Olympia, The London International Horse Show
Olympia is the only UK Show to host all three FEI World CupTM Qualifiers in Dressage, Show Jumping and Driving. Each performance includes an equestrian competition along with a variety of displays from around the World.
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Timetable of Events
17th – 23rd December 2018
18th December (Tue)
- International Displays
- The FEI World CupTM Dressage Freestyle to Music
19th December (Wed)
- International Displays
- The Pony Club Mini Major
- Shetland Pony Grand National
- The Cayenne Puissance
20th December (Thu)
- International Displays
- Dodson & Horrell Extreme Driving
- Christmas Stocking Six Bar
- The Longines Christmas Crackers
21st December (Fri)
- The Under 23s British Championship Final
- Father Christmas Stakes
- The FEI World CupTM Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell
- Race Night
22nd December (Sat)
- The Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Leg
- The FEI World CupTM Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell
- The Christmas Tree Stakes
- International Displays
23rd December (Sun)
- The BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship
- The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix
- The Christmas Masters
- International Displays
The Organising Committee of Olympia, The London International Horse Show, was deeply saddened to hear of the sudden death today of its Chairman, Mike Tucker.
Mike had been Chairman of the Organising Committee for the past two years and for over 30 years was the Show’s Senior Commentator.
Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “This is a great shock and sadness for all of those involved at Olympia. Mike was a friend, provided wise counsel, and was professional to the last. He never ducked an issue that he thought needed raising and solving. Mike had huge integrity and was respected by all that had the privilege to know him. Furthermore, he was great company and had an immense sense of fun about him. He will be sorely missed by all of us. Olympia was only one of the aspects of the sport that he was involved in but speaking on behalf of the Organising Committee, the Stewards and the Officials we would like to pass on our heartfelt sympathy to Angela, Andrew and Emma.”
The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix provided an exhilerating finale to a fantastic week at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. With 12 riders through to the jump-off, the lead changed several times throughout the class, with Italy's Alberto Zorzi coming out on top ahead of Harrie Smolders in second and home favourite Michael Whitaker in third. Harrie's second place was enough to secure his Leading Rider Award, having already won and been placed earlier in the week.
The afternoon session began with the Christmas Stocking Six Bar supported by Olympia, with Emanuele Gaudiano the only rider to jump four clear rounds, ahead of Geir Gulliksen, who just had four faults in the fourth round. The Holly Speed Stakes sponsored by Champagne Taittinger went to a jubilant William Funnell riding Billy Angelo, closely followed by Laura Renwick to make it a British one-two.
The BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux showcased a different breed of horse to that more regularly seen in the Olympia Grand Hall, with palomino Welsh Section B pony, Cadlanvalley Sandpiper, ridden by Katy Marriott-Payne crowned the winner.
Alberto Does An Italian Job
Alberto Zorzi’s Olympia debut ended in the best way possible, with a superb victory in The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix, the first win in the class for an Italian rider, on Athena Onassis’ Contanga.
Dutchman Harrie Smolders crowned a great year with second place on Zinius, propelling him to the top of the Leading Rider of Show table. Michael Whitaker, the winner two years ago, gave the home crowd something to cheer about with third place and a fast double clear on Jb’s Hot Stuff.
Twelve horses went through to the jump-off but only five jumped double clear, including fourth-placed Maikel Van der Vleuten from the Netherlands on Dana Blue and Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander on the ride that took her to third in the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Leg, Inca Boy van T Vianahof.
Alberto said of his 13-year-old mare Contanga: ‘I think she is the best horse in the world, very scopey, very special. The feeling over a fence is amazing. This is an amazing indoor show. I love the Christmas atmosphere and am so happy to be here.”
Ben Maher finished sixth on Winning Good, only an eight-year-old but clearly a talent for the future, enough to put him second in the Leading Rider rankings. Laura Renwick, another who looks to have some promising up-and-coming horses, was fourth and John Whitaker, the hero of Sunday night, was seventh – all excellent results considering the overseas talent that came to Olympia this year.
William Funnell Gets Off The Mark
There was a popular home win in The Holly Speed Stakes sponsored by Champagne Taittinger for William Funnell on the home-produced 14-year-old Billy Angelo, a horse he’s been bringing to Olympia for seven years.
“He’s won a fair bit here over that time and he loves the atmosphere,” said William. “He squeals with excitement when he goes into the prize giving.”
