Taking place from 17-23 December 2018, Olympia, The London International Horse Show is set to welcome the next generation of British Show Jumping talent, who will compete in front of the 90,000 visitors expected to attend. These leading junior equestrians will feature in three classes; a 128cm class, The Voltaire Design 148cm class and The Voltaire Design Under-25 British Championship, the latter of which will be held on the morning of Friday 21 December. 24 riders have been invited to take part in the Under-25 class, who will battle it out for the Championship Title in Olympia’s impressive Grand Hall.
Although still young, the Under-25 riders have already achieved a remarkable amount in their relatively short Show Jumping careers. And none more so than Jessica Mendoza, who, in 2016, at the age of 20, became the youngest competitor in 40 years to join the Team GBR Show Jumping squad, in which she was travelling reserve for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Some of these youthful equestrians benefit from receiving an incredibly high level of training. 17-year-old Robert Murphy worked in close quarters with the legendary British Show Jumper, Nick Skelton at Olympian, Laura Kraut’s stables in Florida, USA. Skelton became the British equestrian story of the Rio Games when he won individual gold at the ripe old age of 58. This followed his Olympic team gold four years before in London. It appears some of his success is rubbing off on Murphy who, in 2014, claimed a gold medal at the Children, Junior and Young Rider European Championships as a 13-year-old.
Fans of the sport will certainly recognise some of the surnames competing this year, including Jack Whitaker and Oliver Fletcher, who will both be attempting to emulate their parents’ many successes. Fletcher is the son of former Show Jumping Olympian, Graham Fletcher, whose wife was also a London 2012 reserve rider. In an unlikely turn of events, Whitaker – on his 17th birthday – imitated his father, Michael’s phenomenal 1984 Los Angeles Olympics silver medal by claiming a Youth Olympics team silver medal in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The 128cm class has the makings of being a tightly fought contest and will see the three top-placed riders from the 128cm class at British Show Jumping National Championships 2018 go head-to-head once again. The eventual National 128cm champion, Tabitha Kyle, will compete at Olympia alongside Noora Von Bulow and Poppy Deakin, who finished in second and third place respectively.
Meanwhile, in The Voltaire Design 148cm class, Hannah Barker is representing the third generation of successful riders in her family. Her uncle, Paul Barker, won three international and two national grand prix classes, while her grandfather, David Barker, was a member of Great Britain’s Nations Cup Team in the 1960s and represented his country at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964.
The 148cm class will also feature several members of the team that won gold at the European Pony Championship earlier this year, who will now be competing against each other. Perdita Digby, Nicole Lockhead Anderson, Shaunie Greig and Claudia Moore will all have to put friendships to one side, as they contest for the title in what will undoubtedly be a competitive yet good-natured affair.
Organisers of the UK’s largest indoor equestrian Show Olympia, The London International Horse Show, announce Turkish Airlines has extended its sponsorship of the annual event, becoming title sponsor of two Show Jumping classes at the event, which take place from 17-23 December 2018.
Turkish Airlines, which has an established association with leading equestrian shows, has renewed its sponsorship of The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix, while also becoming lead sponsor of The Turkish Airlines Speed Stakes, following many years of investment in the sport. Both events will take place on Sunday 23 December 2018.
Turkish Airlines, which flies to more countries than any other airline, is a leading sponsor of sport around the world. The company partners major events in golf, football and basketball, including the Turkish Airlines Open Golf held in Belek, Turkey. Turkish Airlines’ association with equestrian sport began in 2014, and it has since grown its partnership with the CHIO Aachen to become a top-level sponsor of the World Equestrian Festival.
Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward said: “Turkish Airlines is one of the top airlines in Europe and is a great supporter of equestrian sport, so we are delighted to have them on board for this year’s Show. The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix is always an exciting end to the week, with seven of the world’s top 10 Show Jumpers competing at Olympia last year. Turkish Airlines’ international status aligns with the global reach of the Show and we are very much looking forward to welcoming them to this year’s event.”
