If you’re going to be in London in the run up to Christmas and looking to do something a little different– plus, you’re a fan of all things equine – why not give the London International Horse Show at Olympia a go?
A firm fixture of the capital’s festive season, this dressage-filled show has been the go-to event in the UK for end-of-the-year horse entertainment for many decades now; an established showcase of dozens of beautiful animals in stately procession and riders in elaborate costumes as together they compete in glamorous events and thrill and delight packed-out audiences throughout the week-long event.
Hosted at Kensington’s Olympia Grand & National Halls, this year’s show takes place between December 15 and 21 and would be a perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening if you’re staying in one of the London Hotels UK in the Kensington, Notting Hill or Hyde Park areas. Indeed, an unquestioned highlight will be the exciting, daring displays from the world renowned horseman Jean-François Pignon, for which he’ll be joined by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. Combining high-speed flag-bearing charges, intricate formations such as crossed-lance jumping and military spectacle, the routines are dazzling showpieces of high-octane entertainment that leave thrilled spectators breathless and gasping for more.
The International Horse Show isn’t just about equines, though – in recent years, it’s become almost as renowned for its canines. Yes, the Kennel Club Dog Agility displays have established themselves as one of its best loved aspects. Whether it’s there lays of the small-dog pairs or the ABC class (Anything But a Collie) competing on the day or evening you come along, you’ll be in for a treat because you can be sure the eager animals will be leaping over and diving through the obstacles before them, as they go hell for leather for that winning time.
And, again,whatever performance you attend you’ll be sure to catch an installment of the one and only Shetland Pony Grand National race. A delightful derby of horsing derring-do, only on a mini-scale, it’s a hugely popular part of the week-long show, seeing, as it does, Shetland Ponies and their riders race round the arena at a fast and furious pace. A light hearted spectacle that’s definitely not to be missed.
As you’d expect, tickets for the International Horse Show are sure to sell out fast, so you’re strongly advised to book as soon as possible – especially if you fancy pushing the boat out and hiring a private hospitality box. Each of these boxes allows for a maximum of 18 guests with a personal waitress service for food and drink orders. However, if you don’t manage to get to see a performance, tickets are also available to watch the top riders preparing for the big class competitions in the warm-up area – before three of the evening performances and before one of the afternoon performances. Furthermore, if you’re attending a performance or warm-up session, you should definitely make time to check out the show’s shopping village; it’s bound to provide you with some terrific and unique Christmas gifts for friends and family.
For more information about the London International Horse Show 2015at Olympia, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone 0871 230 5580.