Tag Archives: Olympia

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.

Champion Jockeys to Battle It Out at Olympia Horse Show

AP McCoy.

Champion jockeys AP McCoy and Richard Hughes are set for a showdown in a different sort of equestrian sport, as they go head-to-head in a show jumping challenge at Olympia, The London International Horse Show on Friday 19 December 2014.

The pair will head the line-up for the Markel Champions Challenge between jump jockeys and flat jockeys in aid of Olympia Horse Show’s official charity this year, The Injured Jockeys Fund. Joining McCoy in the jump jockey squad will be John Francome, Sam Twiston-Davies and Sam Thomas, whilst representing flat jockeys with Hughes will be Hayley Turner, Jim Crowley and Adam Kirby.

The jump jockey and flat jockey squads will take each other on in a show jumping team relay competition in front of a crowd of 10,000 during the Friday evening performance at the famous London Olympia Hall.

John Francome, who had a successful show jumping career as a teenager before becoming a professional jockey and is now President of the Injured Jockeys Fund, said: “Riding at Olympia is going to be good fun for us all. Of course it’s in aid of a great cause, the Injured Jockeys Fund, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be ultra-competitive! The jumps boys intend to show the flat jockeys just how it’s done.”

Flat jockey Hayley Turner, with her ever competitive spirit, has been busy brushing up on her show jumping skills by recently getting some extra tuition from top show jumper Ben Maher.

The Group 1 winning jockey said: “Having a jumping lesson with Ben has really helped get my eye in before Olympia. It’s a completely different style of riding to what I am used to. I am really looking forward to taking on the jump jockeys at Olympia. They may think they have the upper hand over the flat jockeys but we are taking this seriously so they want to watch out!”

This year’s Olympia Horse Show opens on Tuesday 16 December, with a packed schedule of equine entertainment set to take place throughout the seven day event. Living up to its reputation as one of Europe’s premier indoor equestrian events, Olympia Horse Show hosts World Cup competitions in Show Jumping, Dressage and Extreme Carriage Driving, as well as a feast of breath-taking displays, including the world famous Ukrainian Cossack Stunt Riders and the magnificent Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police with their Activity Ride. Once again, all the old favourites which make London’s premier horse show so magical, such as the Shetland Pony Grand National, the Kennel Club Dog Agility and the nail-biting Alltech Christmas Puissance competition will be back to delight the 90,000 visitors expected to attend this year’s show.

Olympia Horse Show will broadcast live on BBC2 on Sunday 21 December and available to view on 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.

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 or images please contact Hannah Rawdon-Mogg, Revolution Sports + Entertainment — E: hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: +44 (0)207 592 1207.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 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. There will be a special class in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund on Friday 19 December called the Markel Champions Challenge for the Injured Jockeys Fund.

The Injured Jockeys Fund
The Injured Jockeys Fund was founded in 1964 following the devastating accidents to Tim Brookshaw, and then Paddy Farrell in the 1964 Grand National. The Fund has since spent over £17m in helping over 1000 jockeys whose injuries have forced some of them to give up riding. The aim of the IJF is to maintain this ethos with continuing support for existing beneficiaries and to provide immediate and effective help to all newly injured jockeys in whatever way is appropriate to ensure a reasonable quality of life for them and their families. The IJF has two respite and rehabilitation centres, Oaksey House in Berkshire, opened by Patron HRH The Princess Royal in 2009, and Jack Berry House in Yorkshire, set to open in the Spring of 2015. www.ijf.org.uk

Markel International
The Markel name and reputation are unsurpassed in the field of equine insurance. For over 50 years, Markel has provided uninterrupted coverage for horses and horse-related risks. Coverage is available for the widest range of needs from individual horse owners up to the largest global Thoroughbred breeding and racing operations, through to disciplines such as dressage, show jumping, reining, trotters and Arabians. www.markelinternational.com/equine

Star-Studded Equine Line Up for Olympia, the London International Horse Show

This year’s Olympia, The London International Horse Show takes place from 16-22 December and boasts a star-studded equine line up, including a Medal Parade from the GBR Equestrian Teams, an appearance from record breaking racehorse Kauto Star, and Dressage Masterclasses from British riders, Michael Eilberg and Laura Tomlinson.

Acting as an appetiser to the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix supported by Horse & Hound on the opening night – where Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro are expected to compete – will be former record breaking racehorse, Kauto Star, who has since been retrained as a dressage horse by Laura Collett. His display of his new found skills will be followed by a Masterclass from World Equestrian Games Team Dressage Silver Medallist, Michael Eilberg, riding one of the most exciting horses on the circuit, Woodlander Farouche. Talking the Olympia crowd through the Masterclass will be former European Team Silver Medallist and Michael’s father, Ferdi Eilberg.

Spectators on Wednesday evening’s performance will be treated to a Masterclass from one of Britain’s leading dressage riders, Laura Tomlinson. The Olympic Team Gold Medallist, who celebrated the retirement of her London 2012 Team Gold winning horse, Mistral Højris with a special display at Olympia last year, will return this year riding one of her up and coming horses, 10-year-old mare Unique.

