Category Archives: Olympia

Exell Extraordinary Again at London Olympia

Australia’s Boyd Exell claimed his fourth win of the FEI World Cup™ Driving season with victory at London Olympia (GBR) tonight. (Trevor Meeks/FEI)

London (GBR), 21 December 2014 – Boyd Exell (AUS) put down an extraordinary performance again to win his fourth consecutive FEI World Cup™ Driving competition of this season at London Olympia (GBR). Exell had already won at Stuttgart, Stockholm and last week in Geneva, where he competed with three borrowed horses to spare his own team for his wild card start in London. The Australian’s biggest opponent IJsbrand Chardon (NED) finished second, while Sweden’s Fredrik Persson drove very steadily for third.

It was the first time this season that the three favourites – Boyd Exell and Dutchmen IJsbrand Chardon and Koos de Ronde had competed against each other. Dutch level 4 course designer Johan Jacobs had laid out a very good course with fast and technical elements, which remained exciting until the very last moment. All drivers were extremely happy with the event in Olympia, for which the tickets were sold out five weeks in advance. The stands were full with enthusiastic fans, who supported the drivers throughout the whole competition.

Regular team
Exell drove his regular team of horses at London Olympia and admitted he could have been a bit more accurate in the first round, where one of his leader horses knocked a ball off one of the cones. But his speed in the second round, which ran over the same course, was unbelievable and Exell flew round the arena, leaving all elements in place, to secure his fourth win of this season.

Risk-free rounds
IJsbrand Chardon, last to go in the Winning Round, had driven a new leader horse in the two previous classes in Olympia, but decided to take no risks and put his experienced leader horse in for the FEI World Cup™ competition. The four-time individual World Champion gave everything he had and drove a clear round, but was unable to beat Exell’s time to slot into second place. As Exell was competing with a wild card and was therefore not entitled to points, the 10 points went to Chardon, moving him up to second in the standings behind Exell. Both top drivers have already secured their ticket for the Final in Bordeaux.

Confident
While Exell, Chardon and de Ronde fought it out, it was Fredrik Persson who used tactics and a steady pace to claim the third place in the Winning Round. Persson drove his team of old horses, the youngest at 17 years old, clear and at good speed through the course. In the Winning Round the driving teacher from Sweden’s National Stud, Flyinge, took a bit too much risk and knocked three balls down in the last phase of the competition, but he was still happy with his performance.

Fine-tuning
Koos de Ronde competed with the same team of horses that he steered to victory in the FEI World Cup™ Driving competition in Budapest (HUN). The team gold medallist from the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy (FRA) put down the second fastest time in the first round, but three knockdowns prevented him from getting into the Winning Round. De Ronde is aware that his new team still needs some time for fine-tuning.

Lack of speed
Young driver Glenn Geerts (BEL) started off in flying form at London Olympia by winning the first class, which did not count for the FEI World Cup™. But he was unable to get his special indoor team of Lipizzaner horses into the right speed in the qualifier to finish fifth ahead of bronze individual medallist in Caen Theo Timmerman (NED). Timmerman, who will move to a new yard in Varsseveld in the Netherlands next month, swapped his leader horses around, but didn’t have the necessary speed in the marathon type obstacles and came sixth.

Film horses
Daniel Naprous (GBR) earned the second wild card by winning the British indoor qualifiers at Merrist Wood, Bury Farm and the British Masters at Addington Manor. The 37-year-old stuntman previously had a wild card at Olympia in 2012. Boyd Exell kindly lent Naprous a bay leader horse for his indoor team at Olympia, which was made up of two of his film horses and an older outdoor horse. Naprous really enjoyed competing in Olympia and was pleased despite the fact that he had no front brakes on his carriage during his round. This resulted in four knockdowns and a seventh-place finish.

Quotes
Boyd Exell (AUS): “This indoor team is going to become like my old and famous indoor team with Bill. They have got the top line speed that Bill brought to my team. I’ve just got to have a bit more accuracy and a bit more reliability. The second round I could drive safe and fast whilst in the first round I fumbled a few loops. I didn’t give them their best ride, but they got me out of trouble. The second round I gave them a good ride and they operated.”

IJsbrand Chardon (NED): “I could not go any faster with this team in order to stay clear. Today’s competition was very important for me; I needed the World Cup points so that is why I decided to use my experienced leader horse again. At the moment it is very difficult to win from Boyd. I gave everything I had and I am now in the Final so I can test my new leader horse at my last competition in Leipzig.”

Fredrik Persson (SWE): “I tried to stay clean in the first round and I was lucky that I did. In the Winning Round I took some risk and had several knockdowns, but I am still very happy. The feeling in the arena at Olympia is amazing, the spectators are fantastic, they really help you by creating such a great atmosphere. The feeling is in the air.”

