Olympia, The London International Horse Show is one of the most important equestrian events in Europe and takes place at Olympia Grand.
Last year, the event hosted three FEI World Cups™; one for Show Jumping, one for Carriage Driving and one for Dressage. Over 85,000 people visit the show every year and it is a firm favourite in the equestrian calendar.
There are two performances on most days; one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Each performance has a mix of equestrian competition, international displays and entertainment. In 2013, The Andalusian School of Equestrian Art showcased a high school equestrian performance to rival The Spanish Riding School. These beautifully trained Spanish horses fascinated the Olympia audience with their high level of training, horsemanship and skills. In complete contrast, the Ukranian Cossacks are a daredevil team of equestrian stunt riders who fling themselves up, over, round and below their horses at a gallop. This high octane display had the crowds on the edge of their seats.
The show always has a fantastic Christmas feel and entertains throughout each performance. This is enhanced by The Kennel Club Dog Agility competition – fast doggie races as they dash over obstacles, through tunnels and zigzag round posts – and The Shetland Pony Grand National with its pint sized jockeys and ponies hurtling round a ‘Grand National’ course. Each performance always ends with The Olympia Finale – last year, it was ‘A Dickens of a Christmas’ complete with Scrooge and a special guest appearance from St Nicholas himself.
Visitors can make a day of their trip to the show and spend time before and after in the Shopping Village which houses over 250 shops selling all manner of equestrian and Christmas goodies; from the very latest in equestrian kit and clothing to jewellery, clothing, homeware and delicious food. There are also a huge array of bars, cafes and restaurants to choose from. In addition, for a special treat, visitors can purchase a ‘Warm Up Ring’ ticket which takes them behind the scenes to see the riders warming up, watch the stewards at work and really get a feel for what it takes to put a show like this together.