Category Archives: Revolution Sports

Over 14 Hours of Live Coverage for Olympia, the London International Horse Show

Olympia, the London International Horse Show (12-18 December 2017), will be coming to homes across the UK with extensive broadcast coverage of London’s international equestrian event on the BBC.

Over fourteen hours of live action will be aired throughout the week, indicating the importance of Olympia as an international equestrian event and providing equestrian and sporting fans alike excellent access to the top-class competition.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, commented: ‘We are thrilled to be working with the BBC at Olympia once again.  The BBC coverage is important not only for the show but also for the sport.  Bringing world class Dressage, Show Jumping and Carriage Driving to a wider UK audience keeps equestrianism on the map and it provides viewers with the opportunity to see Olympic champions competing in world class competitions.’

Highlights to look out for include the FEI World Cup™ competitions in Dressage and Show Jumping in which the world’s top riders and Olympic gold medallists, including Ben Maher and Scott Brash, will compete. In addition, coverage will include international classes such as the Cayenne Puissance and the Olympia Grand Prix, as well as the Markel Champions Challenge, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Further coverage will include footage of Olympia’s equestrian displays, The Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police Activity Ride and the Chilean Huasos, along with the Kennel Club Dog Agility, The Shetland Pony Grand National and the Olympia Christmas Finale.

Internationally live coverage of the Dressage, Jumping and Driving FEI World Cup competitions is available on FEI TV and additional post-event coverage will be broadcast on Horse & Country TV.

Olympia, the London International Horse Show, may be viewed online and on TV. The day-by-day coverage listing is as follows*:

Wednesday 13 December

  • The FEI World Cup™ Dressage Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound
    19:20-22:15 – LIVE on BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV, and FEI TV

Thursday 14 December

  • The Cayenne Puissance
    21:15-22:15 – LIVE on the BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV

Friday 15 December

  • The Entire Evening Performance
    18:45-22:30 – LIVE on BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV
    Featuring The Markel Champions Challenge, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund and The Longines Christmas Cracker

Saturday 16 December

  • The FEI World Cup™ Driving
    18:30-19:15 – LIVE on FEI TV

Sunday 17 December

  • The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping
    13:30-16:35 – LIVE BBC Two HD, Online & connected TV 14:35-16:30 – LIVE on FEI TV

Monday 18 December

  • The Entire Evening Performance
    18:45-22:25 – LIVE on the BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV
    Featuring The Mince Pie Stakes and The Olympia Grand Prix

Tuesday 19 December

  • Highlights
    11:00-12:00 – BBC Two HD, Online & connected TV

*All programmes are subject to change

Horse & Country TV will feature highlights from the Show from 18 December onwards, including the FEI Dressage, Driving and Show Jumping, along with the Cayenne Puissance, the Longines Christmas Cracker and the Olympia Grand Prix.

Horse & Country TV is available on Sky Channel 253, H&C Play, and Amazon Video. For more information, visit their website.

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

Meet Willberry Mascots Doris and Teddy the Shetland at Olympia Horse Show

Olympia, The London International Horse Show, taking place from 12-18 December 2017, will be welcoming Instagram sensation, Teddy the Shetland (Teddy), and fellow miniature pony and Willberry mascot Doris as special guests to the iconic equestrian event.

Teddy, who has over 55,000 Instagram followers, and Doris are the mascots for Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony, the official charity of Olympia Horse Show 2017. The adorable duo recently visited London to suss out the city ahead of the Show, and even went out on patrol with the Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police. The pair’s London adventure with Willberry gripped the hearts of the nation and they appeared in the likes of the London Evening Standard and on BBC News.

The fury friends, who are proving size doesn’t matter, will be onsite for a ‘meet and greet’ as part of the Olympia Live Zone experience, meeting fans during the mornings and afternoons of Thursday 14, Friday 15 and Saturday 16 December.

Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony was set up by the late Hannah Francis, a successful young event rider, when diagnosed with a rare bone cancer; the charity aims to support vital research into osteosarcoma, together with granting Willberry’s Wishes to seriously ill people with the aim of enriching their lives through equestrian experiences. Hannah was so touched by the generosity of many in the equestrian world who allowed her to do likewise and was determined to be able to do the same for others.

Alice Goring, the charity’s scientific advisor and owner of Teddy, said: ‘We are so excited to be heading to Olympia Horse Show with Teddy and Doris, particularly as Doris was Hannah’s own pony, making the whole experience even more special. It is a fantastic opportunity for them to meet their fans, and spread the word about Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity and all the incredible work they do.’

The Olympia Live Zone will also be welcoming the likes of: renowned BBC presenter Clare Balding, many of the world’s best riders who will be available for signings, and a host of exciting talks ranging from how to get into the Shetland Pony Grand National, to the Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police who will be discussing their Activity Ride and opportunities in the forces.

To find out more about Olympia Horse Show and how to get tickets, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

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

The Magnificent Met Mounted Police Return to Olympia, the London International Horse Show

The Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police are set to make a fiery return to Olympia, The London International Horse Show (12-18 December, 2017).

Adding to this year’s stellar line-up of entertainment, the Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police will be returning with their breath-taking Activity Ride, a phenomenal demonstration of skill and bravery as they negotiate hazards, portraying complete trust between horse and Officer. Expect horses jumping through a solid paper wall, fire, and many more edge-of-the-seat moments as the horses boldly illustrate their nerves of steel, in perfect formation.