Results in detail can be viewed here.

Video
Watch Boyd Exell’s round on FEI TV.

Audio
Listen to Boyd Exell (AUS) talking about his win.

The 2014/2015 FEI World Cup™ Driving series now moves on to Mechelen (BEL) on Tuesday, 30 December.

The FEI World Cup™ Driving competition in Mechelen will be broadcast live on FEI TV, the FEI’s official video platform, on 30 December at 21.50 CET.

For information on Mechelen, go to www.jumping-mechelen.com or contact Press Officer Edith de Reys, edith.dereys@skynet.be, +32 475 659 281.

By Cindy Timmer

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

At London Olympia:
Jo Peck
jopeck@hpower.co.uk
+ 44 1753 847 900

David Simpson Strikes It Rich

David Simpson. Photo: Kit Houghton/Hpower.

Young Irishman David Simpson took the Alltech Christmas Puissance at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, by storm, wowing a packed house with a bravado display of riding.

The contest, an annual favourite, went all the way to five rounds, with Simpson, riding puissance specialist Ricci Rich, clearing 7ft 3in (2.20m) in superlative style. He took over the ride on the 13-year-old grey gelding from Britain’s Guy Williams, who the Olympia puissance on him in 2011.

Simpson was matched all the way by Karline De Brabander on her home-bred Fantomas de Muze, a compact bay gelding by Marcus Ehning’s top ride Sandro Boy. The enthralled crowd took the Belgian rider, the only girl in the class, to their hearts, and her horse tried his heart out with a massive leap, just catching the top bricks with his hind legs on landing.

This was Simpson’s first outright win in a puissance and he received his prize from the Duchess of Cornwall, who was paying her annual visit to the festive family show.

“It gives you the tingles when you land,” he said. “You don’t get a better wall jumper than my horse and, for atmosphere and intensity, this win is right up there as one of my best moments in show jumping. I really wanted my first proper win to be here at Olympia.”

De Brabander, 27, who works for her father, leading stud owner Joris De Brabander, was also elated. “I kept saying to my horse that we were just going to have fun,” she said. “I’m really happy to have got so far. It’s only my third time in a puissance and this is the highest I’ve jumped. My parents thought I was mad to come over to England with just one horse, but I told them Olympia was my dream.”

Four riders got through to the fourth round, at 7ft 1in (2.15m): Britain’s Joe Clayton on Rockim, Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer (Armani the Gun CH), Norway’s Geir Gullikson (Grand Balou) and Austria’s Markus Saurugg (What Ever).

Earlier, 59-year-old John Whitaker, the senior rider of the show, showed he had lost none of his magic when winning the inaugural class of the show, the Levy Restaurant Snowman Stakes, on the stallion Argento, and the charismatic young Dutchman Maikel Van der Vleuten set the arena alight when winning the first evening class, the Kingsland Christmas Pudding Stakes, a speed contest, on VDL Groep Eureka.

Maikel won last year’s Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier on VDL Groep Sapphire and has brought the horse back for another crack at the competition on Sunday. “I really like this show,” he said. “Everyone’s happy and the audience really lifts the riders.”

The Dodson & Horrell Extreme Driving top score competition kicked off the FEI World Cup Driving Leg qualifier with a promise of considerable excitement to come. It also produced a surprise winner. All drivers collected penalties on the complex course but it was the youngest and least experienced of them, 25-year-old Glenn Geerts from Belgium, who galloped home with the best score.

In only his second year of World Cup competition, he has been driving horse four-in-hands for just four years. He beat the most experienced driver in the competition, the much-medalled IJsbrand Chardon from the Netherlands, who was the winner of the qualifier here last year. Frederick Persson from Sweden took third place.

Later in the evening, show director Simon Brooks-Ward and his brothers James and Nick gathered in the main arena to present the Raymond Brooks-Ward Memorial Trophy, for the most promising British rider under 25, in memory of their father. The recipient was Spencer Roe, 21, who has made a brilliant debut on senior show jumping teams this year.

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 will broadcast live on BBC2 on Sunday 21 December and is available to view on Eurosport, the BBC Red Button, online and connected TV on Wednesday 17, Thursday 18 and Monday 22 December. In addition a special highlights program will be aired on BBC2 on Tuesday 23 December at 13:45.

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.

Dujardin and Valegro Hit the Heights of Another World Record Score

Charlotte Dujardin. Photo: Kit Houghton/Hpower.

It was another World Record breaking night at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. Crowd favourites and World Champions Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro not only duly won the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Freestyle, supported by Horse & Hound, but broke their own World Record score that they set here last year as well as claiming their third successive victory at the Show.