Despite getting the better of the rest of the field, William was analysing how he could have gone even better. “We stumbled just a little on a turn which broke the rhythm a bit. Laura [Renwick, who finished second] hadn’t left much room for improvement.”
Earlier, Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano riding Jamar d’Ysenbeeck Z was the sole survivor after four rounds in the Christmas Stocking Six Bar to claim the win.
“My horse hasn’t had that much international experience,” said Emanuele, who cleared 1.80m to take the class, “but he has gone well today.”
Allana Clutterbuck, 16, had a night to remember when she won her first Olympia class, The Mince Pie Stakes for 148cm ponies riding Atomic Du Barry.
Seven riders got through to the jump-off, but Allana was the only one to achieve a double clear and her time of 29.06 was 3.36 seconds faster than runner-up Tahnia Jordan-Jones on Jumper.
Atomic Du Barry is the latest in a family of ponies ridden by Allana – she has ridden six from the same dam, all bred in France, including her European Pony Championships silver medallist.
Picture Of The Day
Emanuele Gaudiano mastering the tricky Christmas Stocking Six Bar supported by Olympia course as the only rider to jump four clear rounds.
The 12 native pony breeds represented made a spectacular site in the Olympia arena, but it was an overwhelmed Katy Marriott-Payne who won the BSPS Heritage Mountain & Moorland Olympic Ridden Championship, sponsored by Robert LeMieux, for the second year running, this time with a palomino Welsh Section B pony, Cadlanvalley Sandpiper, bred by Mr & Mrs Davies by Eyarth Troy.
‘This pony gets under my skin, which is why I’m so emotional,’ explained Katy. ‘This is his seventh time at Olympia and we nearly gave him a winter break, but the bigger the occasion, the better he goes.’
Rebecca Penny was reserve champion with Lynnuck the Snowman, a Welsh Section C by Caerneuadd Hywel, owned and bred by Lynne Scott.
1 Katy Marriott-Payne’s Cadlanvalley Sandpiper (Best of Breed, Welsh Section B)
2 Lynne Scott’s Lynuck the Snowman (ridden by Rebecca Penny, Best of Breed, Welsh Section C)
3 Sandra Burton’s Banks Timber (Best of Breed, Connemara)
4 Bethan Simons’ Ballynacoy Prince (Best of Breed, Welsh Section D)
5 Mrs J Pennell’s Nipna Flora (Tayla Lewis, Best of Breed, Dales)
6 Heidi Bennett’s Glebedale Jonny Depp (Samantha Roberts)
7 The Countess of Shrewsbury’s Chetwynd Jasper (Gemma Pallet, Best in Breed, Welsh Section A)
8 Martin Wood’s Swchyrhafod Brenin (Michaela Wood)
9 Maureen Richardson’s Dunkery Wigeon (Hayley Reynolds, Best in Breed, Exmoor)
10 Mrs G Simpson’s Wortley Golcar Lily (Aimee Devane)
Other Best in Breeds:
Dartmoor: Miss L A Calcutt’s Shilstone Rocks North Westerly (Chloe Chubb)
Shetland: Margaret Summer’s Briar Snowman (Grace Litherland)
Highland: Aileen Curle’s Harris of Mendick (Brian Williams)
Fell: Jonathan Stevens’s Wildhoeve Okidoki
New Forest: Maddison Bishop-Peck’s Hollybrooke Duke
The Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Leg provided an afternoon of exhilarating sport in the Olympia Grand Hall, with only four of the 36 starters jumping a clear in the first round. As the penultimate to go in the jump-off, Britain's Scott Brash set the packed crowd alight, jumping clear in a time which looked like it could be the winning round. However, the notoriously speedy Julien Epaillard, riding Toupie de la Roque, knocked Scott off the pole position to take the victory by 0.43 seconds.
The day kicked-off with The Pony Club Mini-Major, which went to 11-year-old Poppy Deakin and the in-form Laura Renwick, with ponies also taking to the fore in the opening class of the evening session, The Mistletoe Mini Stakes, which was won by Rachel Proudley.
The evening CSI5* class, The Ivy Stakes, proved to be another challenging content, with just six clears through to the jump-off, however a speed masterclass from John Whitaker secured the victory, ahead of Ben Maher and Laura Renwick, to make a British one-two-three.
Away from the world class sporting action, The Kennel Club Large Novice Dog Agility Final was won by Sara Bacon with Tynevermoor Torque, and the two Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand Nationals of the day went to Madeline Reeder Smith and Zak Kent.