Tomlinson’s Masterclass will be followed by a special Medal Parade from the GBR Equestrian Teams who will be celebrating their outstanding achievements of the year. Great Britain finished at the top of the medal table at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games after clinching a total of seven golds at the Games. Elsewhere GBR Equestrian Youth Teams have demonstrated their up-and-coming talent by winning 14 medals this year, whilst other senior teams have also enjoyed European success, helping to bring the GBR equestrian medal tally to 31. The GBR Equestrian Team medal winners will parade in the Olympia Great Hall during the Wednesday evening performance to share the celebrations of their incredible year with the Olympia audience.

On Thursday 18 December, Individual Women’s World Vaulting Champion, Joanne Eccles will perform a Vaulting Display with her sister Hannah Eccles in the Olympia Arena. Their demonstration will undoubtedly leave the crowd in collective awe as they perform leaps, handstands, tumbles and various other acrobatic moves upon their horse, whilst they canter round. Together the duo took Bronze in the Pas de Deux Test at the World Equestrian Games and the sisters will perform their Bronze Medal winning routine on Thursday’s matinee show. Joanne Eccles will then perform her World Equestrian Games Gold Medal winning routine in the evening performance.

Show Director Simon Brooks-Ward said: “British Equestrianism has a lot to celebrate right now and what better way to mark all these great achievements than at the world’s biggest equestrian party. We are thrilled to have so many stars – both human and equine – appearing at this year’s Show. I think it is going to be the biggest and best Olympia yet.”

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

OLYMPIA 2014 HIGHLIGHTS:

• Tuesday 16 December
– Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Leg, supported by Horse & Hound – Grand Prix
• Wednesday 17 December
– Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Leg, supported by Horse & Hound – Freestyle to Music
• Thursday 18 December
– Alltech Olympia Christmas Puissance
• Friday 19 December
– FEI World Cup™ Extreme Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell
• Saturday 20 December
– FEI World Cup™ Extreme Driving Leg Final presented by Dodson & Horrell
• Sunday 21 December
– Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping leg presented by H&M
• Monday 22 December
– The Olympia Grand Prix

Visit the website HERE for a full programme of events.

For more information, please contact Hannah Rawdon-Mogg E: hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: +44 (0)207 592 1207.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 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. There will be a special class in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund on Friday 19 December called the Markel Champions Challenge for the Injured Jockeys Fund.

The Injured Jockeys Fund to Be Official Charity at Olympia

Sam Thomas and William Buick (Photography – Matthew Joseph).

The Injured Jockeys Fund is to be the charity of the year at this year’s London International Horse Show at Olympia from 16-22 December 2014. Markel International, the specialist insurer, will sponsor a unique class on Friday 19th December. The Markel Champions Challenge for the Injured Jockeys Fund is set to be one of the highlights of the evening, featuring some of the UK’s best known flat and jump jockeys with the additional spice of top show jumpers.

A team of three flat jockeys and one top name show jumper will compete against three jump jockeys and one top name show jumper in a series of different challenges including jumps and pony club style games. The line-up of names is set to be announced early in the autumn and is likely to include Markel’s Ambassador jockeys, Sam Thomas and William Buick.

Lisa Hancock, Chief Executive of the Injured Jockeys Fund, says: “We are delighted to be the official charity of the London International Horse Show at Olympia in our 50th anniversary year. The Markel Champions Challenge for the Injured Jockeys Fund is sure to provide a fun – and highly competitive – spectacle for the crowd, plus will help raise awareness of the important work we do at the IJF in supporting injured jockeys and their families.”

Juliet Redfern, Markel’s UK Divisional Managing Director of Equine and Livestock, says: “We are thrilled to be announcing this exciting collaboration with the Injured Jockeys Fund at Olympia in December and hope that it raises lots of money for what is a fantastic charity.”

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, The London International Horse Show Olympia, says: “We are very pleased to be supporting the Injured Jockeys Fund this year. It is a charity that does tremendous work for riders – not just in horseracing but across all equestrian sports. The Markel Champions Challenge for the Injured Jockeys Fund will see professional jockeys demonstrating their equine skills in the Olympia Exhibition Hall in an event which promises to be great fun. It will be a great spectacle which is sure to entertain the Olympia audience, as well as hopefully raising lots of money for a very worthy cause.”

