a crowd pleaser and the fans may even be treated to one of Frankie’s infamous flying dismounts.

In addition to the entertainment value of the class, the Markel Champions Challenge is run in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, the charity which provides invaluable support for jockeys and the wider equestrian community.

Lisa Hancock, Chief Executive of the Injured Jockeys Fund, says:

“We are delighted to see the return of The Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. The 2014 event was a great success and helped raise awareness of the important work we do at the IJF in supporting injured jockeys and their families.”

Juliet Redfern, Markel’s Managing Director of equine and livestock, says:

“We are thrilled to be supporting this exciting event at Olympia for a second time and hope that it raises lots of money for the Injured Jockeys Fund, which is a truly fantastic charity.”

Simon Brooks-Ward, Olympia, The London International Horse Show Director, says:

“We are very pleased to announce the return of the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. We are looking forward to seeing the top jockeys once again demonstrating their equine skills in the Olympia Exhibition Hall in an event which was one of the highlights of the 2014 Show. With the likes of Frankie Dettori and Richard Johnson involved this year, it is sure to be another great spectacle which will wow the audience.”

To buy your tickets to this fantastic event and secure your place at one of the equestrian performances of the year, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone box office on 0871 230 5580.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford, E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

Injured Jockeys Fund:
Liz Ampairee, E: liz@lizampairee.com or T: +44 (0)773 333 1945

Markel International:
Michael Henman, E: michael.henman@markelintl.com or T: +44 (0)207 953 6000

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 13-19 December 2016 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.

The Injured Jockeys Fund

The Injured Jockeys Fund was founded in 1964 following the devastating accidents to Tim Brookshaw, and then Paddy Farrell in the 1964 Grand National. In the 50 years since, The Fund has spent over £18m in helping over 1000 jockeys and their families. The IJF has two respite and rehabilitation centres, Oaksey House in Berkshire, opened by Patron HRH The Princess Royal in 2009, and Jack Berry House in Yorkshire, which opened in the Summer of 2015. A third facility in Newmarket is currently being planned. www.ijf.org.uk

Emile Faurie Foundation Announced as Official Charity for Olympia

The Emile Faurie Foundation, a charity that reaches out to underprivileged children started up by top International Rider and Trainer, Emile Faurie, has been announced as the official charity for Olympia, The London International Horse Show 2016, running from 13-19 December.

Founded in 1996, The Emile Faurie Foundation funds disadvantaged children living in inner cities and remote areas of the UK to have access to riding lessons and contact with horses. The charity was started as a way to remove one of the barriers to a sport that can enrich the lives of everyone who participates. The Emile Faurie Foundation offers courses that not only teach riding but help develop essential life skills such as boosting self-esteem, responsibility and discipline.

Emile Faurie said: “In 2016, our foundation will be celebrating its tenth anniversary, so we are thrilled we can finish off the year being part of Olympia Horse Show, as it’s one of the world’s iconic equestrian events. I’ve seen first-hand how much the charity can improve young people’s lives after being given the opportunity to ride and experience the joy and fulfilment of riding. It’s so crucial we are able to continue raising enough funds to reach out to more disadvantaged children, and give them a new exciting opportunity that could help turn their life around.”

Olympia organisers are delighted to be able to support The Emile Faurie Foundation as it is a charity with a purpose close to the hearts of many equestrian fans who visit Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “The Emile Faurie Foundation is a great charity that offers a golden opportunity to children who wouldn’t usually be able to participate in equestrian activities. The work it does has a proven positive impact on a child’s life. We hope that their involvement with Olympia Horse Show will help them with their vitally needed fundraising and give them further recognition.”

The charity will be given a high profile on all material produced by Olympia Horse Show this year, together with a presence on the website, in the show programme and branding at the event. They will also have a bucket collection and hospitality opportunities and will receive 50p for every seat sold on the Thursday 15th December afternoon performance.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show is a highly-anticipated event and the climax of the 2016 equestrian sporting calendar, as competitors look to end the Olympic year in style. The Show will again play host to three FEI World Cup™ events in driving, dressage and show jumping, all of which are expected to feature the World’s top ranked athletes. For seven days, the world’s best equestrian stars will compete at the iconic Kensington Olympia venue at the height of the Christmas festivities.