The historic act demonstrates the day-to-day training routine ahead of patrolling the busy streets of London, carrying on a proud tradition of service and duty which began in 1873, when horses were hired from a local livery stable for use in emergencies.

Inspector Simon Rooke from the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch said: ‘The Metropolitan Police Activity Ride are extremely proud to be asked back to perform in front of the wonderful crowds at Olympia 2017. The show gives us an opportunity to demonstrate the extraordinary bravery of our horses and the unique bond of trust they have with our officers. The horses that will be performing at Olympia are all operational, and patrol the streets of London daily.’  

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, commented: ‘We couldn’t be happier to see the return of the Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police at Olympia this year. Their performance showcases great skill and courage and is such a unique act, making it a real crowd favourite.’  

The Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police will be the second display at this year’s Show following the Chilean Huasos, a performance portraying the historical skills of Chilean cowboys and their trusted cattle horses. Crowds can also expect the Kennel Club Dog Agility, which will feature the world’s most talented dogs and their handlers, as well as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and the Christmas Finale, supported by The Hilton London Olympia and this year entitled – ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’.

Further to the spectacular entertainment performances will be three FEI World Cup™ competitions across the seven-day event: the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix and Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound (Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13, respectively), FEI World Cup™ Driving leg presented by Dodson & Horrell (Friday 15 and Saturday 16) and the Longines FEI World Cup™ Show Jumping Leg (Sunday 17).

For more information about Olympia, The London International Horse Show and how to purchase your tickets, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

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

Racing Legends Hand the Reins to Their Mini-Mes for Shetland Pony Grand National at Olympia

Organisers of Olympia, The London International Horse Show (12-18 December, 2017) are delighted to announce the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National will be back in action at the iconic venue, with a fierce line-up of young jockeys following the footsteps of their famous parents.

Amongst the starting line-up will be 10-year-old Alice Crowley, daughter of Jim Crowley, the current Champion flat jockey who commenced his racing career in the Shetland Pony Grand National. Crowley will be competing against Rocco Dettori, son of racing legend and three-time Champion jockey, Frankie Dettori. Olympia Horse Show will be a family affair for Rocco, as Frankie Dettori is set to compete in the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, as part of Friday’s ‘Race Night’ at Olympia.

Frankie Dettori said: ‘Rocco has competed in many Shetland Pony races now; he’s got a taste for winning. This year is going to be really special as I will be there too, competing in the Markel Champions Challenge on the Friday. Hopefully we are both going to win!’

Rocco Dettori said: ‘I just can’t wait to race in front of the crowd. It’s a little bit nerve-wracking, but once the race starts I’ll forget about all that and hopefully I can win.’

Also striving to replicate the success of her father will be Lucy Aspell, daughter of renowned jump jockey Leighton Aspell, winner of two consecutive Aintree Grand Nationals. Aspell will be contending for the win against Zak Kent, who will be joining Crowley to race in the notorious blue and white racing silks of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to stage the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National once again. Not only is it entertaining, but it is a chance for young jockeys to compete on the big stage. It’s great for the grassroots of racing; this is where many top jockeys have begun their careers.’

Top national hunt jockeys Sam and Willy Twiston-Davies kick-started their racing careers in the Shetland Pony Grand National, as did Tom Garner, who made the step up to compete in the Grand National for the first-time last year.

The young jockeys and their Shetland Ponies will be put through their paces around a miniature version of the Grand National course. All riders are between the ages of nine to fourteen and less than 5ft tall; however, onlookers are not to be fooled by their size, as Olympia Horse Show is the climax of the Shetland Pony racing calendar, guaranteeing electrifying competition.

Spectators can also expect a week of top international action, including three FEI World Cup™ competitions in Dressage, Show Jumping and Carriage Driving and performances set to captivate, such as the Chilean Huasos, a display reflecting the historical skills of Chilean cowboys, or ‘Huasos’, and cattle horses. The Kennel Club Dog Agility and Christmas Finale, supported by Hilton, London Olympia, will also be adding to the arena action.

More information about Olympia, The London International Horse Show, and how to secure your place at one of the equestrian performances of the year can be found online here.

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

CHIO Aachen Welcomes the World’s Best to Contend for the First Equestrian Major of 2017

05 July 2017, Aachen, Germany – Elite competitors and world-class show jumping will be on display at CHIO Aachen this July, as the sport’s leading riders compete in the first equestrian Major of the year.

Each summer over 360,000 spectators travel to the iconic equestrian venue in West Germany to watch five disciplines of equestrian sport over 10 days; this includes dressage, eventing, driving, vaulting and show jumping. Hailed as the world’s greatest equine sporting exhibition, the historic CHIO Aachen is one of the calendar year’s most highly anticipated events.

The competition will culminate on Sunday 23 July with the highlight of the show, the Rolex Grand Prix. As part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping the pinnacle of CHIO Aachen will be played out in front of a full house in the main jumping arena, a spectator setting which accommodates over 40,000 fans. Part of the magic of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen can be attributed to the notorious difficulty of the jumping efforts, designed by world-famous Frank Rothenberger. Generally considered the most demanding course for show jumping athletes, the competing horse and rider combinations will strive to be crowned the coveted champion by producing a faultless performance over the 1.60m 5* track.

Having taken the top spot in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva in December last year, Brazil’s Pedro Veniss will be seeking his second consecutive Major to keep his Grand Slam dream alive.

ROLEX AND CHIO AACHEN

Rolex prides itself on its long standing partnerships at the pinnacle of the sport. 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of Pat Smythe becoming Rolex’s first equestrian Testimonee, an example of an exceptional athlete who laid the foundations for the enduring relationship between Rolex and the world’s finest competitions and Testimonees that is thriving today.