For more information please contact:
Injured Jockeys Fund: Liz Ampairee, liz.ampairee@racingpost.biz 0773 333 1945
Markel International: Michael Henman, michael.henman@markelintl.com 0207 953 6000
Olympia, The London International Horse Show: Hannah Grissell, hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk 0207 592 1207

The Injured Jockeys Fund:
The Injured Jockeys Fund was founded in 1964 following the devastating accidents to Tim Brookshaw, and then Paddy Farrell in the 1964 Grand National. The Fund has since spent over £17m in helping over 1000 jockeys whose injuries have forced some of them to give up riding. The aim of the IJF is to maintain this ethos with continuing support for existing beneficiaries and to provide immediate and effective help to all newly injured jockeys in whatever way is appropriate to ensure a reasonable quality of life for them and their families. The IJF has two respite and rehabilitation centres, Oaksey House in Berkshire, opened by Patron HRH The Princess Royal in 2009, and Jack Berry House in Yorkshire, set to open in the Spring of 2015. www.ijf.org.uk

Markel International:
The Markel name and reputation are unsurpassed in the field of equine insurance. For over 50 years, Markel has provided uninterrupted coverage for horses and horse-related risks. Coverage is available for the widest range of needs from individual horse owners up to the largest global Thoroughbred breeding and racing operations, through to disciplines such as dressage, showjumping, reining, trotters and Arabians. www.markelinternational.com/equine

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.

Tickets Go on Sale for Olympia, the London International Horse Show 2014

Photo credit Kit Houghton/HPower.

Tickets for Olympia, The London International Horse Show 2014 go on sale on Thursday 8 May at 9am. The week long equine extravaganza will take place in the iconic West London venue from Tuesday 16 to Monday 22 December 2014.

While the mention of Christmas in May might draw groans from folk still picking pine needles out of their carpets and finding cracker toys down the back of the sofa, among equestrian fans it means just one thing: tickets for Olympia must be going on sale!

Last year, London’s premier horse show saw a record breaking number of visitors when over 95,000 flocked through the doors to watch the elite competitions in Show Jumping, Dressage and Driving and unique entertainment that always makes Olympia so magical. With 2013 ticket sales up 6% on the previous year, organisers are urging those planning to attend Olympia in 2014 to book early to avoid disappointment.

Living up to its reputation as one of Europe’s premier indoor equestrian events, Olympia 2014 will once again host three FEI World Cups™ in Driving, Dressage and Show Jumping. The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage leg takes place on 16 and 17 December, the FEI World Cup™ Driving leg on 19 and 20 December and the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping leg presented by H&M on 21 December.

In addition to the FEI World Cups™, Olympia will feature a mix of top class equestrian competition – including the famous Altech Christmas Puissance on the Thursday evening performance – international equestrian displays (to be announced), an outstanding shopping village, the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, the Kennel Club Dog Agility and an amazing selection of bars and restaurants.

A special addition to this year’s line-up will be a competition ‘Jockeys v. Jumpers’ which pitches professional Jockeys against professional Show Jumpers in association with this year’s Show Charity, The Injured Jockeys Fund.

And when spectators aren’t watching the horses, there’s plenty of celebrities and Royalty to be spotted. Last year HRH Duchess of Cornwall, Denise Lewis, England Rugby legends Ben Cohen and Phil Vickery, Deborah Meaden, Martin Clunes and Rory Bremner were among the record crowds attending the event.

Tickets start at £24.50 each with discounts for groups, children and concessions applying for certain performances. 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 Jo Peck jopeck@hpower.co.uk, (0)1753 847900, or Hannah Grissell hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk, (0)207 592 1207.

Olympia, London International Horse Show takes place on 16-22 December 2014 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, West Kensington London. The show will play host to packed timetable of all things equestrian and boasts over 95,000 visitors. It is one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action including FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Dressage with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital as well as the Kennel Club Dog Agility. The show’s official charity for 2014 is The Injured Jockeys Fund.

Record Breaking Year at Olympia, The London International Horse Show

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro do a lap of honour after breaking the world record in the freestyle.

9 January 2014 – A record number of visitors attended the world’s best equine Christmas party last month, Olympia, the London International Horse Show, which took place from 16 to 22 December 2013.

A total of 95,276 spectators flocked to London’s premier horse show in the famous West London venue to watch the equine extravaganza. Ticket sales were up 6% from 2012 and the additional Gala night on Monday 16 December bought an extra 6,000 people. Well known faces in attendance included HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Denise Lewis, England Rugby legends Ben Cohen and Phil Vickery, Deborah Meaden, Martin Clunes and Rory Bremner.

Highlights included FEI World Cups in three different disciplines, Dressage, Show Jumping and Driving, the thrilling Alltech Christmas Puissance won by Italian rider Luca Moneta, and a breath-taking world record breaking Dressage performance by British superstars Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro.

The unique entertainment that always makes Olympia so magical, such as the Shetland Pony Grand National, the Kennel Club Dog Agility, the Services Jumping Championship, the vast shopping village and not forgetting the Christmas Finale, were all back again. However, the icing on the cake undoubtedly came from Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art whose outstanding displays of horsemanship mesmerised spectators.  It was the first time that the stunning pure bred Andalusian horses from Jerez de la Frontera, south-west Spain have performed in the UK for over 40 years.