John Whitaker’s assiduous scrutinising of the jump-off course for The Ivy Stakes paid off in spades as he found the most audacious turn which had the crowd roaring their appreciation.
The cheers became deafening as his winning time of 33.17 seconds flashed up, signalling the 62-year-old’s second victory of the week on his own and wife Clare’s 15-year-old stallion Argento.
It was a thrilling end to a great day’s sport with a British one-two-three, Ben Maher second on Madame X and Laura Renwick third on MHS Washington, with the younger riders all quick to acknowledge a genius ride.
“I studied the course carefully because I knew Kevin [Staut, eventual fourth on S&L Through the Looking Glas] was last to go and I had to do something,” explained John, who has been competing here for four decades.
“It shows what a good horse he is because when we did the sharp turn the crowd gave a big cheer and that could have put him off. This show is special, with the crowds and Christmas and everything. It’s a great feeling and I feel lucky to still be in the sport.”
Poppy Deakin, 11, secured the win in The Pony Club Mini-Major relay that had previous escaped both of her sisters, Daisy and Kirsten.
“I wanted to come here and do better than them,” said Olympia first-timer Poppy with a cheeky smirk.
Riding 16-year-old Munsboro Plunkett, and partnering Britain’s leading lady rider Laura Renwick (Shiraz II), the Tynedale Pony Club branch member perfectly executed a tight turn back to the penultimate fence to take the class by more than one second.
“Poppy knew what she was doing,” said Laura. “I gave her hardly any advice. She was telling me how she was going to ride the course and she did what she said she would.”
Later on, North Yorkshire’s Rachel Proudley finally claimed her dream of winning The Mistletoe Mini Stakes with Painted Lady IV at the fourth attempt. “It’s my favourite show and it’s my last year riding her,” said Rachel, 12. “She’ll be staying in the family though, as she’ll now be ridden by my sister, Sarah.”
Picture of the Day
Julien Epaillard celebrating his win in this afternoon's FEI Longines World CupTM Jumping Leg aboard Toupie de la Roque.
Julien Epaillard, riding Toupie de la Roque, became only the second Frenchman in history to win the Olympia leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping, thanks to a spectacular burst of speed in the jump-off which relegated last year’s winner, Scott Brash, to second place.
“It is a great honour for me to win at Olympia,” said the 40-year-old, who was 0.43 seconds faster than Scott. “It was a very difficult course, very technical – you needed scope but also great control.”
Course-designer Guillaume Jorge, who officiated at the Rio Olympics last year, set the high-quality field, which included six of the world’s top 10 riders, quite a challenge, and it wasn’t until the 21st to go, European Champion Peder Fredricson on H&M Christian K, that there was a clear round.
Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander, a wild card entry, followed with another clear on Inca Boy van T Vianahof, a nine-year-old produced in Britain by Tim Wilkes, in only her sixth competition on the horse. The winner here in 2008, she now heads the Longines FEI World Cup™ rankings joint with France's Kevin Staut, who finished fifth today with just four faults.
Scott, who pronounced the course “challenging, but well thought out and jumpable”, raised the roof with his clear round on the 16-year-old Ursula Xll and hopes were high that he might score the first back-to-back win since Nick Skelton in 1984. However, despite the fantastic jump-off speed of 37.34 seconds, it wasn’t to be.
“I know Julien well and I knew how fast he would go, so fair play to him,” said Scott sportingly afterwards. “Ursula was fantastic and, although I would love to breed a foal from her, while she’s jumping like this, she certainly isn’t ready to retire.”
Scott is now 28th on the Longines FEI World Cup™ Rankings with five legs to go before the final in Paris in April.
John Whitaker was a popular winner of the opening CSI5* class of the day, The Shelley Ashman International Shipping Ltd, E M Rogers (Transport) Ltd Father Christmas Stakes. Later in the afternoon Harrie Smolders was the only rider to complete all five rounds of The Christmas Masters faultlessly, to take the victory from Britain's Ben Maher.
The evening performance kicked off with the FEI World CupTM Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell, with Ijsbrand Chardon continuing his fine form from yesterday to get maximum points. The Kennel Club Large Senior Dog Agility Finals followed, providing exhilerating entertainment, and it was Dave Munnings and Comebyanaway Reddy For Fame who negotiated the course in the fastest time to take the victory.