CHIO Aachen is a shining example of that flourishing relationship. The affiliation between Rolex and Aachen has continued to go from strength-to-strength since ties were first made in 1999.

Rolex Director of Communication & Image, Arnaud Boetsch, said: “As Rolex celebrates 60 years in equestrianism we remain dedicated to one of the greatest equestrian shows of the calendar year. Like Rolex, Aachen is an iconic institution symbolising both heritage and world class performance.”

SHOW JUMPING’S SUPREME COMPETITION

Established collectively in 2013 by CHIO Aachen, CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ and CHI Geneva, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping has been extended to four Majors with the inclusion of The Dutch Masters in 2018. Riders will now have the chance to win the coveted title at four events across the show jumping year while keeping the same format of needing to win three consecutive Majors to claim the Grand Slam title.

In 2017 the world’s best will be hoping to replicate the achievement of Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash, the British rider who made history in 2015 by winning every consecutive Grand Slam Event, the first ever rider to do so.

Brash remarked: “Every rider wants to be part of the Rolex Grand Slam and have the opportunity to try and win the most coveted prize in our sport. Aachen is a highlight of the year and everyone will be heading to the first equestrian Major with one aim: to win.”

ROLEX EQUESTRIAN TESTIMONEES AT CHIO AACHEN – PAST AND PRESENT

Rolex understands that to produce one’s very best, precision is of the utmost importance. This attention to detail that can be found in abundance amongst its sporting affiliates, not least its equestrian Testimonees.

The equestrian athletes who perform at the highest level must hone their craft so that they can execute to such a finely tuned detail under immense pressure and when the stakes are at their highest.

The Grand Prix (named Rolex Grand Prix since 1999) at CHIO Aachen has an illustrious list of previous winners not least the legendary father and son duo of Nelson and Rodrigo Pessoa, Rolex’s longest serving equestrian Testimonee. Alongside Rodrigo, Canada’s two-time Individual gold medal winner, Eric Lamaze, the ‘first lady’ of German show jumping, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, and Dutch hero Jeroen Dubbeldam have all taken the title spot here.

American Olympian and current World Number One Kent Farrington will be looking to continue his fine form at Aachen after being crowned champion at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in the Rolex Grand Prix, for the second year running.

With recent victory in the CSIO 5* FEI Nations cup in La Baule, Kevin Staut will be a keen contender for the title prize. Swiss rider Steve Guerdat and Rolex’s youngest Testimonee Bertram Allen will both be travelling to Germany to challenge their international rivals.

Rolex’s most decorated dressage Testimonee, World and Olympic gold medalist Isabell Werth has won Aachen’s dressage Grand Prix an outstanding 10 times. As runner-up in last year’s event expect her to be at her best as she attempts to claim a coveted 11th title in the breathtaking 6,300 seater Deutsche Bank Stadium.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Rod Kohler
rod@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 (0)7770 647 662

Argentex Team Dubai Reign Supreme at Chestertons Polo in the Park 2017

The sun kept up its perfect record of shining down on London’s Hurlingham Park for the third day of Chestertons Polo in the Park. Polo fans gathered at the iconic grounds on Finals Day as Argentex Team Dubai – led by George Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of Blandford – were crowned winners of Chestertons Polo in the Park.

Before the three matches began, guests were treated to a transformed venue with A-list children’s party planners, Sharky & George and London’s top soft play venue, Eddie Catz joining forces to create a wonderland for the Little Hooves Kids Club, including bouncy castles, face painting, a soft play zone and a brilliant arts and craft area for children to get their creative hats on. After a morning of excitement, the guests were geared up for an afternoon of exhilarating polo from some of the world’s finest players.

To open the day’s polo action, the Subsidiary Final took place between Mauritius Team Port Louis and Air Europa Team Buenos Aries. In blustery conditions both teams took a few minutes to find their stride and settle in to the game. An early-crossing penalty gave Nacho Gonzalez a chance to open the scoring; however, he pushed his effort wide. Never one to dwell on a missed opportunity, Gonzalez quickly regrouped and slotted home a beautiful strike to give Mauritius Team Port Louis a 1-0 lead. Building on their early goal, Mauritius Team Port Louis started to take control of the game when James McCarthy latched onto a beautiful pass from teammate Gonzalez outside the ‘D’ to increase the lead to 3-0 just as the first chukka ended.

As the second chukka began, Air Europa Team Buenos Aries began to make their mark on the game thanks to a close-range finish from Juan Cruz Guevara, closing the gap to just two goals, but a subsequent missed penalty by Guevara kept them from getting any closer. The second half of the game started much quicker than the first, with both teams adding a goal to their tallies, but countless other scoring opportunities went begging due to the changeable weather conditions. As the seconds ran out in the fourth and final chukka, Mauritius Team Port Louis put the result beyond all doubt with a well worked team goal, finished off by James McCarthy.

The second game of the day was the Runner-Up Final, as hometown favourites MINT Team London took on Whitley Neill Team Cape Town, both teams vying to take home third place. A testy opening chukka saw both teams piling on the pressure and creating chances, but sterling defensive play kept the scores at 0-0. It wasn’t until Joaquin Pittaluga stroked in a penalty to give Whitley Neill Team Cape Town a slender lead, right as the first chukka came to a close. The pressure continued into the second chukka with Ruki Baillieu finally opening the scoring for MINT Team London, levelling the scores at 1-1. Despite the wind continuing to challenge both sides, Whitley Neill Team Cape Town strung together a series of beautiful passes which Jamie Morrison was able to finish off to give Whitley Neill Team Cape Town an authoritative 3-1 lead, and one which they wouldn’t surrender for the rest of the game.