Dujardin breaks world record

The show started with a bang as sensational Dressage duo Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Valegro smashed the world record score in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle supported by Horse & Hound on the Tuesday evening performance. Spectators can claim to have experienced one of those spine tingling ‘I was there’ moments when the Olympic gold medallists performed to their famous ‘Great Escape’ music for the last time and accumulated a staggering score of 93.975%. The score beat the former world record of 92.3% set by Edward Gal and Totilas, also at Olympia, in 2009.

Charlotte, who now holds the world record for all three Grand Prix tests, said: “I can’t believe it – I am over the moon and just ecstatic. I really wanted to come here and see if I could break the record to this music and at Olympia. It has been such an incredible journey with Valegro – I have achieved so much more than I ever imagined.”

Winners Luca Moneta & Quovo de Vains clear the 7 ft. 2 in. Puissance wall
Winners Luca Moneta & Quovo de Vains clear the 7 ft. 2 in. Puissance wall

Christmas Puissance

Italian rider Luca Moneta won the hearts of a packed house on Thursday evening when he cleared 7ft 2in to win the thrilling Alltech Christmas Puissance. The competition went to five rounds with only Guy Williams (GBR), on Richi Rich lll, and Luca on the gallant nine-year-old mare Quovo de Vains making it through to the final round. Guy’s grey mare just brushed a brick with his knee, leaving Luca to take the gamble. Unbelievably, it was Luca’s first ever Puissance win.

The evergreen John Whitaker, 58, who has won this epic class more times than any other rider, was cheered to the rafters for finishing third on Zantos. Laura Renwick was fourth on the appropriately named Roller Coaster.

Crowds thrilled by Extreme Carriage Driving

IJsbrand Chardon steers to victory in the Extreme Driving FEI World Cup
IJsbrand Chardon steers to victory in the Extreme Driving FEI World Cup

The Extreme Driving FEI World Cup Leg on Friday evening was won by long-standing champion driver IJsbrand Chardon from The Netherlands. In a tense final round, Chardon beat compatriot Koos de Ronde in an outstanding display of speed, accuracy and boldness. The shock result came from World No. 1 Boyd Exell (AUS) who left an impossible margin to catch up after collecting two knock downs. Britain’s Georgina Hunt, the first ever woman to be granted a wild card at a qualifier, put in a terrific show to finish seventh.

President of the ground jury, Klaus Peppersack, said: “The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I have been to all the qualifying events and would have to say that I have never experienced an atmosphere like it. It is quite the best audience in the world.”

Longines FEI World Cup

A packed house on the Saturday afternoon was treated to a thrilling 11-horse jump-off in the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier presented by H & M, which built to the dream finish from Maikel Van der Vleuten (NED) – the very last rider into the arena pulling off victory. Riding VDL Groep Sapphire B, Maikel beat Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr on Polinska des Isles by the tiny margin of 5/100th of a second. The 25-year-old also made history at Olympia, The London International Horse Show when he matched his father Eric’s achievement of winning this prestigious competition in 2009.

Maikel Van der Vleuten (NED) clears the London 2012 Bus to claim victory in the Longines FEI World Cup Leg
Maikel Van der Vleuten (NED) clears the London 2012 Bus to claim victory in the Longines FEI World Cup Leg

Scott Brash (Hello Ursula Xll, 6th), Michael Whitaker (Viking, 7th) and Peter Charles (Murka’s Odie de Frevent, 10th) kept home hopes alive by making it into the jump-off but they all faulted.

Young riders celebrated

It was a fairy tale win in the Under 23 British Championship sponsored by Dodson & Horrell and The World Class Programme for young promising rider Jess Dimmock. Jess missed last year’s Olympia because her horse Capello II had to undergo colic surgery. However, he made a full recovery and came back to Olympia this year to help Jess land what is regarded as the most prestigious competition for young riders in the world.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, again enjoying her annual visit to Olympia on Thursday evening, presented the prestigious Raymond Brooks-Ward trophy, which is given in memory of the late commentator and show director by his three sons, Simon, James and Nick, to the most promising young rider of the year. This year’s recipient was show jumper Louise Saywell, 23, a member of the Lottery-funded World Class Development squad, who was a last-minute call-up to the British team at the FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona in September.

Brits save the best until last

It was a one-two for Great Britain in the final big class of the week, the Olympia Grand Prix, when Ben Maher narrowly beat his 58-year-old compatriot John Whitaker.

Riding his London 2012 hero, Tripple X III, Ben rattled the second fence in the nail biting jump off, but the World No. 2 kept his cool. John then produced his gallant effort, but a tiny check in front of the penultimate fence cost him a fraction of a second and first place in one of the few competitions he has yet to win.

After winning the class, Maher said: “I heard the crowd gasp but, if anything, that helped me. There’s huge prize money all over the world but you can’t beat history and all the people cheering. I’d rather win the Grand Prix at Olympia than anywhere else in the world.”

