The countdown to the world’s best equine Christmas party, Olympia, The London International Horse Show has truly begun. To mark the ‘two-months-to-go’ point British Dressage riders, Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester have come together to divulge a few of their fond experiences of Olympia, in a captivating video that helps outline what makes the event so magical and unique.
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This year’s Olympia will open on Tuesday 16 December in spectacular style, with a packed evening of entertainment set to take place on the opening night. Unlike previous years where the opening day has only staged the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix, supported by Horse & Hound, this year, the show’s organisers are adding a full program of displays and entertainment to run either side of the world class Dressage competition, setting a precedent for the remaining six days. This year’s headline acts include the spectacular Ukrainian Cossack Stunt Riders and the breath-taking Metropolitan Police Activity Ride. In addition, the old favourites which make London’s premier horse show so special, such as the Shetland Pony Grand National and the Olympia Finale will also take place. The Shopping Village will be open from 2pm on both Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 December.
Olympic Team Gold Medallist, Carl Hester said: “The Grand Prix is a great competition to watch. Not many people realise that we have to qualify to ride in the Freestyle to Music by performing well in the Grand Prix which is much more technically challenging. It’s especially good if you watch both days of competition, as on the Freestyle day you can see the difference in how we enhance our program from one test to the next.”
The World Cup Grand Prix on the opening night will be followed by the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Freestyle to Music supported by Horse and Hound on Wednesday evening. Last year, Double Olympic Gold Medallists, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro sent the Olympia audience into raptures when smashing the freestyle World Record with their London 2012 floor plan and music. They are expected to return to London’s famous venue again this year to have another attempt at breaking their own World Record.
The World Champion said: “This year I have a new freestyle routine and I actually think this music is better and my floor plan is harder, so I think if I can get it all right on the night it could possibly beat my World Record. But obviously saying it and doing it are two different things. Either way I always look forward to being at Olympia.”
Former World Champion Dressage rider, Imke Schellekens-Bartels will be taking to the commentary box to give expert insight and opinion on all the Dressage performances. The two-time Olympian who competed at Olympia in 2010 will join regular commentators Nick Brooks-Ward and Mike Tucker in guiding the crowd through all the action.
For more information and to purchase tickets online visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.