As the second half got underway, both teams continued knocking at the door, but neither could finish it off until the very end of the fourth chukka when Pittaluga avoided challenges from two opponents and buried his shot, and Jamie Morrison added his second to give a final score of 5-1.

Speaking on the win, Whitley Neill Team Cape Town’s Jamie Morrison said, “It was a glorious day and a great game, which was closer than we thought, and closer than the score line suggested. It was tough, as Chestertons Polo in the Park always is, and I was hoping we would get to the Final, although we didn’t make it this year. Chestertons Polo in the Park is always fantastic and going from strength to strength, with a great turn out and all the kids really getting into it and supporting the teams.”

The last game of the day was the one that everyone had been waiting for, the Chestertons Polo in the Park 2017 Final, and it certainly lived up to the billing. Right on the stroke of five o’clock EFG Team Zurich and Argentex Team Dubai rode out to an electric atmosphere and blazing sunshine, both teams ready to give their all. Just as the fans had hoped, the game got off to a scintillating start, as with barely a minute played both teams were on the scoreboard, Alejandro Muzzio recording his first goal for Argentex Team Dubai and Max Charlton levelling almost immediately.

By the end of the first chukka each team had doubled their totals to keep the game exciting at 2-2, but in the second chukka Argentex Team Dubai really piled on the pressure, notching an additional four goals to take an imperious 6-2 lead, and at half-time it looked like they would be the runaway winners of the day. The half-time break allowed for EFG Team Zurich to recompose themselves and on the back of two Max Charlton goals and a Chris Hyde two-pointer, EFG Team Zurich were right back in the game, trailing by only one goal with a score line of 7-6 at the end of the third chukka. The final chukka saw plenty of chances for EFG Team Zurich to complete the comeback of the tournament, but the defending of Argentex Team Dubai proved too strong in the end, and they were able to squeak out the win to be crowned Chestertons Polo in the Park 2017 Champions.

Speaking after his victory, Argentex Team Dubai’s Juan Cruz Merlos said, “It’s my first time playing at Chestertons Polo in the Park and it was really great. In the first half we were winning by five goals but they caught up. The second half was very close but we managed to take the win. The event was great fun and really well organised, and the crowd is amazing.”

For more information, visit www.polointheparklondon.com.

For more information, contact Gayle Telford E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: (0)20 3176 0355

Goals Galore on Day 2 of Chestertons Polo in the Park

London’s iconic Hurlingham Park was bathed in glorious sunshine for a sold-out second day of Chestertons Polo in the Park. Polo fans from all over the country arrived to witness three exciting and fast-paced polo games whilst also enjoy the luxury bars and pop-up food stalls scattered around the grounds, including the Champagne Lanson Garden and Mahiki’s VIP tent.

After the excitement of the historic International match, which saw Champions Polo League India take on ICM Capital Team England for the first time in 70 years, Ladies Day presented by FOREO had a lot to live up to, but certainly did not disappoint. To kick things off, the polo took a back seat to a game of bicycle polo between the finest polo players from Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and a contingent of American players from American Ivy League Universities. As the players cycled through the divots of the pitch, both teams found it difficult to finish their chances, but Oxbridge managed to sneak the win at the end on a final score of 1-0.

In the day’s first game, Whitley Neill Team Cape Town took on Air Europa Team Buenos Aries, with a place in Sunday’s final up for grabs. Both teams started the opening chukka cautiously, before a scintillating few minutes of play allowed Joaquin Pittaluga to score four unanswered goals to give Whitely Neill Team Cape Town an impressive 4-0 lead. Despite their slower start, Air Europa Team Buenos Aries didn’t lose heart and managed to pull back a goal through some beautiful play from Argentine Paco O’Dwyer, but as the first half came to a close, hometown favourite Jamie Morrison scored from close range to increase the lead to 5-1 in favour of Whitley Neill Team Cape Town.

The second half added a flurry of early goals for both teams, with Morrison and O’Dwyer adding one each to their tally to make the game interesting at the end, but ultimately Whitley Neill Team Cape Town were too strong, and a clinical close-range goal from Morrison and a coolly slotted away penalty from the in-form Pittaluga ensured that Whitely Neill Team Cape Town left victorious with an imposing 10-5 score line.

Following the thrilling opener, the day’s second game pitted hometown MINT Team London against EFG Team Zurich, and the excitement continued with two early goals from each team. A mistake from Max Charlton gifted MINT Team London a penalty within the first 10 seconds which George Meyrick calmly slotted home, but Chris Hyde weaved his way down the pitch from the restart to even the scores at 2-2. By the end of the second chukka Chris Hyde had added another four goals, but George Meyrick kept MINT Team London in the game with a second goal of his own to keep the game within reach at 6-3 to EFG Team Zurich.

Building on their strong end to the second chukka, MINT Team London took the lead for the second time in the game, their impressive teamwork paying off as Meyrick and Malcolm Borwick drilled the ball through the posts. The lead was only a short lived one however, as Chris Hyde really put his stamp on the game, scoring an unrivalled three more goals, with Max Kirchhoff adding another to take the lead, and one which they would not give up again. Borwick added a final consolation goal for MINT Team London, but the game was sealed with a final score of 13-9.