The H & M Leading Rider of Show accolade went to another popular Brit, Laura Renwick, whose consistency meant she beat Peder Fredricson (SWE) by four points to the award. Jur Vrieling (NED) was third, William Funnell (GBR) fourth, Italy’s Luca Moneta fifth and the talented young Dutchman, Maikel Van der Vleuten, winner of the Christmas Masters as well as the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping, was sixth.

Renwick, Britain’s leading lady rider, summed up the week: “This is right up there with anything else I’ve done. This is the showcase for the year for British riders and so to win this leading rider prize is a great thing for my CV!”

Results:
For a full list of all the results from Olympia 2013, please click here.

Media Enquiries:
For more information please contact Hannah Grissell, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Email: hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 207 592 1207

For more information, please visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com.

Ben Maher Proves He Still Has the X-Factor

Olympia, London, 22 December 2013 – Ben Maher saved the best until last at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, when winning the last big class of the week, the Olympia Grand Prix, with a classic display of calm horsemanship on his own and Quainton Stud’s home-bred stallion Tripple X lll.

In a stirring climax to a week of great competition, the world number two narrowly overhauled his 58-year-old compatriot John Whitaker, who had the audience on the edge of their seats with his vintage display of bold riding on Argento.

Penelope Leprevost of France, third on Flora de Mariposa, set the early standard with a beautifully judged clear in the 12-horse jump-off but, to the home crowd’s delight, Ben beat her by nearly a second.

John then produced his gallant effort, but a tiny check in front of the penultimate fence cost him a fraction of a second and first place in one of the few competitions he has yet to win.

Until this evening, only two senior British riders had won classes, William Funnell and Laura Renwick, who finished the show as H&M Leading Rider, and Ben was the first to admit that it hadn’t been one of his finest weeks – the day before, Tripple X hit two fences in the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier.

“Actually, the horse was jumping well and I felt he was on form – it was me that needed to calm down,” confessed Ben. “I have been struggling all week, making mistakes I don’t normally make, so I went Christmas shopping and changed my plan.”

The magnificent stallion Tripple X rattled the second fence in the jump-off, but Ben kept his head. “I heard the crowd gasp but, if anything, that helped me. There’s huge prize-money all over the world but you can’t beat history and all the people cheering. I’d rather win the Grand Prix at Olympia than anywhere else in the world.”

Amazingly, Ben is the first British rider to win the Olympia Grand Prix since Robert Smith in 2005, so to have a British one-two was doubly encouraging and greeted with rapturous applause by the packed house.

“I’m excited about this horse,” said the sporting runner-up John Whitaker. “He’s improving all the time and was bang on today.”

And, although British riders certainly did not have it all their own way this week at Olympia, the H&M Leading Rider of Show accolade went to another popular Brit, Laura Renwick, whose consistency meant she beat Peder Fredricson (SWE) by four points to win the award.

Jur Vrieling (NED) was third, William Funnell (GBR) fourth, Italy’s Luca Moneta fifth and the talented young Dutchman, Maikel Van der Vleuten, winner of the Christmas Masters as well as the Longines FEI World Cup, was sixth.

Thus ended a fantastic week at Olympia in which eight of 11 performances were a sell-out – a new record.

Laura Renwick, Britain’s leading lady, summed up the week: “This is right up there with anything else I’ve done. This is the showcase for the year for British riders and so to win this leading rider prize is a great thing for my CV!”

Audio Links

Scott Brash – The World Number 1 reflects on his week at Olympia Horse Show
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Scott_Brash.mp3

Laura Renwick – The British rider crowned H&M leading rider of the show
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Laura_Renwick.mp3

Ben Maher – The British rider wins the final International class of the show, the Grand Prix.
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Ben_MaherSUN.mp3

Final Placings

For details of the final placings in the Olympia Grand Prix, please click HERE.

For more information, please visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show

Throughout the week of 16 December, the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington, London will play host to packed timetable of all things equestrian and boasts a total of over 80,000 visitors. The show mixes top class equestrian action including FEI World Cup Jumping, Dressage and Extreme Carriage Driving with family entertainment, such as The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art display and the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Olympia Horse Show celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2007 and is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest equine competitions. Olympia Horse Show’s official charity for 2013 is veterinary charity, the Animal Health Trust, which works behind the scenes to monitor equine disease around the world and undertakes extensive on-going research to minimise the risk of injury to sport horses. The evening performance on Wednesday 18 December will be dedicated to the Animal Health Trust and 50p from every seat sold will go to the charity.

For more information, please contact Hannah Grissell, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Email: hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 207 592 1207

Van der Vleuten Victorious in Thrilling Longines Leg at Olympia

The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten moved up to third place on the Western European League leaderboard when winning today’s thrilling Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 qualifier at Olympia, London (GBR) with VDL Groep Sapphire B.  Photo: FEI/Trevor Meeks.

