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

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