After the win, EFG Team Zurich’s Max Kirchhoff said, “I absolutely loved it. It is my first time here, and the crowds were fantastic. It’s a great venue and I think the team have done amazing things to the grounds, setting everything up perfectly. It’s so great to see EFG back sponsoring polo and I really hope it’s here for many years to come.”

Mauritius Team Port Louis went head-to-head with Argentex Team Dubai in the day’s final game, and although both teams enjoyed plenty of chances in the opening minutes, it wasn’t until the very last second of the first chukka that Juan Cruz Merlos was able to nudge the ball through the posts to give Argentex Team Dubai a narrow lead. The chances continued throughout the second chukka but some excellent defensive efforts from both teams kept the game tight, and the score remained 1-0 to Argentex Team Dubai going into half time.

The game opened up in the second half with two goals in quick succession for Argentex Team Dubai, George Spencer-Churchill volleying a pass from team mate Hissam Ali Hyder, and Ali Hyder adding one of his own to give Argentex Team Dubai a commanding 3-0 lead. Miguel Ayala was able to claw back a goal for Mauritius Team Port Louis as the third chukka came to an end, but two final goals from Juan Cruz Merlos and Hissam Ali Hyder proved too much for Mauritius Team Port Louis to overcome and Argentex Team Dubai left with the 6-1 win to book their place in the final to face EFG Team Zurich.

For more information, visit www.polointheparklondon.com.

For more information, contact Gayle Telford E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: (0)20 3176 0355.

History Made on Opening Day of Chestertons Polo in the Park

The sunshine arrived just in time for the opening day of Chestertons Polo in the Park. Crowds from all over London flocked to the historic Hurlingham Park for four games of fast and furious polo, accompanied by luxury bars, including the picturesque Champagne Lanson Garden and a selection of London’s top pop-up restaurants. The Mahiki VIP was bursting with celebs, including Hugo Taylor and Lucy Mecklenburgh, as guests were treated to thrilling polo clashes alongside off-pitch entertainment.

Renowned for its world-class polo in the heart of the city, the highlight of the opening day of Chestertons Polo in the Park was undoubtedly the International match. History was made as Champions Polo League India strode onto to the hallowed turf for the first time in over 70 years, led by HH Maharaja Padmanabh Singh. ICM Capital Team England also re-wrote history as Hazel Jackson became the first-ever female to play at Chestertons Polo in the Park.

Hoping to improve on their previous results, ICM Capital Team England was first to reach the score board with a short strike from Jack Richardson, in a scintillating opening chukka. The lead was short-lived as HH Maharaja Padmanabh Singh proved why he is one of the best, not only showing strength in defence but also setting up a breathtaking goal for his teammate, Dhruv Pal Godara to widen the gap for his team giving them a lead that looked as though it would not be relinquished. Jack Richardson tried his hardest to cut the deficit in the third quarter but HH Maharaja Padmanabh Singh’s team was too strong and a stunning goal from Simran Singh Shergill extended the lead to 6-3. In a nail-biting final chukka, noise erupted from the stands as ICM Capital Team England’s Nacho Gonzalez struck a two-pointer to level the scores. The clock ticked down, with pressure on both sides, neither wanting to go home empty handed. In the final moments, it was the first ever lady player to compete at Chestertons Polo in the Park, Hazel Jackson, who sealed the victory for ICM Capital Team England, much to the delight of the packed grandstand. For the first time since the International match’s inception in 2015, ICM Capital Team England lifted the much-heralded Olympic Trophy.

Hazel Jackson commented on the victory afterwards. “It was super intense, but probably one of the most fun tournaments I have ever played. We were so lucky to bring the win home. There is just so much atmosphere here, so much enthusiasm and competition – the level is absolutely epic, so it’s a different story here. It was amazing to have so much support and rock on the girls; they loved it and I loved it.”

The day’s action kicked off with an electric first game, as EFG Team Zurich clinched the victory over Mauritius Team Port Louis. Chris Hyde was the hero in the first two chukkas, scoring an impressive hat-trick to take an early 3-1 lead. Mauritius Team Port Louis entered the third chukka with a new-found energy and following an impressive two goal strike they took the lead, and headed into the fourth and final chukka with a 4-3 lead. Playmaker, Chris Hyde, remained cool and calm under pressure to produce nifty steal and take the scores back to level at four-a-piece. A controversial penalty goal was awarded to Mauritius Team Port Louis with less than two minutes remaining on the clock to take back the lead, but it was short lived as Paco O’Dwyer showed his enviable skills to score a two-goal strike and seal the victory for EFG Team Zurich. Final Score 6-5 to EFG Team Zurich.

EFG Team Zurich patron, Chris Hyde, spoke of the closely fought victory. “We had a great start because Hissan got the first play; we went for the win in the first two chukkas. But then obviously it’s a strong team: three professional players. In summary, Max and I had an outstanding match, Hissan was a bit reserved because he has to play the next game – we’ll see how it is tomorrow with Max Charlton.”

The second game saw Air Europa Team Buenos Aires take on Argentex Team Dubai. The match got off to an exhilarating start as Juan Cruz Guevara led his team to a mammoth 4-0 lead, scoring two two-point goals almost consecutively. Soon into the second chukka an immense display of teamwork allowed George Spencer-Churchill to hit a clean shot at goal, scoring the third two-pointer of the game taking it to 4-2. This was followed by another soon after, to draw level at the end of the second chukka. Entering the second-half of the match, Juan Cruz Guevara stormed past his opponents to hook the ball under the neck of the horse, scoring a textbook goal, taking Air Europa Team Buenos Aires to a short-term lead. Responding to this, Argentex Team Dubai entered the fourth and final chukka with sheer determination to battle back and take the victory 9-7.