The pair entertained the full house with their practically foot-perfect programme to a compilation of emotive music from the soundtrack to the film ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, the same music that won them the World Championship title at the World Equestrian Games in August. They made piaffe-pirouettes, passage half passes and bold daring extensions look easy and the test that has to be the best freestyle ever ridden, received a standing ovation from a full house and a mark of 94.3% from the judges.

“He is the most incredible horse; he just keeps giving and giving,” said Charlotte, who in April this year became the first Briton to win the World Cup title since the inception of the series in 1986. “I was absolutely thrilled with my ride – the last piaffe pirouette I was nearly in tears he was with me all the way.”

As last year, leading Dutch rider Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover were second, with a test that made the most of Undercover’s rhythmic passage and piaffe. It was Edward Gal who in 2009 set the standard in freestyle, breaking the then world record score when winning at Olympia with Totilas.

“Charlotte, I know how you feel,” said Edward. “A standing ovation is a really great feeling because we work really hard and it makes the work worthwhile.”

Olympia debutante Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, a former European Young Rider Champion, gained third place with Beatrice Burchler-Keller’s Unee BB – an elegant black stallion by Gribaldi.

“It was a privilege for me just to sit next to Charlotte and Edward,” she said. “While I have not had a World Record feeling yet I am working on it.”

Danielle Heijkoop and Siro N.O.P., trained by Anky Van Grunsven, winner of the World Cup on nine occasions from 1995 to 2008, were fourth.

“Charlotte’s test was just out of this world – I honestly thought in 2009 that we would never see the same again,” said Stephen Clarke, President of the Ground Jury. “I am not sure what it is about this show that produces such dressage – the horses are incredible here.”

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 will broadcast live on BBC2 on Sunday 21 December and is available to view on Eurosport, the BBC Red Button, online and connected TV on Wednesday 17, Thursday 18 and Monday 22 December. In addition a special highlights program will be aired on BBC2 on Tuesday 23 December at 13:45.

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.

Dujardin and Valegro Set Olympia Alight with a Double of New World Records

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro produced a performance close to perfection when winning tonight’s fifth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Western European League at Olympia in London (GBR) with yet another world-record-breaking score. (FEI/Kit Houghton)

Olympia, London (GBR), 17 December 2014 – Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro produced a performance close to perfection when winning tonight’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Western European League qualifier at Olympia in London (GBR) with yet another world-record-breaking score. They set the previous record at the same venue 12 months ago when posting a mark of 93.975, but this evening earned 94.300 for an even more spell-binding display of harmony between horse and rider. And this latest triumph came just 24 hours after the dynamic duo beat their own world record in the Grand Prix in which The Netherlands‘ Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover also had to settle for runner-up spot.

Dujardin admitted tonight that Valegro’s performance this evening almost brought her to tears. “When we were doing the last piaffe/passage I was welling up and I had to say to myself, ‘Don’t cry, don’t cry!’” she said. “He tries so hard to get it right; it’s an incredible feeling when you go in there in front of all those thousands of people and he just wants to perform and to give you his best,” she added.

A little history

There was a starting field of 14, and The Netherlands‘ Katja Gevers and Thriller took the early lead with a score of 72.276 before Irish national champion, Judy Reynolds, made a little history as the first rider from her country to qualify for the Freestyle at the prestigious British fixture, posting a creditable 70.000. Talented young German, Soenke Rothenberger, was out in front at the halfway stage with Favourit on a mark of 77.825, but that would only prove good enough for sixth place at the end of a magical night.

Gal gave it his best shot with Glock’s Undercover, but after a solid start the horse’s tension increased to leave them on a final score of 83.550, and Dujardin and the 12-year-old gelding she calls Blueberry just blew that away when following with a stunning test during which they picked up 25 maximum scores of 10. From the moment they set off, horse and rider were as one, gliding seamlessly from movement to movement and perfectly synchronised to their musical score from “How to Train Your Dragon”. The first time they performed to it was last April when they added the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2013/2014 title to the staggering list of successes they have racked up during their relatively short career together. But tonight their musical interpretation was in a different league altogether.

Hit everything on time

“I felt that I got into the music and he got into the music, and it felt like everything seemed to flow and to fit, and I hit everything on time,” Dujardin said afterwards. The crowd thought so too, rising to give the phenomenal partnership a standing ovation.

Ground Jury President, Great Britain’s Stephen Clarke, said, “I didn’t honestly think we’d get that feeling again. In 2009 Edward (Gal) broke the world record here and it was the most magical evening I can ever remember, then Charlotte does it tonight and it’s just out of this world! I don’t know what it is about this show, but the horses are incredible here!” he pointed out.

He teased Dujardin about her spectacular performance. “The walk tonight wasn’t quite as relaxed… and there was 9.5 for paces, 10 for harmony, 10 for choreography, 9.5 for difficulty and 10 for the music. Charlotte you’d better sharpen up a bit!” he said.