To find out how to donate to The Emile Faurie Foundation or to purchase tickets, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone box office on 0871 230 5580.

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

Tickets to Go on Sale for Olympia, The London International Horse Show 2016

On Friday 29th April tickets will go on sale for the unmissable Olympia, The London International Horse Show which is coming back bigger and better than ever from 13th to 19th December 2016.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show 2016 is predicted to sell quickly following the announcement of an enhanced visitor experience, to go alongside the top class competition and displays that make up this popular event.  For seven days, the world’s equestrian stars will compete at the iconic Kensington Olympia venue at the height of the Christmas festivities.

The Show will be the climax of the 2016 equestrian sporting calendar, as the competitors look to end the Olympic year in style and will again play host to three FEI World Cup™ events in driving, dressage and show jumping, all of which are expected to feature the World’s top ranked athletes in the sport. The Dressage leg will kick off the FEI World Cup™ action on the 13th and 14th December, with The FEI World Cup™ Driving leg presented by Dodson & Horrell on the 16th and 17th December. Rounding off the medley of elite sporting competitions, The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping leg presented by H&M is set to provide a world-class spectacle on Sunday 18th December.

Supporting these feature events will be a schedule of first class action and entertainment, from the infamous Christmas Puissance, always a family favourite, to the Olympia Grand Prix which will provide a fitting conclusion to the week of top-class sport, as the world’s best show jumpers look to see off 2016 with their best performances yet.

Further enhancing the spectator experience will be a thrilling line-up of international display acts, as well as competitions from old favourites such as The Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility to more newly introduced spectacles due to be announced later in the year.

In between the exhilarating equestrian action spectators can explore the extensive shopping village, revamped for 2016 with larger walkways, a central feature and innovative product finders to help make a more efficient and enjoyable shopping experience. Inside the revitalised shopping village, visitors will discover over 220 pop-up shops selling a whole array of luxury goods and equestrian must-haves, along with a fantastic selection of bars and restaurants, with something to please the whole family.

Check in to the brand new website www.olympiahorseshow.com for more information on Olympia, The London International Horse Show and keep up to date with announcements of the performances due to set pulses racing in 2016.

Members can pre-order tickets via the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com or by telephoning the box office on 0871 230 5580. Ticket prices vary.

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 13-19 December 2016 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.

FEI Secretary General Voices Support for Officials at London Olympia

Lausanne (SUI), 24 December 2015 – FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez has today voiced her full support for the actions of FEI Officials at London Olympia on Monday night (21 December) when Irish rider Bertram Allen was disqualified after blood was found on the flank of his horse, Quiet Easy.

“I have absolutely no doubt that the protocols regarding blood on the horse were followed correctly at London Olympia on Monday night,” Sabrina Ibáñez said.

“Of course this incident has created a considerable amount of discussion on social media because Bertram Allen would otherwise have won the Grand Prix, so there is a high level of sympathy for him, but the FEI Officials were in Olympia – as they are at every event run under FEI Rules – to ensure a fair and level playing field and that the welfare of the horse is protected.

“Blood was found on the flank of Bertram Allen’s horse and, under FEI Jumping Rules, that results in mandatory disqualification. The situation was reported to the Ground Jury by the FEI Steward who had conducted the normal post-competition check on the horse and Bertram Allen was then informed of his disqualification in person by the President of the Ground Jury and the Foreign Judge.

“Let me be clear: disqualification under this rule does not imply that there was any intent to injure the horse, but it is crucial that the rules are enforced in order to ensure that horse welfare ‎is protected.

“It is very easy for any sports official to be criticised when they are simply doing their job. Everything at Olympia was handled correctly and in accordance with the rules, but there is no doubt that it was an unfortunate end to a wonderful event.”

