London’s International Horse Show

The equestrian fiesta that is the London International Horse Show takes over Olympia for a week this December, promising to bring with it show jumping and dressage competitions, dog shows, an equestrian themed market and of course a show stopping finale. Anyone with a love of horses or an affiliation with any equestrian related past time should head to Olympia between the 16th and 22nd December for some wonderful horse related activities.

Photo by Jessica Mulley
Photo by Jessica Mulley

Olympia was once home to the Hippodrome Circus, but that was in 1886 when the doors to this centre were first opened. Though today there is no circus there are regular events that draw people through the doors of Olympia by their thousands, the London International Horse Show being one of the most popular.

About the Show – What You Need to Know

The fun begins on Monday December 16th when the event’s shopping village opens its doors at 12.00pm. This marks the start of seven days of competitions and performances. Of course the main stars of the events are the horses, but also making a very welcome appearance are the dogs that perform in the Kennel Club Agility competitions. These agility displays are real crowd pleasers and lots of fun to watch.

There will also be displays from the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art. They have not appeared in England for forty years and are sure to be a big hit. This is a Spanish riding school which highlights the very best in equestrianism which can be witnessed on the opening night of the show. Traditional dress, spectacular stallions and intricate manoeuvres also make for a once in a lifetime experience. Not to be missed are the Shetland Ponies who are taking part in the Shetland Pony Grand National.

Useful Information

There is more to coming to see the International Horse Show than just watching the performances and competitions; Olympia is an attraction in itself. There are no shortage of places to stop for something to eat and drink, with everything from fish and chips to pizza to the very best in haute cuisine being available. You will also find juice and smoothie bars dotted around the halls at Olympia too.

The Charity that is being supported by the show is the Animal Health Trust, a veterinary charity whose purpose is to combat disease and injury in animals of all kinds. Parts of the International Horse Show will be televised; the event is regularly shown on the BBC, with many of the evening performances and shows also shown on Eurosport. For those with a love of horses there is a great opportunity to volunteer to help at the event, doing anything from stewarding duties to ticket taking.  Volunteering will allow you an insight into the life of the event both in front of and behind the scenes that very few members of the public ever get to see.

Please be aware that there is very a very limited amount of public parking spaces at Olympia, so if you wish to use them, they need to be booked in advance.

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