Home favourite, George Spencer-Churchill, commented, “It was a fun day at Chestertons Polo in the Park. It was a good win after going 4-0 down – it’s always the most satisfying victory when you win that way.”

There was a controversial start to the home side’s match as MINT Team London was penalised in the opening sequence, resulting with a two-goal penalty awarded to Whitley Neill Team Cape Town, which was pushed over the line by Oscar Mancini to give them the early advantage. Home favourite, George Meyrick, responded in style showcasing unbelievable skill as he volleyed the ball down the pitch to get the first points on the score board for MINT Team London. Despite Whitley Neill Team Cape Town taking the early lead, MINT Team London made their intentions clear from the outset, with Malcolm Borwick parading his much-vaunted power and tenacity to take MINT Team London into a clear lead before the end of the second chukka. MINT Team London continued their form in the final two chukkas to claim a clear victory with a final score of 7-4.

MINT Team London star, Malcolm Borwick, spoke of the victory. “MINT Team London had a good one today; we played really well. Huge effort from Rory Heron and the team to put on such an amazing event here in the middle of London. It has become such an iconic event and I feel honoured to play in it. We have a really tough semi-final against two of the best arena players in the world but I hope we win and hopefully will get to the final on Sunday.”

For more information, visit www.polointheparklondon.com.

For more information, contact Gayle Telford E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: (0)20 3176 0355.

Emotions Run High for Nick Skelton Retirement at Royal Windsor Horse Show

It was an emotional final day at Royal Windsor Horse Show as the crowds took to their feet to witness Show Jumping legend, Nick Skelton and his gold medal winning horse, Big Star, stand together in the arena for the last time. In front of Her Majesty The Queen and packed out grandstands, Skelton was joined by his family, owners, fellow Team GB riders and loyal groom, Mark Beaver, to say his final goodbye.

Skelton’s youngest son, professional jockey Harry Skelton, was unable to attend due to racing commitments but left a message for his father that was read out to the crowd:

“Dad, I’m so sorry I’m not there, but when I asked you if I should go racing today or come down to Windsor, you said, go and do your job and try and ride some winners. I thought, that is what has got you to where you are, your hard work, dedication and determination. My first great memory of you in the ring was when Dollar Girl won the World Cup Final in 95. You went through so much from then to Rio 2016, and when you finally reached your childhood dream to take individual gold, was the best day of my life. I am the proudest son alive and so glad you’ve stopped at the top. I hope I will make you as proud as I am of you one day. See you later, love you, Harry.”

There was not a dry eye in the house as Skelton dismounted Big Star, took the saddle off his back – a long standing tradition when a horse is retired – and walked a final lap of honour in-hand to a standing ovation, with the crowd cheering to mark their respect and admiration for Skelton, whose career spanned five decades. With a final wave to the adoring crowd, the Olympic gold medal winning duo exited the arena to start their well-deserved retirement.

The pinnacle of Royal Windsor Horse Show, the much-anticipated Rolex Grand Prix, did not fail to disappoint. With 30 World class riders lining up to win over £254,000, the competition was hot, and Bob Ellis’ 1.60m course reflected the high standard. Four-time European gold medalist, Michael Whitaker was the first to jump clear aboard JB’s Hot Stuff, with whom he won the Antwerp Grand Prix last month. He was in good company as the likes of World No. 1 Kent Farrington, last night’s winner Jessica Springsteen and Olympic gold medalists Scott Brash, Laura Kraut and Eric Lamaze followed suit.

The jump-off had the packed crowds on the edge of their seats as 12 riders came forward to compete for the £63,000 first prize. When Britain’s Guy Williams came in to the famous Castle Arena as second to go, jumping clear in a time of 43.45, it looked like his time would be hard to catch; however, with the best riders in the world to come nothing was certain.

Jessica Springsteen rode a fantastic round, taking a flyer to the up-to-height Bahrain oxer in front of the Members Enclosure to make up valuable time and momentarily took the lead; however, with Kent Farrington next into the arena, her lead did not last long. The defending champion made the tightest of turns to the tricky Tower Bridge water tray and pushed on throughout to knock over three seconds off the previous leader’s time and lay down the gauntlet to his competitors.

World No. 4 Eric Lamaze flew round; however, he took one too many risks and paid the price finishing with four faults, albeit in the fastest time of the day. Home favourite Scott Brash, riding his talented mare Ursula XII, put up a good challenge much to the crowd’s delight, to finish in third, and Lorenzo de Luca and Halifax van het Kluizebos secured second as last to go, but it was only Kent who managed to break the elusive 40 second barrier, proving why he’s the best in the world.

Speaking at the Rolex Grand Prix press conference, Kent said, “I was really thrilled with my horse; he is just stepping up to this level and he was unbelievable. I couldn’t have asked for more. This is one of my favourite shows and I’m not just saying that because I won here today. There’s a combination of an amazing setting, an unbelievable crowd, top course designing and great footing. That is the best of the best, and now with Rolex stepping up and making this a 5* event, it’s on par with the best in the world.”

Kent went on to discuss the impending retirement of childhood hero Nick Skelton and his double Olympic gold medal winning partner Big Star. “I have always looked up to him my whole career and getting to ride with him at high level has been unbelievable… Our sport is about that great connection with a horse and Nick and that horse [Big Star] became a real team; they had a tremendous comradery, they know each other so well and that showed at the Olympics at the highest level of the sport, with them being able to deliver on the big day.”