Olympia, London (GBR) 21 December 2013 – Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten followed in his father’s footsteps when winning this afternoon’s thrilling Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League 2013/2014 qualifier at Olympia in London.  The hugely popular British fixture is always filled with Christmas cheer, and with host nation riders on an all-time high at the moment there were great expectations of home-side success.  But the spectators still exploded with delight when the 25-year-old from The Netherlands left the rest in his wake with a fabulous last-to-go run from VDL Groep Sapphire B in the 11-horse jump-off, to clinch maximum points and move up to third place on the league table.

Runner-up was Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr with the mare Polinska des Isles from the Team Harmony string of FEI President, Princess Haya, while 23-year-old Daniel Neilson really put his name up in lights when best of the British contenders in third place with Varo M.  Penelope Leprevost steered Nice Stephanie into fourth for France ahead of German veteran, Lars Nieberg, in fifth with Leonie W.  And Longines No. 1 rider, Scott Brash, finished sixth ahead of fellow-Briton Michael Whitaker in a class that kept the audience on the edges of their seats right to the very end.

Maikel van der Vleuten’s father, Eric, won this same competition at Olympia four years ago riding Tomboy, so, for his son, today’s victory was all the more pleasing.  “For me it’s always been a dream to win a World Cup competition and this is my first win so I’m very happy for me and my horse.  I wasn’t here when my father won in 2009 but I saw it on television and we were so excited!” said the rider who was a member of the silver-medal-winning Dutch team at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Unerring attention

The 36-strong start-list was a star-studded affair, but course designer Bernardo Costa Cabral from Portugal presented a test that demanded unerring attention from the very best of them.  It was rapid-fire from beginning to end, with fences coming up in quick succession, and many jumped brilliantly only to kick out the planks four fences from home which proved a bit of a bogey on the day.

Key to a good round was the ability to maintain a rhythm and remain balanced while constantly changing direction, and the first clear came from the second of the German contingent, Max Kuhner, who steered the handsome 10-year-old gelding Clintop to a super-smooth tour of the 13-fence course.

The triple combination also proved influential, particularly for those a little onward-bound after the previous triple bar, while the oxer at fence nine hit the dirt on numerous occasions when the bending line and distance from the London Bus wall at eight didn’t come up right.

Replicated

Kuhner led the way against the clock, and his mistake at the penultimate vertical, formerly the first obstacle on the track, would be replicated by many others including London 2012 team gold medallist Peter Charles from Great Britain with Murka’s Odie de Frevent who was next to go.

Germany’s Lars Nieberg produced the first clear in 38.57 when fourth into the ring with Leonie W and was still out in front when Switzerland’s Beat Mandli and Louis hit the second-last and Austria’s Stefan Eder and Chilli van Dijk NRW collected eight faults.

It was Daniel Neilson who reset the target with a great round from the 11-year-old gelding Varo M. This is a young man who spent much of his teenage years in a boxing ring and who always comes out fighting.  Setting off at a cracking pace, he broke the beam in 37.19 seconds to go out in front, but his advantage was short-lived as Francois Mathy Jr and Polinska des Isles immediately squeezed him out when .07 seconds faster.

Until now the riders had all chosen to take the longer route, around the oxer at fence five which was the second fence on the new track, on the approach to the tricky penultimate vertical but Britain’s Michael Whitaker and Viking shaved full seconds off the target when jumping the previous vertical at an incredible angle.  However the top pole rolled for four faults in 35.29 leaving Mathy still out in front.

All but unbeatable

Longines No. 1 rider, Britain’s Scott Brash, has been all but unbeatable of late, but, third-last to go, he had to settle for a minor placing this time out when Ursula Xll hit the vertical second-last.  And although Penelope Leprevost and her lovely nine-year-old mare Nice Stephanie left the fences intact, the French pair’s chance to overtake the leader was hampered by a slip in front of the vertical three fences from the end of the course. Their time of 37.39 seconds would still be good enough for fourth place in the final analysis however.

Now only van der Vleuten stood between Mathy and those valuable maximum points, and the Dutchman didn’t crumble under pressure.  He has a long-established relationship with his 14-year-old grey mare who has her own unique style of jumping, and they looked comfortably confident as they set off together on a really determined run which brought them through the timers in 37.07 seconds – just .05 seconds quicker than the Belgian.

The winning rider punched the air with delight when he registered his result.  He described Sapphire B as “a naturally fast horse; you never have to overdo things with her; you never ride on a waiting distance; it’s always forward.  She tries every time to jump the fences clear!” he said with a big smile.

Sapphire B was competed by a friend until the horse was seven years old.  “She has always been careful and has a very good mind; just the scope didn’t look that good when she was six or seven.  Then she came to me and I started slowly in 1.35m and 1.40m classes and she kept developing the right way.  She has developed into a super horse,” van der Vleuten said.