Olympia will once again host the most elite athletes across a range of international competitions, including three FEI World Cup™ competitions in Dressage, Show Jumping and Carriage Driving. Crowds can also expect to catch Olympia classics, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, the Kennel Club Dog Agility and the Christmas Finale supported by Hilton London Olympia.
Displays include the French mounted police: La Garde Républicaine and its famous mounted regiment. One of the most talked about branches of the French Gendarmerie, La Garde Républicaine, will be showcasing its renowned ‘Reprise des Douzes’, a spectacular ensemble of 12 chestnut horses performing to music. The second display will be coming all the way from Azerbaijan; the ‘Land of Fire’ display incorporates fast paced movements and artistry to showcase the unique abilities of the country’s native Karabakh horse.
For any business professional, combining work commitments with a passion for your chosen sport and wanting to be the best you can be is never easy. Here we talk to Nina Barbour, president and founder of both the Liverpool International Horse Show and the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show about her recent success at the Longines Global Champions Tour London.
Tell us about the two horses you took to LGCT London?
I took Cushlas Reviro who is by my multi-award winning stallion, Ramiro B and AK’s Culcha Candela, an eight-year-old grey mare I have owned since February this year.
Cushlas Reviro, or Bear as he is known at home, is just a seven-year-old and went really well. His sire Ramiro B is ranked 4th Event sire in the World this year, and set to rise following the success of his progeny this year.
Bear was third and fourth in the CSI** 1.15m on the Friday and Saturday and coped really well with the atmosphere at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
AK’s Culcha Candela came from Denmark, where she was produced by young rider Konstantin Deeken, and I think she’s a bit of a superstar! I was delighted with her performance, as this was by far our biggest test to date and she was seventh in the 1.40m class on the second day, with a good round in our first 1.45 World Ranking Class on Sunday.
As an organiser and founder of two of the fastest growing international shows in Britain I know what it takes to make them a success and it was brilliant that LGCT London was so well supported over the three days. I am in awe of what Jan Tops has created, and his business and events, together with the media surrounding them, are truly an inspiration.
Life must be incredibly busy how do you fit everything in?
Riding and competing is very important to me and I still have the ambition to keep improving and learning, and to keep in touch with the Sport at every level.
Competing at International level and being fortunate enough to travel to some of the best shows in the World, is so important to make sure we don’t take our eye off the ball, and everywhere I go I try to pick up a new idea or something we could replicate at one of our events (or sometimes even something we shouldn’t do!).
I try to ride before office hours and keep quite a strict schedule that if I want to go out and compete at the highest level then the work at home has to be done, and I have a great team at Bolesworth to support this.
We are now on the countdown to the 2018 Liverpool International Horse Show – how’s it going?
We are so excited to be back on sale after a challenging year, and are planning something spectacular for this New Year, and sales are going well.
We have many of the old favourites returning including music from Rick Parfitt Junior and the RPJ Band, the Shetland Pony Grand National, Freestyle Motocross, the very best international show jumping and dressage and a soon to be announced spectacular new display, along with plenty of surprises and a stunning finish to 2018 as we see in the New Year in style!
Everyone can get up close to the action and enjoy a glass of champagne whilst watching the top horses and riders warm up pre show, and there really is something for everyone in every performance.
The Echo Arena is a unique venue located in the heart of Liverpool’s Heritage Zone, next to the Albert Dock and the famous Liver Building. If you haven’t been before I can guarantee you’ll fall in love with the city, and of course be stunned by the show that we will be putting on for you.
As the summer season draws to a close, Showjumping Ireland is delighted to welcome TopSpec as new sponsors to the Autumn Grand Prix Series. The Top Spec Autumn Grand Prix, which commences on the September 15 at The Meadows Equestrian, will no doubt attract strong competition.
In total, the series will consist of 17 legs and a final which will take place in Cavan Equestrian on December 2.
Last year’s competition was spectacular with John Floody and Jonathan Smyth creating huge excitement battling it out right to the wire leaving the final round as the decider.
Floody found victory on Bronson De Reve with Smyth taking second and third spots overall with Ping Ball and Charlton Clio.