Runner-up Gal, who was 2010 series champion with the great Totilas, joked that he needs to “practice a little bit more – I’m just 10% behind!”, while Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, whose third-place finish tonight with Unee BB leaves her sharing the lead on the Western European League table with fellow-countrywoman Fabienne Lutkemeier, said, “I haven’t had a world record breaking feeling yet, but I’m working on it!”

The Netherlands’ Danielle Heijkoop steered Siro NOP into fourth ahead of Dujardin’s great friend and mentor Carl Hester whose 10-year-old gelding, Nip Tuck, was the youngest horse in the competition.

Dressed as a chicken

Dujardin first appeared under the spotlights at Olympia back in 1996 when taking part in the traditional Christmas finale – dressed as a chicken. She cut a rather more elegant figure tonight sitting on the fabulous 12-year-old gelding who has more than realised all her dreams.

“When I first started Grand Prix I had three goals,” the 29-year-old rider explained, “to ride at Olympia, be on a team with Carl (Hester) and to get to London (2012 Olympic Games). The first year I got here I won and I couldn’t believe it. Last year I broke my final world record here, and this year to break two in one show is absolutely outstanding!” she added.

When asked if she thought she could achieve an even higher score that the one she laid down tonight, the Olympic, World and European champion replied, “I don’t know, I just keep doing these tests and things just get better and better… my confidence and his confidence are just growing and growing and it makes you be able to ride more and more and go for more. I get braver as a rider and he gets more confident as a horse.” And when asked if she thought it possible to earn a maximum 100% sometime in the future, she laughed and said, “It’s not far off now; I’m getting there!”

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 of the series will take place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on Saturday 31 January 2015. For all enquiries about the Dutch fixture, go to website www.jumpingamsterdam.nl or contact Press Officer Charlotte Gunnink, Email media@jumpingamsterdam.nl, Tel +31 20544 5720 or (mobile) +31 6383 25326.

Full result here.

Facts and Figures:

The London International Horse Show at Olympia presented round five of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Western European League series tonight.

Olympic, World and European champions Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro (GBR) made it a back-to-back double of new world records when following Tuesday’s Grand Prix record-breaking result of 87.460 with tonight’s new Freestyle record of 94.300.

14 horse-and-rider combinations lined out in tonight’s competition.

Runners-up, The Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover, finished more than 10 percentage points behind the winning pair.

The Ground Jury consisted of: At E, A Fransen Iacobaeus SWE; At H, B Maurel FRA; At C, S Clarke GBR; At M, P Holler GER; At B, I Wessels GBR.

Dujardin recently won The Sunday Times and Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year 2014 award.

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, who finished third tonight with Unee BB, shares the lead on the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Western European League table with fellow-German Fabienne Lutkemeier.

The next leg of the series will take place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on Saturday 31 January 2015.

Quotes:

Charlotte Dujardin GBR, talking about tonight’s standing ovation: “It’s emotional just to walk out and have that feeling with all those people standing up, to ride in front of them; we don’t really get to see the home crowd and let them experience it. Now they’ve witnessed it, it’s very special for them.”

Edward Gal NED, talking about his performance with Glock’s Undercover: “The first part I was really happy until he started cantering and he got a bit too excited. We had mistakes in the two tempis and one pirouette was not so good, but we got better again.”

Charlotte Dujardin GBR, comparing the pressure of standing up at a Sports Award ceremony to competing at Olympia tonight: “Coming here is the easiest thing in the whole world after standing up in front of 12,000 people; coming here is a breeze! Standing in front of 12,000 people – I’m not used to that. I was like a nappy horse; I wanted to run out! My heart was pounding beyond belief; literally thought it was going to come out through my dress! When I got up on stage I was okay. Coming here I was like, I can definitely do this; maybe I should do it more often!”

Full standings here.

Reem Acra FEI Hub http://fei.org/fei/sponsors/reem-acra-and-fei gives access to extensive information about the series.

FEI World Cup™ Dressage, the only worldwide series in this discipline, is now in its 29th season. The series, created in 1985, comprises four leagues: Western European, Central European, North American (including Canada) and Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Asia). Each FEI World Cup™ Dressage qualifier consists of a Grand Prix test, which in turn is a qualification for the Freestyle to Music competition, where league points are accumulated towards places in the Final. Judged on both technical and artistic merit, the FEI World Cup™ Dressage combines art, sport and partnership between horse and rider at the highest level and consistently proves a winning formula with audiences all over the world.

The complete rules, calendar, updated ranking and results are available here.

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

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
Email: malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 133

Dujardin Smashes Grand Prix World Record at Olympia

Charlotte Dujardin. Photo: Kit Houghton/Hpower.