Consistent performer

Runner-up, Francois Mathy Jr, was delighted with Princess Haya’s 10-year-old mare who has been a consistent performer this year.  “She jumped amazing and I’m really happy!” We’ve had a super season, going really well all year in Nations Cups and Grand Prix classes and showing good form in the World Cups.  I went to the US to do some there as well” explained the man who picked up qualifying points at both Lexington, USA and Toronto, Canada last month.  Today’s result has moved him into seventh spot in the Western European League and he now has the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final at Lyon, France next April in his sights. “I’ve never been to a World Cup Final and my short-term goal is to get to Lyon” he said today.  Less than ten points more will see him comfortably through, so he plans to compete at the next leg in Mechelen, Belgium on 30 December.  “I was second there last year, and I will give her (Polinska des Isles) some time off later in January,” he explained.

Third-placed Neilson was a real crowd-pleaser today and looks like a young man set for major stardom.  The son of a potash miner, he played semi-professional football in Scotland and boxed for his county before opting to devote the majority of his time to horses. “I have a good team of new horses now at my new base and I said at the start of the year that I was hoping to qualify to jump here (at Olympia). I always made a plan to aim the horse at this class for the week but I try not to have too many expectations.  I had a good feeling when I walked the course – fingers crossed and hoped for the best and he jumped super!” Neilson said.

FEI Jumping Director, John Roche, described the Olympia fixture as “one of the crown jewels in the Longines FEI World Cup series.”

Maikel van der Vleuten’s delightful grey mare, VDL Groep Sapphire B, is also something of a jewel. And today she really sparkled.

For more information on the fifth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League 2013/2014 series at Stuttgart, Germany, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or contact Press Officer Jo Peck, Email JoPeck@hpower.co.uk, Tel +44 1753 847 900.

The next leg will take place at Mechelen, Belgium on Monday 30 December. For all information on the Belgian fixture, go to www.jumping-mechelen.com or contact Press Officer Edith de Reys, Email edith.dereys@skynet.be Tel +32 475 659 281.

Full result here.

Full standings here.

Facts and Figures:

36 horse-and-rider combinations started in today’s fifth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 Western European League series.

Today’s winning rider, 25-year-old Maikel van der Vleuten from The Netherlands, was following in the footsteps of his father, Eric van der Vleuten, who won the FEI World Cup Jumping qualifier at Olympia, London in 2009 riding Tomboy.

Course designer today was Portugal’s Bernardo Costa Cabral.

Competitors from 15 nations – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, USA.

5 of the top six horses were mares.

Runner-up, Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr, competed the 10-year-old mare Polinska des Isles which is part of the FEI President, Princess Haya’s, Team Harmony string.

Top British finisher was 23-year-old Daniel Neilson with Varo M who slotted into third place.

11 qualified for the second-round jump-off against the clock.

5 horse-and-rider combinations jumped double-clear.

Longines No. 1 rider, Great Britain’s Scott Brash, now heads the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 Western European League table after finishing sixth in today’s qualifying round.

Brash has overtaken Olympic champion Steve Guerdat from Switzerland ahead of the next leg which will take place in Mechelen, Belgium on Monday 30 December 2013.

Quotes:

Winning rider Maikel van der Vleuten (NED), talking about the jump-off: “It was all a bit of a rush. There was only three minutes break before it started and I was second-last to go in the first round!  I thought about doing the same turn as Michael Whitaker did, but then didn’t take the risk.  I’m very proud of this (win)!”

Maikel van der Vleuten: “I won’t go to Mechelen; I will give the horses a three or four week rest and then start again in Basel.”

Daniel Neilson GBR talking about the experience of competing today: “It was unbelievable; there’s no better! Olympia – there’s not a crowd like it; when you come into the arena and they’re all cheering it makes the hairs on your neck stand up!  Great Britain has world number 1 and 2 (Scott Brash and Ben Maher) and it’s great for young riders like myself to see them. It makes you want to achieve what they’re doing!”

FEI Jumping Director, John Roche – “Congratulations to the top three… and to Simon Brooks-Ward and his team, and a special word of thanks from the FEI to H&M, and of course to Longines, without whom all this would not have been possible.”

Bernardo Costa Cabral, course designer – “I’m quite pleased with that course; every horse could cope with it. It’s all about details, a little short, little wide, faults were spread all over the course. I aimed for 10 clears and I got 11, it was amazing. The time wasn’t too long, that keeps a little pressure on the riders to keep pushing on the turn to the last line, and that’s why the planks went down. It’s always great for us when the last one in wins!”

Audio Links:

Daniel Neilson GB 3rd
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Neilson.MP3

Francois Mathy Jr Belgium 2nd
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Mathy.MP3

Maikel Van Der Vleuten, Winner Dutch audio
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/VDL_dutch.MP3

Maikel Van Der Vleuten Winner English Audio
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/VDL.MP3

FEI TV: don’t miss a hoofbeat – www.feitv.org.

Longines Live Timing Jumping application: available free for download from The App Store (iPhone) & Android Markets. Combining precision and performance, this is a detailed and exclusive application designed especially for Jumping fans – follow live results, see latest Longines Rankings, view competition schedules, obtain exclusive information and alerts on your favorite riders and get all the latest FEI news.