As previously, the TopSpec Autumn Grand Prix Series will comprise of two heights, a 1.35m class and a 1.40m class. Each height class is worth different points and the leaderboards will note the winner at the end of the series.
Speaking about the sponsorship, The Chairperson of the association, Ray Buchanan commented: “I am delighted to have TopSpec coming on board this season for the Autumn Grand Prix Series. I would like to thank Katy and the team for their support and look forward to a great series. I would also like to wish all our competitors the very best of luck. We have some great venues onboard again this year and I am certain it will generate as much if not more excitement as previous years.”
Because excellent nutrition is of prime importance to TopSpec they guarantee to ‘Create without Compromise.’ Competitors can rest assured that none of their products will be compromised, ever.
Katy Mickle, Sales & Marketing Director of TopSpec expressed her enthusiasm about the series: “TopSpec is delighted to sponsor the Showjumping Ireland Autumn Grand Prix Series for 2018. The series is a great way to keep competitors active in the Autumn months and extends the season right up until December.”
The Hickstead crowd witnessed a nail biting climax to the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain at Hickstead with a head-to-head battle between Team Ireland and Team GBR.
The Irish team of Trevor Breen (Bombay), Richie Moloney (Freestyle De Muze), Michael Duffy (EFS Top Contender) and Anthony Condon (SFS Aristio) were on superb form to lift the Edward, Prince of Wales trophy. It was the fourth time in the history of this competition that Ireland has won, while Great Britain was denied what would have been their 37th win and their first home win since 2010.
“It’s obviously no surprise that the English and Irish were on top – the conditions were not easy but like everyone said the ground showed a lot of support and enabled us to have a good competition,” said Ireland’s chef d’equipe Rodrigo Pessoa. “In the jump-off we had the advantage of going after Great Britain and we could see what we had to do. Anthony did a superb job to bring it home.”
Britain and Ireland had been neck and neck from the start. In round one, Richie Moloney had gone clear while Trevor, Michael and Anthony each had just one fence down for Ireland. Britain had had a tougher task in round one, when pathfinder Scott Brash’s horse took aversion to the water and was eliminated after two refusals. It piled pressure on his three team mates, but Holly Smith and Amanda Derbyshire both finished on four faults apiece and William Whitaker gave Great Britain a boost when producing the home nation’s only clear in round one. Belgium were close behind on nine faults, last year’s winners Brazil tied with Sweden and the Netherlands in fourth with 16 faults while Italy sat at the bottom of the leaderboard with 17 faults.
Things unravelled for the Netherlands in the second half when Johnny Pals added 23 faults to their tally, so they retired into seventh place. Britain’s Scott Brash had no more luck getting Hello Shelby over the water in the second round, so once again Team GBR was down to three riders.
Ireland’s first two riders, Trevor and Richie, both finished on four faults while Michael went clear. Amanda Derbyshire gave Britain a clear while Holly and William both knocked one fence down, so the teams were tied on 16 faults each. Ireland’s Anthony Condon would have had to jump clear to give Ireland the win, but when he also faulted it meant the two teams would have to jump off.
Holly Smith, who has superb form at Hickstead, was elected to jump against the clock with the talented Hearts Destiny. She delivered a perfect clear in a time of 43.39sec to keep British hopes alive. But Anthony Condon and the 12-year-old SFS Aristio got home more than 2sec faster in a time of 41.29sec to give Ireland the win.
“I got to see Holly’s round, and her horse has got a big stride and is quite fast, but my horse is very fast so I had to go at his pace, and it worked,” said Anthony. “He tried his heart out and was very quick to the last but he’s very careful so I could keep going.”
Britain’s Holly Smith said: “I think if we’d had four team members all jumping we’d have won it but that’s horses – they’re unpredictable and it does happen.”
Last year’s winners Brazil had to settle for third place, although their anchorman Marlon Modola Zanotelli did win the £50,000 bonus for jumping the only double clear on Sirene De La Motte.
The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain brought Hickstead’s international season to a close. The next national fixtures are the two-day Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships (1&2 August) and the All England Jumping Championships (30 August – 2 September).