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro once again delighted a packed house at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, producing a World Record score in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix supported by Horse & Hound. The mark of 87.46% beat their previous record, set by the World, Olympic and European Champions at the World Cup Final in Lyon earlier in the year.

Charlotte, who has come to the Show directly from The BBC Sports Personality of the Year in Glasgow, complete with a bad cold, was as equally delighted with the new record score especially as it was their first competition since The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in August.

“We don’t set out to break a record it just happens – we just want to do our best and any record is a bonus,” said Charlotte, who always looks forward to competing at Olympia.

She said, “It is a great end to the season and fantastic to be competing in front of the home crowd and Blueberry never fails to rise to the occasion.”

The pair heads the draw for tomorrow night’s World Cup Freestyle with Charlotte promising to ‘let rip’ to the routine that is set to the music from ‘How to Train Your Dragon.’

Dutch team rider Edward Gal, a regular and popular visitor to Olympia, was second with Glocks Undercover NOP with the high mark of 80.12%, albeit still 7% adrift of the winning score. The Dutchman admitted that having to follow Charlotte was not ideal preparation for a test.

He said, “Glocks got very excited by the clapping and I had to hold him back at the beginning of the test but I was very pleased that he found his one-time changes again as he had totally lost them yesterday.”

Fellow Dutch rider Danielle Heijkoop and Siro NOP were third with British rider Carl Hester and Nip Tuck in fourth.

The top fifteen from tonight’s Grand Prix class will go forward to tomorrow’s World Cup Freestyle starting at 8:10pm.

The opening night saw record attendance figures at Olympia for a Grand Prix competition. The final performance of the evening welcomed Kauto Star and Laura Collett who performed a dazzling dressage display in the famous Olympia arena.

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 will broadcast live on BBC2 on Sunday 21 December and available to view on Eurosport, the BBC Red Button, online and connected TV on Wednesday 17, Thursday 18 and Monday 22 December. In addition, a special highlights program will be aired on BBC2 on Tuesday 23 December at 13:45.

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.

Outstanding Line-Up as Olympia Close to Sell Out

Charlotte Dujardin. Photos: Kit Houghton/Hpower.

8 December 2014 – An exceptional line-up of equestrian athletes are set to compete at this year’s Olympia, The London International Horse Show which takes place on 16-22 December, including the three FEI World No. 1s in Dressage, Show Jumping and Carriage Driving.

The definite entries, which were published today, reveal Dressage supremo Charlotte Dujardin, Show Jumping sensation Scott Brash, and Australian Driving legend Boyd Exell will head the incredible quality of competitors during the week-long event. In addition, seven out of the Top 10 Longines FEI World Ranked Show Jumpers will also compete at London’s premier horse show.

This year, organisers have seen the fastest ever sale of tickets, with 11 out of the 12 performances sold out before the doors even open on Tuesday 16 December.

Show Director Simon Brooks-Ward said: “As well as maintaining the Olympia tradition of staging family entertainment in the build-up to Christmas, our challenge has always been to put on world class sport, and the fact that we now stage three FEI World Cups™ clearly shows how far Olympia has developed over the years. When you add three World No. 1 competitors to this mix – Charlotte Dujardin, Scott Brash and Boyd Exell – it provides a compelling proposition.”

DRESSAGE

Charlotte Dujardin will compete Valegro in front of a UK audience for the first time this year in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Leg supported by Horse & Hound which takes place on the first and second day of Olympia. Dujardin has had a momentous year since smashing the world record in freestyle at last year’s Olympia, by adding the FEI World Cup™ Finals and the World Championship titles to her already impressive collection of achievements. She was recently announced on the shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Joining Dujardin at Olympia will be her mentor and GBR team mate Carl Hester who will be riding 10-year-old gelding, Nip Tuck on whom he won Team Silver at the World Equestrian Games. Completing the British line-up are Spencer Wilton, making his Olympia debut with his exciting new ride Numberto, Nikki Crisp with her own mare Pasoa and Hannah Biggs with stallion Weltzin.

Dutch riders Edward Gal and Danielle Heijkoop, who were placed second and third respectively behind Dujardin last year, are confirmed to compete again this year with the same horses, Glock’s Undercover and Kingsley Siro N.O.P.

There are several exciting riders making their Olympia debuts this year. These include Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, who was star of Junior and Young riders and twice German Champion. The 28-year-old broke into the highest senior level competition with the stallion who she rides at Olympia, Unee BB. The pair was seventh in the FEI World Cup Final in April and they have since won their last three competitions. Fellow German, Sonke Rothenberger, is also confirmed to compete at Olympia for the first time. The 20-year-old business student won Team Gold at the European Young Riders and was seventh in his World Cup debut in Odense this year. Completing the German line-up is Dorothee Schneider, who was part of the German team to take Team Silver at London 2012. Schneider makes her Olympia debut on Silvano 71. Spain’s Morgan Barbanςon Mestre, aged 22, will make his first Olympia appearance with Anky van Grunsven’s former ride, Painted Black. The pair was placed 10th at the FEI World Cup Finals and 15th at the World Equestrian Games this year.