Earlier in the day, the Palm Speed Stakes saw competitors jumping one round against the clock for a total prize fund of £23,300.

The twelve-fence course proved tricky, with a double of verticals down the last line catching many of the riders out. The first clear came from Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer, who jumped a deceptively quick round to set the pace for those that followed. The always competitive Schwizer, riding Leonard de la Ferme CH, posted a time of 61.47 seconds, which proved hard to match.

Several riders came close, including Tiffany Foster with the eleven-year-old gelding Brighton and Laura Kraut with Whitney, already winners in the Castle Arena this week; however, their rounds were only good enough for third and fourth positions respectively. However, it was Billy Twomey, towards the end of the draw, who managed to clinch victory aboard Sue Davies’ grey gelding Tin Tin, shaving 0.65 seconds off Schwizer’s time. The Irishman took advantage of Tin Tin’s big stride to make up time between fences and made all the turns required to top the leader board.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Billy after the class. “The horses had to be really careful out there today, but the course worked in our favour as I was able to miss out a few strides here and there!” The Cheshire-based rider continued, “It’s great to be competing at 5* level here at Windsor; it’s a great show and it’s nice to be on home soil with the family around, as we’re abroad so often.”

Boyd Exell scored his eighth win in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, having taken his first title in 2004. After a good win in the dressage phase with his team of four mixed Dutch and Swedish-bred horses, the reigning World Champion from Australia drove a steady round, mindful of a young horse in the wheel competing in his first marathon. Second in this phase, by less than one penalty point to his pupil Edouard Simonet from Belgium, he nevertheless retained the top slot overall.

A long technical cones course set by Johan Jacobs from the Netherlands, that was challenging yet fair in the final phase, saw few drivers manage double clear rounds. Exell was one to have a cone down, but he secured the title 13-penalty points ahead of his closest challenger. Simonet, driving a team of impressive Arab cross Friesian black horses, moved up from third into second place in the final ratings, while Koos de Ronde from the Netherlands, seldom out of the top scoring teams, finished third.

Horse Pairs found the cones course no less of a test, and again, fortunes behind the leader changed. Germany’s Lars Schwitte led through the first two phases, even though he scored fourth place in the marathon, and with just one cone down in the final phase, he retained his overall first place. A driver who pursues the sport purely for pleasure – he manages his own construction company – and who was competing for the first time here, he was understandably delighted with his result. Behind him Michael Sellier from France, competing for the first time at Royal Windsor, moved up to second place from third, while Gerald Rossler from Austria jumped two places to clinch third.

There were numerous changes in the final standings in the Pony Four-In-Hands section. Jacqueline Walter from Germany had squeezed into first place after the marathon by the narrowest of margins, but the overall win went to the only competitor to post a double clear in the cones, Tinne Bax from Belgium. Bax has competed at Royal Windsor for the last half a dozen years, but this is her first win. Her smile showed just how pleased she was. Walter, smiling equally as broadly, pronounced herself completely satisfied to have come second at her third time competing here – she has improved her position each time – while six times Royal Windsor winner, Jan de Boer from the Netherlands, dropped to third place.

In a team competition among Horse Fours competitors – the Netherlands took first place with Ijsbrand Chardon, Theo Timmerman and Koos de Ronde. Belgium was second with Edouard Simonet, Dries Degrieck and Glen Geerts, and Germany third with Georg von Stein, Mareike Harm and Rainer Duen.

Fourteen high-class contenders of all sizes and types, from an 18hh heavyweight hunter, down to a diminutive Dartmoor lead-reign, entered the Castle Arena for the judging of the Royal Windsor Supreme Ridden Showing Championship sponsored by Dodson & Horrell.

Judged by Olympic Dressage supremo, Richard Davison, and international Show Jumper, William Funnell, tension mounted as competitors entered the arena for the last time, with some horses clearly over-awed by the building atmosphere.

It was HM The Queen’s homebred former racehorse Barbers Shop, ridden by Katie Jerram-Hunnable, who took home the prestigious title, the first Supreme Champion to be crowned at Royal Windsor since 2002. Jerram-Hunnable said, “This is his last year at Royal Windsor Horse Show, so to do this today is just fantastic.”

Annabelle Jewks’ Diamonds Are Forever, ridden by Allister Hood to be crowned Champion Riding Horse earlier in the week, followed close in second to take the Reserve Champion title.

Elsewhere, the Final of the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games saw victory go to the young England team, with the Shetland Pony Grand National sponsored by Sandra and Martin Wood was won by Harry Barker, the grandson of legendary commentator Mike Tucker.

Gayle Telford
Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

International Celebrations at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Her Majesty The Queen was present for the penultimate day of Royal Windsor Horse Show which saw Trooper Fisher RHG/D awarded The Best Turned Out Trooper, with his horse Falkand, in front of packed grandstands in the grounds of Home Park (Private).

Her Majesty took part in prize giving ceremonies in the Castle Arena, including the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup and Her Majesty The Queen’s Challenge Cup For Service Team Jumping. Nick Skelton also received the BHS Queen’s Award for Equestrianism ahead of his retirement.

The second day of International CSI5* Show Jumping kicked off in spectacular style with the 1.55m Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup, which saw Egypt’s Abdel Saïd triumph in a tightly fought contest.