Rider biographies: view online and download from http://fei.org/fei/your-role/media/biographies.

Longines has been based at Saint-Imier (SUI) since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations.

Longines’ passion for equestrian sports began in 1878, when it produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and its mount. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with equestrian sports. In 1912, Longines was proud to partner with its first Jumping event, the Grande Concurso Hippico Internacional, in Portugal.

Today, Longines’ involvement in equestrianism includes Jumping, Endurance and flat racing.

Longines is a member of The Swatch Group S.A., the world’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With an excellent reputation for creating refined timepieces, the brand, whose emblem is the winged hourglass, has outlets in over 130 countries.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Olympia, London:

Jo Peck
Email: JoPeck@hpower.co.uk
Tel: +44 1753 847 900

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

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

At Longines:

Longines International Public Relations
publicrelations@longines.com

Chardon Is in the Driving Seat

Olympia, London 20 December 2013 – The Netherlands’ long-standing champion driver, IJsbrand Chardon, linked speed, accuracy and boldness in an outstanding display of driving skill to win the FEI World Cup qualifier at Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

Olympia is the only show in the world to host three FEI World Cup qualifiers: dressage, carriage-driving and, tomorrow, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup qualifier. This is the seventh of nine driving legs, with a final in Bordeaux in February.

In a tense final round, Chardon beat his compatriot Koos de Ronde and new German sensation Michael Brauchle, who dropped from second to third place in the final run-off. Britain’s Georgina Hunt, the first woman ever to be granted a wild card at a qualifier, put up a terrific show to finish seventh.

A shock result was the omission from the top three of world number one Boyd Exell, who was left an impossible margin to catch up after collecting two knock-downs.

Drivers and officials were unanimous in their praise for the organisation at Olympia. “The spectators are very close to us and their enthusiasm and support was amazing,” Chardon remarked. “The noise was deafening.”

Klaus Peppersack, president of the ground jury, said, “The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I have been to all the qualifying events and would have to say that I have never experienced an atmosphere like it. It is quite the best audience in the world.”

Earlier in the afternoon, Laura Renwick raised the Olympia roof when she became the first senior British rider to win a jumping class this week.

Riding David Perry’s brilliant Oz de Breve, Laura won the Earls Court Olympia Christmas Cracker by just 0.23sec from the flying Swede Peder Fredericson on yesterday’s speed class winner H & M Sibon. Peder is now H & M Leading Rider of the show.

Laura was drawn at exactly halfway down the 32-strong class and put up an immaculate round, meeting the final line of fences to perfection. “Oz is small and agile but he also has a big stride and covers the ground well, which is why he won,” explained Laura, who will ride the French-bred 11-year-old in tomorrow’s Longines FEI World Cup qualifier.

“I’ve had a few ups and downs this year and so to win here at Olympia has put me on a real high. I didn’t go into the arena thinking I’d win, but we met every fence on the right stride and I found myself where I wanted to be all the way round. It was very smooth.”

The honour of taking the first British win of the week went to young rider Jess Dimmock, who had the thrill of a lifetime when triumphing in the Under 23 British Championships, sponsored by Dodson & Horrell and The World Class Programme.

This class at Olympia is probably the most prestigious competition for young riders in the world – previous winners include the current world number one, Scott Brash. “If I can follow in even half of Scott’s footsteps it will be fantastic,” said Jess.

Riding her own Capella ll, Jess was first to go in the five-horse jump-off and produced a steady clear, which proved good enough to win. Scarlett Ward, who was carrying forward one time fault from the previous round, also went clear to finish second on Milena 8. Jessica Mendoza was third on Spirit T with one fence down.

Jess missed last year’s Olympia because Capella had to have colic surgery. “He is my horse of a lifetime and he nearly died last year, so for him to come back and win is a fairytale,” said Jess, who is trained by Tim Stockdale. “This means everything to me.”

Audio Links

IJsbrand Chardon (NED) http://www.olympiahorseshow.com/wp-content/uploads/chardon.mp3

Laura Renwick (GBR) http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Renwick.MP3

Final Placings

For details of the final placings in the Extreme Driving FEI World Cup, please click HERE.

For more information, please visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show

Throughout the week of 16 December, the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington, London will play host to packed timetable of all things equestrian and boasts a total of over 80,000 visitors. The show mixes top class equestrian action including FEI World Cup Jumping, Dressage and Extreme Carriage Driving with family entertainment, such as The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art display and the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Olympia Horse Show celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2007 and is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest equine competitions. Olympia Horse Show’s official charity for 2013 is veterinary charity, the Animal Health Trust, which works behind the scenes to monitor equine disease around the world and undertakes extensive on-going research to minimise the risk of injury to sport horses. The evening performance on Wednesday 18 December will be dedicated to the Animal Health Trust and 50p from every seat sold will go to the charity.

For more information, please contact Hannah Grissell, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Email: hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 207 592 1207