SHOW JUMPING

Seven of the Top 10 riders in the Longines FEI World Rankings are among the definite entries for the five-star Show Jumping at Olympia, including World No.1, Scott Brash.

The Scotsman, who has now held the top spot for over twelve months, will be joined by some of the biggest international names in the sport, including an incredibly strong team of German riders. This includes Ludger Beerbaum, Daniel Deusser and Marcus Ehning, who are three, four and five in the world rankings respectively. Three times FEI World Cup Final winner, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, also competes for Germany.

Dutch riders, Maikel van der Vleuten and Jur Vrieling, who were part of the team who won Team Gold at the World Equestrian Games this year, are both on the confirmed list. Regular Olympia visitor, Pénélope Leprevost (FRA), is on the list and is joined by her French teammates, Kevin Staut and Patrice Delaveau, who won Team Silver at the World Championships. New kid on the block 19-year-old Bertram Allen (IRL) will compete with the mare that propelled him into the limelight at the World Equestrian Games this year, Molly Malone V.

John Whitaker
John Whitaker

It would not be Olympia without the Whitaker dynasty competing en masse and this year Michael, John, Robert and William are all confirmed to ride with a team of top horses. The youngest, William, is currently in remarkable form, having won the fifth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup series in Stuttgart in November. The UK’s No.1 female rider Laura Renwick returns to defend her H&M Leading Rider title which she scooped in 2013 and last year’s Olympia Grand Prix winner Ben Maher brings a strong team of horses, including Puissance specialist, Noctambule Courcelle. Tim Gredley, Spencer Roe, and Guy Williams complete the British line-up.

Last year’s Olympia Christmas Puissance winner, Luca Moneta (ITA), will return to the capital to defend his crown, but will face strong competition from Puissance specialists, Jean-Christophe De Grande and Karline De Brabander, both from Belgium, and Irish riders David Simpson and Liam O’Meara. British rider Joe Clayton, who shared the Puissance victory at the Horse of the Year Show in October with David Simpson, also lines up for the nail-biting high jump competition.

Show Jumping takes place during every performance from Thursday 18 December to Monday 22 December. Highlights include the Alltech Olympia Puissance on Thursday 18 December, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Leg on Sunday 21 December, and the Olympia Grand Prix on Monday 22 December.

DRIVING

Current World Champion, Boyd Exell (AUS), and last year’s Olympia winner, IJsbrand Chardon (NED), head the quality line-up for the FEI World Cup™ Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell.

A total of seven of the world’s leading four-in-hand drivers will attempt to manoeuver their horses in the fastest time round the twists and turns of the Olympia arena on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 December, with the Final taking place on Saturday 20 December.

IJsbrand Chardon
IJsbrand Chardon

Triumphant from winning the gold medal at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy in August, in-form Boyd Exell will be bringing his usual masterly rein-handling skills and split-second timing which always thrills the Olympia crowd. Last year’s Olympia winner, IJsbrand Chardon, himself many times World Champion, will no doubt be looking to defend his title, but Chardon will face strong competition also from his fellow countrymen Theo Timmerman and Koos de Ronde. Together these three took the Team Gold medal at this year’s WEG with Timmerman claiming Individual Bronze.

Representing Great Britain as a wild card is Daniel Naprous, who previously competed at Olympia in 2012. Naprous, who combines his sport of carriage driving with a successful career in stunt riding and driving, will have the support of the home crowd as the only Brit competing in the competition. Completing the competitive line-up are Fredrik Persson (SWE) and Glenn Geerts (BEL), both highly accomplished and successful four-in-hand drivers.

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

For more information, please contact Hannah Grissell hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk or +44 (0)207 592 1207

Olympia will broadcast live on BBC2 on Sunday 21 December and available to view on Eurosport, the BBC Red Button, online and connected TV on Wednesday 17, Thursday 18 and Monday 22 December. In addition a special highlights program will be aired on BBC2 on Tuesday 23 December at 13:45.

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.

Nominations for Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Leg at Olympia Horse Show Announced

The world’s most successful dressage partnership, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, is amongst the nominations for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Leg supported by Horse & Hound at Olympia, The London International Horse Show on 16-22 December. It will be the first time Valegro has competed in the UK this year.

Dujardin, who was crowned Sunday Times & Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year yesterday, last competed on Valegro in the UK at Olympia Horse Show in 2013. The formidable pair not only won both the World Cup Grand Prix and Freestyle but sent the Olympia audience into raptures by setting a new freestyle World Record with their London 2012 routine. Since then, Dujardin has added even more titles to her already impressive record, by winning the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Final in April before taking the World Championship title in Normandy in August.

