A Review Of The London International Horse Show
One of our most popular Door2Tour coach trips just happens to be to the International Horse Show at London’s Olympia so we arranged for our guest blogger, Nicole Broster, to pay a visit to this amazing event and let you know what she thought of it. By all accounts it appears that she had an awesome time there and would recommend it to everyone whether you’re an equestrian fan or not – there’s something to suit all tastes and entertainment for the whole family. To find out what happened, you’ll need to read on…
So this year, after managing to get tickets for the dressage during the Olympics, my mum and I really caught the sporting bug and thought we would go and see The London International Horse Show at Olympia. We were so excited about attending the event that when we booked the tickets, we thought why not go all out so of course we opted for the package with the best seats possible, entry into the members’ area and the champagne bar – which kept mum happy! All I can say is WOW – I am a bit of a horsey person myself, but seriously, this show has something for everyone and I could not recommend it highly enough!
We got there a bit early so we could have a wander around the Shopping Village and I have never seen so
many rugs and bridles in all my life! But it wasn’t just the horsey bits, there were bits and bobs for everyone with the chocolate fondue stool proving to be a particular favourite of mine. After having a mooch around, we decided that we should take to our seats so that we were ready for the Welcome Speed Stakes, seeing famous faces such as Olympic gold medallist Ben Maher.
It was then time for the Pony Club Mini-Major Relay and my heart has never raced so fast in all my life! Imagine professional international riders paired up with members (around 11 years of age) of the famous Pony Club who go around a course of ridiculously high jumps first aiming for a clear round, with any jumps knocked down, adding time to the Pony Club rider’s score. It is then the turn of the Pony Club riders to go around a course of smaller jumps as fast as possible – my oh my can they move!
I also love dogs so was excited for The Kennel Club ABC Speed Jumping and it’s exactly like you see on Crufts! The dogs and their owners’ race around an agility course all aiming to get the fastest time. After seeing this, all I can say is that I wish my dog was that well trained!
The Ebony Horse Club Display was up next and these guys were truly inspirational. For those of you who do not know much about them, The Ebony Horse Club is a charity that helps improve the life skills, education and aspirations of disadvantaged children and young people growing up in Brixton by providing access to horse riding, outdoor activities and mentoring. They did a fantastic display portraying the work they do and some of the success stories that have come from the club.
If you watched the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant, then you will appreciate my excitement for seeing the one and only Jean Francois Pignon – the “horse whisperer”. Jean raced into the arena with six beautiful horses cantering behind him, followed by an adorable snowy white Shetland pony and three gorgeous foals. He proceeded to work his magic and put on a fantastic display of natural horsemanship.
The Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National provided great entertainment for the crowd with nine young riders racing around the arena to win first place. One of the riders even travelled all the way from the Shetland Islands just to compete in the event – now that’s dedication! The Barcelona Police Mounted Unit followed, putting on a breath-taking routine on magnificent Andalucian horses. Their timing was impeccable and there were only a couple of near misses!
This fantastic day finished off with the Christmas Finale including Santa’s Olympia Circus as well as a bit of cheesy fun for the family that included: dancing clowns, acrobatics on horses, horse drawn carriages and Santa in his sleigh – what more could you want during the festive season? Oh apart from everyone boogying out the arena to “Gangnam Style” – you really can’t get away from that song these days!
Have any of you been to the London International Horse Show? Would you agree with what Nicole has said about the show? Get in touch as we would love to hear from you!