The tight time-allowed in the first round added to the complexity of the course, which was twisty and up-to-height and saw only eight of the 29 starters jump clear. Sixth to go, Cheshire-based Irishman Billy Twomey, broke the deadlock, and his clear round was emulated by some of the best riders in the World, including World No. 1 Kent Farrington and Olympic gold medallists Ben Maher and Eric Lamaze, setting up an exciting jump-off for the £52,500 prize fund.

As second to go in the jump-off, last year’s winner, Kent Farrington, set a blistering pace aboard his striking grey gelding; however, an extra stride before the last meant his time of 43.01 seconds was within reach to those who followed. Abdel Saïd followed, riding AS Sport Horses’ Hope Van Scherpen Donder, and set off meaning business. The nimble bay mare jumped faultlessly, making the tightest of turns and galloping to the last, to take over the lead from the current World No. 1. Britain’s Ben Maher put up a good challenge, with an immaculate display of jumping; however, his time of 42.86 seconds was only good enough for second place.

Speaking after the class, Saïd said, “She’s a real tryer; she gave everything today and I was lucky that we were fast enough to win – I’m delighted. It’s my first time at Windsor and it’s a great experience; we are loving it; it’s a really nice show.”

The Show Jumping action culminated with the 1.50m Falcon Stakes, a two-round competition whereby the top ten from the first round were guaranteed a spot in the jump-off. With only eight clears in round one, this paved the way for the fastest four faulters, Billy Twomey and Ben Maher.

Ben, riding the twelve-year-old chestnut mare Diva II, produced a speedy clear round to finish on a cumulative total of four faults and put pressure on the riders to follow. With several riders having faults in the jump-off, Maher’s round moved him up to eventual fifth. Home favourite Michael Whitaker was the first to finish on a zero score, but he took it relatively steady on new ride Baltimore VDM to finish in fourth.

Local rider William Funnell jumped a fantastic round with homebred mare Billy Fanta, a nine-year-old by Billy Congo, to take the lead with just four riders left; however, it was last to go, America’s Jessica Springsteen, who took the victory in impressive style. The daughter of rock legend Bruce Springsteen shaved over two seconds off Funnell’s time, riding the in-form Davendy S.

Following her success, Jessica said; “She [Davendy S] is unbelievable; she jumped great; it was definitely an advantage to be towards the end but she’s so competitive; she always goes out and wants to win so she’s a lot of fun to ride. It’s so much fun here at Windsor; there’s such an amazing atmosphere with the crowds; it’s one of my favourite shows.”

Earlier in the afternoon the Land Rover Services Team Jumping entertained the packed grandstands with the Defence Animal Centre Team A, comprising Capt Nichols, COH Glass and Ssgt Moore, coming out on top of the Challenge Cup Section. Victorious in the Queen’s Plate were the Bahrain Defence Force, whose three riders – Ahmed Mansoor, Shaikh Isa Bin Salman and Saber Salman – finished on an impressive score of four penalties ahead of Pangbourne College on eight faults.

Last to go in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix cross-country marathon, Boyd Exell steered a true and steady course through each of the eight obstacles to increase his lead to a comfortable 10+ penalty points. The course had presented few problems to the nearly 60 competitors across Horse and Pony Four-in-Hands and Horse Pairs, but the four times world champion from Australia gave a final masterclass in controlled obstacle driving to stay in pole position ahead of Holland’s Theo Timmerman, still in second place. Edouard Simonet from Belgium moved ahead of Koos de Ronde from the Netherlands to take third place less than 1 pen behind Timmerman.

The final phase of cones driving looks set to be particularly exciting in both Horse Pairs and Pony Fours. In Horse Pairs less than two penalty points separate the top three placed competitors. Lars Schwitte from Germany retained his lead narrowly from Holland’s Harrie Verstappen, a previous Horse Pairs world champion and Royal Windsor winner, driving his trademark skewbald KWPNs. Verstappen moved up from 6th place to overtake Michael Sellier, current French National Champion. Now lying third, Sellier, a protégé of Boyd Exell’s, is competing at Royal Windsor for the first time.

In Pony Fours Germany’s Jacqueline Walter drove a storming marathon with her distinctive palomino ponies to knock Holland’s Jan de Boer from first place by less than one penalty point. Driving here for the third time – she finished fourth last year – Walter has recently become a trainee soldier in the German Army. Tinne Bax from Belgium is their closest challenger less than four penalties behind.

Small proved beautiful in the Castle Arena when the two 128cm show pony contenders, Yorkshire-based Whiteleaze Aurora with Mia Donaldson and the Jago/Carvosso team’s Tuscany Sweet Serenade, partnered by Charlotte Tuck, stood champion and reserve after giving superb performances in front of an appreciative audience which included HM The Queen.

The result came after strong classes described by visiting South African judge Gregory Goss as “full of the best ponies I’ve ever seen. The British riding pony is the envy of the world and I was blown away by the quality on show here.”

The coveted Novice Show Pony title headed to Hertfordshire via Ro Rennocks’ home-bred Team Harvey-produced 138cm victor, Rendene Secret Charm, beautifully ridden by Ellis Taverner-Burns. Harriet Dennison and Di Brereton’s working Highland stallion Dunedin Duncan headed a marathon BSPS Heritage Mountain and Moorland Ridden section, one of the most prestigious titles for native ponies on the show circuit.

Tickets can be purchased at www.rwhs.co.uk or by telephoning the box office on 0844 581 4960 from the UK and +44 (0)121 7966290 internationally. Local residents can purchase tickets by contacting Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743589.

Gayle Telford
Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 (0)207 592 1207