The final class of the day, The Martin Collins Enterprises Christmas Tree Stakes went down to the wire with Bertram Allen coming out on top to deny Harrie Smolders a double on the day.
Irish Eyes are Smiling Again
Bertram Allen, the talented young Irish rider, brought the evening to a thrilling close with a stunning turn of foot on new ride Gin Chin van het Lindenhof to win The Martin Collins Enterprises Christmas Tree Stakes.
The 11-year-old grey, previously ridden by Marcus Ehning, may be Bertram’s ride in Monday’s Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix. Bertram only acquired the gelding a couple of months ago, but their partnership looks well cemented already and they had 0.38 seconds in hand over in-form Dutchman Harrie Smolders who looked to have the class in the bag on Cas.
“Harrie is very fast so I knew I had to nail it and I gave it my all,” said Bertram. “This is a relatively new horse for me but he’s been very well schooled.”
A Home Win for John Whitaker
Veteran Olympia crowd-pleaser John Whitaker, 61, set an unmatchable target in The Shelley Ashman International Ltd, E M Rogers (Transport) Ltd Father Christmas Stakes to win the accumulator class from William Funnell and regular Norwegian visitor Geir Gullikson.
John, who was drawn eleventh out of the 22 starters, borrowed his daughter Louise’s Leen O.L., a nine-year-old bay mare, and his clear round, including the double-points Joker fence, in 42.27 seconds proved unbeatable and earned a rapturous reception from the packed afternoon crowd.
“They always give me a great welcome,” he said afterwards. “The mare coped surprisingly well with the atmosphere as she can be hot. She’s sharp to ride but certainly not stupid and she’s a great jumper of verticals.”
Harrie Smolders is the Christmas Master
Dutchman Harrie Smolders, currently number 5 on the Longines FEI World Rankings, continued his fabulous season with a brilliant win in The Christmas Masters, jumping five clear rounds in succession on Corrada to take the €11,000 jackpot.
The winner-takes-all class is for the seven leading riders in the Show at this stage; the prize pot goes up with each clear round jumped and riders nominate a fence to go up with each round.
It came down to a head-to-head with Ben Maher on Winning Good, but the British rider was eliminated for a fence down. "He is 100% a championship horse – I’ve got my eye on him for Tokyo," said Ben. "This was a good class for him. He’s got huge scope, but often tries to rush, but he began to settle here."
Harrie, the 2017 European silver medallist, said the class had suited his horse as well. “This is a great Show that I always enjoy. You feel you are sharing your skills with the public and they appreciate it.”
Christie Pritchard Wins the Under 23 Title
Christie Pritchard shed tears of delight as she trounced a strong field in The Under 23 British Championship Final to lift the coveted title.
Only two riders achieved double clears and Christie was the quickest, finishing 2.73 seconds faster than Chloe Winchester, who took this class in 2015.
Christie, 20, who is studying law at Bangor University, was one of the youngest in the field and has had some time away from the sport this year, so the win was doubly impressive.
‘There were so many good riders in the class, it was tough and the pressure definitely took its toll,’ said Christie. ‘But I knew my horse would look after me. I just can’t believe it. It’s amazing.’
Flying Dutchman Takes FEI World CupTM Driving Leg Presented by Dodson & Horrell
The Netherland's leading and most experienced driver, Ijsbrand Chardon, pulled out all the stops in the final round of the FEI World CupTM Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell, winning his first qualifier of the season.
The win was all the sweeter as he knocked the favourite, Australian Boyd Exell, from his winning position. Expectations were high as Boyd came into the arena in the last round, and he set off with his usual intent. A ball down in the first obstacle meant he had to push harder; another ball down in the second obstacle and the round began to unravel, pushing him down to third behind Belgian driver Glenn Geerts.
"It got messy from there on," remarked Boyd, who was competing on a wild card here and, with three wins under his belt this season, is first in the rankings. "Finally, I missed the finish and had to circle. It happens - and life goes on!"
Ijsbrand, who is a regular at Olympia, and has two FEI World CupTM Finals to his name, was overjoyed with his win and paid tribute to the Olympia audience who create such a compelling atmosphere.
"The public were amazing," he said. "I am so pleased with the way my new horse in the lead has coped with competing here. She has improved with each competition, the feeling they gave me today was terrific. I knew I could push them to their limits."
Behind the scenes in the stables of the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, where each of the jockeys decorate their stables for the annual stable decorating competition.
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