Dujardin said: “I am very excited about taking Valegro to Olympia this year. I can’t wait to do my new floor plan in front of the home crowd. I actually think it is harder than my Olympic routine and so if I can get it right on the night I could possibly beat the world record I set last year. But obviously saying it and doing it are two very different things.”

Joining Dujardin at Olympia will be her mentor and GBR team mate Carl Hester who will be riding 10-year-old gelding, Nip Tuck, on whom he won Team Silver at the World Equestrian Games. Completing the British line-up are Spencer Wilton, making his Olympia debut with his exciting new ride Numberto, Nikki Crisp with her own mare Passoa, and Hannah Biggs with stallion Weltzin.

Dutch riders, Edward Gal and Danielle Heijkoop, who were placed second and third respectively behind Dujardin last year, have been nominated this year alongside fellow Dutchman, Hans Peter Minderhoud, with his stallion, Glock’s Johnson, who took the team bronze medal at the World Equestrian Games.

There are plenty of promising up and coming riders amongst the nominations, including brother and sister, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Benjamin Werndl from Germany. The siblings dominated in Pony and Young Rider Championships and Jessica has twice been German Champion since. Fellow German, Sonke Rothenberger – son of dressage riders Sven and Gonnelien Rothenberger – is also nominated to compete at Olympia for the first time. The 20-year-old won Team Gold at the European Young Riders and was seventh in his World Cup debut in Odense this year and could be one to watch for the future.

Potential new Olympia debuts this year are Rikke Svane (DEN), Agnete Kirk Thinggaard (DEN), Judy Reynolds (IRL), Juan Antonio Jiménez Cobo (ESP), Katja Gevers (NED) and Robert Schmerglatt (AUS).

The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix takes place on Tuesday 16 December and concludes with the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Freestyle on Wednesday 17 December. The Freestyle on Wednesday will be televised live on the BBC Red Button, Online & Connected TV starting at 20:00.

Nominations for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Leg at Olympia, The London International Horse Show

Kristy Oatley (AUS) – Ronan 2
Robert Schmerglatt (AUS) – Fonteyne
Simon Missiaen (BEL) – Vradin
Agnete Kirk Thinggaard (DEN) – Jojo AZ
Anders Dahl (DEN) – Wie-Atlantico De Ymas
Rikke Svane (DEN) – Finckenstein TSF
Ulrick Moelgaard (DEN) – Michigan
Juan Antonio Jimenez Cobo (ESP) – Sunny Boy
Morgan Barbancon Mestre (ESP) – Painted Black
Terhi Stegars (FIN) – Axis TSF
Carl Hester (GBR) – Nip Tuck
Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) – Valegro
Hannah Biggs (GBR) – Weltzin
Nikki Crisp (GBR) – Passoa
Spencer Wilton (GBR) – Numberto
Benjamin Werndl (GER) – Der Hit
Dorothee Schneider (GER) – Forward Looking / Silvano 71
Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (GER) – Unee BB
Sonke Rothenberger – (GER) – Favourit
Dane Rawlins (IRL) – Sydney
Judy Reynolds (IRL) – Vancouver K
Danielle Heijkoop (NED) – Kingsley Siro N.O.P.
Edward Gal (NED) – Glock’s Undercover / Glock’s Voice
Hans Peter Minderhoud (NED) – Glock’s Johnson TN
Katja Gevers (NED) – Thriller
Minna Telde (SWE) – Santana

Link to video: http://youtu.be/tDI3vJwj3tA

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

For more information, please contact Hannah Grissell hannah@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 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.

Nominations for FEI World Cup Jumping at Olympia Announced

Eleven of the Top 20 show jumpers in the Longines World Rankings are set to compete at Olympia, The London International Horse Show which takes place on 16-22 December, including World No. 1 Scott Brash.

Nominations for the CSI5*-W show were announced this week and among them are some of the biggest international names in the sport, including World No.3 Marcus Ehning (GER), World Equestrian Games Team Silver Medallist Kevin Staut (FRA) and this year’s World Cup Final winner, Daniel Deusser (GER). New kid on the block, 19-year-old Bertram Allen (IRE), is also on the list, with the mare that propelled him into the limelight at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games this year, Molly Malone V.

Forty-one out of the 51 riders are from overseas, including Dutch riders Maikel van der Vleuten and Jur Vrieling, who won Team Gold at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy. London 2012 Individual Gold Medallist Steve Guerdat (SUI) and glamorous French rider, Pénélope Leprevost – who has become a regular at Olympia in recent years – are both on the list.