FEI Jumping Rules Article 242.3.1
Mandatory Disqualification
3.1 Horses bleeding on the flank(s), in the mouth or nose or marks indicating excessive use of spurs or of the whip anywhere on the Horse (in minor cases of blood in the mouth, such as where a Horse appears to have bitten its tongue or lip, Officials may authorize the rinsing or wiping of the mouth and allow the Athlete to continue; any further evidence of blood in the mouth will result in Disqualification.)

FEI Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

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

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

Statement on Bertram Allen (IRL), on Behalf of Olympia

Following the Olympia Grand Prix CSI5* at Olympia, The London International Horse Show (GBR) on 21 December, 2015, Bertram Allen (IRL) was disqualified by the Ground Jury under Article 242.3.1 of the FEI Jumping Rules when the FEI Steward tasked with the mandatory post-competition boot and bandage control reported to the Ground Jury that Allen’s horse, Quiet Easy, had presented with blood on the offside (right) flank.

An appeal was lodged by Ms Mhairi Alexander who had been appointed by the Rider and Mrs E Phillips, the Owner, to speak on their behalf. The Appeal Committee heard from the Ground Jury, the FEI Steward and the appointed representative of the Rider.

The Appeal Committee upheld the decision of the Ground Jury that Bertram Allen was correctly disqualified from the competition.

The class was awarded to Michael Whitaker (GBR) and Viking.

Appeal Committee President Val Turner (GBR).

FEI Jumping Rules Article 242.3.1 – Mandatory Disqualification – (‘Horses bleeding on the flank(s), in the mouth or nose or marks indicating excessive use of spurs or of the whip anywhere on the Horse’)

For further information, please contact Jo Peck at Hpower Group
E: jo.peck@hpower.co.uk   T: +44 (0)1753 847900
or Hollie Bostock at Revolution Sports & Entertainment
E: hollie@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 (0) 207 592 1207

John Whitaker Rolls Back the Years in H&M Ivy Stakes

Photo credit Kit Houghton/Hpower.

John Whitaker, the most senior rider at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, showed his younger rivals a clean pair of heels in the H&M Ivy Stakes when, despite an unpromisingly early draw in a 12-horse jump-off, he set a target none could match.

This hugely popular victory, which had friends backstage rushing to pat him on the back, put John back at the top of the H&M Leading Rider of Show leaderboard, which he heads by just one point from Ben Maher.

‘My real aim was the World Cup class this afternoon [won by Italian Emanuele Gaudiano], which didn’t quite work out, but here I am back on top of the world,’ said John, who turned 60 this summer. ‘The crowd are always really behind you at Olympia and it brings everything out in you.’

His winning mount was Team Harmony and former FEI President Princess Haya’s bay mare, Ornellaia, who he suggests could be a contender for Rio – which would be John’s fifth Olympic Games.

‘All you can do is try to be professional,’ he said, explaining his longevity at the top of the sport. ‘I get up at 6.30am every morning and school horses, trying to improve all the time. You have to keep upping your game, even at my age. This year has been a good one and to finish with a win at Olympia means a lot to me.’

Christmas came early for 11-year-old Alex Finney, a member of the Iveagh branch of the Pony Club, when she paired up with William Whitaker to win the H&M Pony Club Mini-Major. It was a first trip to Olympia for the young Irish rider and her pony, Ballyknock Master Roan.

‘Alex did a fantastic round which captured the win,’ commented William. ‘She showed experience beyond her years.’

There was more high-octane pony action in the H&M Mistletoe Mini Stakes. Oliver Tuff showed that he has inherited his show jumping father Justin’s competitive genes when, on his first appearance at Olympia, the 12-year-old from Totnes, Devon, won with Mandy Hall’s Show Me Again.

The fiercely competitive class culminated in a seven-pony jump-off. Oliver was third to go and, with a series of expertly executed turns, he pinched the lead from Claudia Moore (Peppino II Grande) by over two seconds.

‘Coming down to the last fence with everyone screaming and cheering for you really is amazing,’ said Oliver. ‘Competing here is magical and the atmosphere is electric, and winning has made it extra special.’

The hotly contested Kennel Club Large Novice Dog Jumping Grand Prix was won by Martin Reid and his speedy dog Borderpaws Secret Surprise in the time of 35.05 secs.

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.