Frankie Dettori Gives Look-A-Like Son Training Tips Ahead of Olympia The London International Horse Show
Ahead of Olympia, the London International Horse Show, taking place on 12 – 18 December, Frankie Dettori headed to Ascot Racecourse to give his son, Rocco, some important training tips as he prepares to take part in the Shetland Pony Grand National and he himself prepares for the Markel Champions Challenge.
The crowd-favourite Shetland Pony Grand National, see’s competitors who are aged between 9-14 and under five foot (152.4 cm), race around the arena on a miniature course with jumps which mimic those seen at an Aintree Grand National. Much to the delight of his famous jockey father, Rocco has qualified for Olympia, the pinnacle of the Shetland Pony Grand National calendar and will be racing each night at Olympia in front of packed audiences with the event expected to attract 90,000 visitors across the seven days.
Frankie Dettori, who was riding a slightly smaller horse than he is used to, took his son on the iconic Ascot racetrack to put him through his paces with the hope that Rocco can claim the ultimate prize at Olympia.
Frankie spoke about his afternoon with Rocco at Ascot, “After winning here on Saturday it was really special to be able to bring Rocco here, his first time on a racetrack. There has been more press interest in me today with Rocco, than there was on Saturday! Seriously though, we are really looking forward to going to Olympia together for the Markel Champions Challenge to support the Injured Jockeys Fund and of course the Shetland Pony Grand National.”
Rocco commented on the day, “I can’t wait for Olympia in December and I really want to win. I have loved every minute of being at Ascot and I think it would be fair to say I beat my Dad fair and square on the racetrack”
Frankie Dettori will also be competing at Olympia, the UK’s biggest indoor equestrian event, to defend his title in the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, but will face stiff competition as ‘AP’ McCoy, 20-time Champion jockey and legend of the jump racing world, is preparing to step out of retirement to rival the world’s most famous flat jockey. In a bid to execute their best performance, both jockeys and their subsequent team members will have specialist coaching from top International Show Jumpers as they strive to cruise around the course of challenging Show Jumps.
Race Night’, taking place at Olympia Horse Show on Friday 15 December 2017, will host an entire evening of racing themed excitement featuring top jockeys from the racing world. Spectators can also expect to see appearances from racing legend Bob Champion whose charity, The Bob Champion Cancer Trust, is supported by The Shetland Pony Grand National which will also be taking place, bringing racing stars of the future to compete in the fast-flying competition.
More information about Olympia, The London International Horse Show, and how to secure your place at one of the equestrian performances of the year can be found online here.
Nick Skelton was presented with a special gift from Hickstead today in recognition of his extraordinarily successful showjumping career.
The 59-year-old, who announced his retirement from the sport earlier this year, was invited into the International Arena on the final day of the Longines Royal International Horse Show during a special ceremony that took place before the Longines King George V Gold Cup. Spectators were reminded of Nick’s many achievements within the sport – including his team gold medal at London 2012 and that unforgettable individual gold last summer in Rio.
He was presented with 12 crystal glasses engraved with the dates and winning horses from his four King’s Cup wins, three Hickstead Derby titles, three British Grand Prix victories and five FEI Nations Cup winning team appearances at Hickstead.
“We wanted to give Nick something to say a heartfelt thank you for all the many years of enjoyment he has given showjumping fans,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. “Nick has been such a vital part of the British Showjumping team and we will really miss watching his skill and brilliance in the arena. Looking back over his record here at Hickstead, there can be few riders who have or will ever match Nick’s achievements at the All England Jumping Course.”
When Skelton claimed individual gold at Rio, he became Britain's first showjumping individual Olympic champion, as well as Team GB’s oldest gold medallist since Jerry Millner won in the shooting in 1908. Nick’s win at Rio 2016 marked an amazing comeback for a rider who had recovered from a broken neck some 16 years previously, and for a talented horse whose career had been punctuated by injury.