Among the British nominations are the Whitaker dynasty of Michael, John, William and Robert as well as Britain’s No.1 female rider, Laura Renwick, who will be no doubt looking to defend her H&M Leading Rider title which she scooped in 2013. Last year’s Olympia Grand Prix winner, Ben Maher, is aiming to bring four horses, including Puissance specialist, Noctambule Courcelle. Spencer Roe, Joe Clee and Guy Williams complete the British line-up.

Show Jumping takes place during every performance from Thursday 18 December to Monday 22 December. Highlights are the Alltech Olympia Puissance on Thursday 18 December, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Leg on Sunday 21 December and the Olympia Grand Prix on Monday 22 December.

Olympia will broadcast live on BBC2 on Sunday 21 December and available to view on Eurosport, the BBC Red Button, online and connected TV on Wednesday 17, Thursday 18 and Monday 22 December. In addition a special highlights program will be aired on BBC2 on Tuesday 23 December (subject to change).

Nominations for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Leg at Olympia, The London International Horse Show
Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS)
Markus Saurugg (AUT)
Francois Jr Mathy (BEL)
Constant Van Paesschen (BEL)
Jos Verlooy (BEL)
Gregory Wathelet (BEL)
Marlon Zanotelli (BRA)
Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP)
Satu Liukkonen (FIN)
Simon Delestre (FRA)
Alexandre Fontanelle (FRA)
Marie Hécart (FRA)
Jerome Hurel (FRA)
Pénélope Leprevost (FRA)
Kevin Staut (FRA)
Scott Brash (GBR)
Joe Clee (GBR)
Ben Maher (GBR)
Laura Renwick (GBR)
Spencer Roe (GBR)
John Whitaker (GBR)
Michael Whitaker (GBR)
Robert Whitaker (GBR)
William Whitaker (GBR)
Guy Williams (GBR)
Daniel Deusser (GER)
Hans-Dieter Dreher (GER)
Marcus Ehning (GER)
Marco Kutscher (GER)
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER)
Patrick Stühlmeyer (GER)
David Will (GER)
Bertram Allen (IRL)
Denis Lynch (IRL)
Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA)
Bart Bles (NED)
Wout-Jan van der Schans (NED)
Maikel van der Vleuten (NED)
Jur Vrieling (NED)
Geir Gulliksen (NOR)
Luciana Diniz (POR)
Martin Fuchs (SUI)
Steve Guerdat (SUI)
Pius Schwizer (SUI)
Malin Baryard-Johnsson (SWE)
Peder Fredricson (SWE)
Douglas Lindelow (SWE)
Henrik von Eckermann (SWE)
Lauren Hough (USA)
Reed Kessler (USA)

Top Names Announced for FEI World Cup™ Driving at Olympia

Seven of the world’s leading drivers will compete in the FEI World Cup™ Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell at Olympia, The London International Horse Show which takes place from 16-22 December. Among them will be the current World Champion, Boyd Exell (AUS), and last year’s Olympia winner, IJsbrand Chardon (NED).

Since its inception at Olympia three years ago, FEI World Cup™ Driving has become a favourite amongst regular visitors to the Show who thrill to the spectacle of the world’s top four-in-hand drivers manoeuvring their horses at speed round an exacting course.

Triumphant from winning the gold medal at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy in August, Australia’s Boyd Exell heads the line up at this year’s Olympia bringing with him his usual masterly rein-handling skills and split-second timing. Last year’s Olympia winner, IJsbrand Chardon (NED), himself many times World Champion, will no doubt be looking to defend his title but he will face strong competition also from his fellow countrymen Theo Timmerman and Koos de Ronde. Together these three took the team gold medal at this year’s World Equestrian Games with Timmerman claiming individual bronze.

Representing Great Britain as a wild card is Daniel Naprous, who previously competed at Olympia in 2012. Naprous, who combines his sport of carriage driving with a successful career in stunt riding and driving, will doubtless have the support of the home crowd as the only Brit competing in the competition. Completing the competitive line-up are Fredrik Persson (SWE) and Glenn Geerts (BEL), both highly accomplished and successful four-in-hand drivers.

The driving competitions are scheduled for Thursday 18, Friday 19 and Saturday 20 December, with the FEI World Cup™ Driving Final, presented by Dodson & Horrell, taking place during the Saturday evening performance. The extremely competitive rounds preceding Saturday’s Final provide drivers and the horses with an excellent opportunity to hone their skills in the indoor arena while keeping spectators on the edge of their seats.

Competitors for the FEI World Cup™ Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell at London Olympia

• Fredrik Persson (SWE)
• Theo Timmerman (NED)
• Koos de Ronde (NED)
• Glenn Geerts (BEL)
• IJsbrand Chardon (NED)
• Daniel Naprous (GBR)
• Boyd Exell (AUS)

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

For more information, please contact Hannah Grissell hannah@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 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.