In addition to hosting the world’s top riders, Olympia, The London International Horse Show is proud to welcome the country’s leading national competitors as they contend for National Championship titles.
The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship
The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship runs under a new format in 2019, with 24 riders selected to compete in the initial qualifying round on Friday 20 December. The top ten from this qualifier will advance to the final on Sunday 22 December.
The new qualification criteria for the class rewards achievements across the year, ensuring a top-class field. The first ten places go to the members of the Great British Junior European and Young Rider European teams, which includes Jack Whitaker, Britain’s top performer at the Junior Europeans, who is also making his mark on the senior international circuit, and William Fletcher, another rising star of the international ranks having already represented Great Britain at Senior FEI Jumping Nations Cup level.
William’s brother, 16-year-old Oliver, will also take his place on the starting line-up having been part of the Junior European Team which finished sixth at this year’s Championships, along with Oli Tuff, Sienna Charles, and Lily Attwood.
Joe Stockdale will be looking to back up his victory in the Under 25 class at Royal Windsor Horse Show in May and will be joined by his Young Rider European teammates Graham Babes, Leonie Aitkenhead, and Jodie Hall McAteer.
Others to automatically gain a coveted spot in the competition are those who have represented Great Britain at Senior FEI Nations Cup level in 2019, including James Wilson and Emily Moffitt, who will also be taking part in the 5* competition at the Show, along with Georgia Tame, Emily Ward, and wildcard Harry Charles, who was second in last year’s Championship.
James Wilson has broken into the top ranks in 2019, representing Great Britain on several occasions, including in the FEI Nations Cups at Hickstead, La Baule, and St Gallen, where he was one of only a few combinations to jump double clear. Another increasingly familiar name on the international scene is Emily Moffitt, who was a pivotal part of the team that won the prestigious Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Ireland in August.
The final places in the competition go to qualifiers from dedicated classes at selected British Showjumping Shows. Qualifying at the Aintree Equestrian Centre Winter Classic was Charlie Jones, Millie Allen, Chloe Reynolds, and Joe Trickett, whereas Alanna Clutterbuck, Yazmin Davis, Flo Norris, and James Whitaker made it through from the Addington Equestrian Winter Classic.
The Pony Club Mini-Major
The Mini-Major is a popular class which sees Pony Club members pair up with top international riders in a thrilling competition to each complete a fault-free Show Jumping round in the quickest time. Last year’s competition saw leading British female riders Laura Renwick and Holly Smith, as well as crowd favourites William Funnell and Guy Williams, line up alongside young Pony Club riders from across the country.
Travelling across from Northern Ireland to represent the Iveagh Pony Club will be Charlotte McCracken, who along with Millie Lawson from Deeside in Scotland and Tom Hogan from Gwynedd in Wales, will be reigniting the battle with their English counterparts. Essex will have two representatives, Hollie Gerken from the Essex Branch and Liala Ramaci from Essex Hunt North, with Bisley and Sandown Chase, North Warwickshire, and Banwell represented by Tommy Goody, Isabella Beecroft-Luckett, and Emmie Horner, respectively.
The furious competition between the young riders and their 5* counterparts is set to take place during the afternoon of Wednesday 18 December.
BSPS Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux
The last day of Olympia, Sunday 22 December, will play host to one of the most prestigious Showing finals in the country, The BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux. A place in the Olympia final is the most coveted prize within the native pony ranks and competition to qualify for Olympia has been greater than ever.
The 2019 final will welcome ponies and riders from around the country, including last year’s Reserve Supreme Overall Champion, Cadlanvalley Buzby and 14-year old Libby Grota. Following a hugely successful year, Libby returns to Olympia determined to go one better than 2018 and clinch the top prize aboard her family’s home-bred Welsh Section B stallion.
Libby will face competition from old rival Emma Boardman, owner and producer of last year’s third-placed Dyffryngwy Sir Picasso, a Welsh Section D who scored the highest performance marks at Olympia in 2018.
Competing at Olympia Grand for the first time will be nine-year-old Olivia Brightmore, with her home-produced Shetland Pony Lotuspoint Cassisus. The pair qualified at the BSPS Heritage Championships, where they also won the Restricted Open Ridden Small Breeds and the Open Ridden Small Breeds, an astounding feat given it was the young rider’s first attempt at open level. Following her qualification, Olivia described her debut at Olympia as “beyond exciting.”
Another to make her debut at the Show will be April Gilmartin with her home-produced Gems Malt Whiskey. Blackpool-based April, a beautician, and her mother Kathleen, a former champion ballroom dancer, bought ‘Malty’ as a two-year-old, and form the ultimate amateur team, producing the Welsh Section C at home. Qualifying for Olympia at the BSPS Heritage Championships on their first attempt was extra special for the team as it will provide trainer Pam Prickett, who is battling cancer, the chance to tick off a major event on her bucket list.
Also taking to the Olympia Grand for the first time will be Skellorn Royal Anniversary, the Welsh Section B star of the Netflix series ‘Free Rein’, owned and ridden by Victoria Oakes. Conversely, it will be the last-ever appearance under saddle for Lynda Calcutt’s Dartmoor stallion Shilstone Rocks North Westerly, as the prolific winner will retire at the Show. Ridden by regular partner Chloe Chubb, they recently won their final class at Horse of the Year Show and will hope to bow out in style at Olympia.
The Final of the BSPS Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux will take place on the afternoon of Sunday 22 December, alongside 5* Show Jumping action and displays from The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and Jean-François Pignon.
Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “The quality of the National classes at Olympia is improving year-on-year, and really adds to the Show. It’s a privilege to see the next generation of riders coming up through the ranks and be able to provide a unique opportunity for them to be able to compete amongst their heroes at a 5* Show like Olympia.”
In addition to the National classes, spectators can also expect top international action, as the Show hosts three FEI World Cup™ competitions across the seven-day event, in Dressage, Driving, and Show Jumping, alongside an exciting array of international display acts and competitions. New features, such as the ‘Dressage Unwrapped’ masterclass, will join old favourites such as The Saracen Horse Feeds Shetland Pony Grand National and classes such as The Cayenne Puissance and the prestigious Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix to provide entertainment for the whole family.
To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.
For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0)203 176 0355