The Liverpool International Horse Show will be back after the heartbreak of the New Year’s Eve car park fire. This year’s show will be the fabulous finale to the Liverpool 2018 celebrations.
Tickets go on sale today for the Liverpool International Horse Show 2018 which will be staged for the fourth year running at the Echo Arena Liverpool on December 28, 29, 30 and 31 on the city’s historic waterfront.
The final session of last year’s show was cancelled when around 1,400 cars were destroyed in the blaze that tore through the multi-storey Liverpool Waterfront car park adjacent to the Echo Arena.
The horse show is organised by equestrian promoter Nina Barbour, director of the prestigious Bolesworth International Horse Show, in Cheshire and combines world-class sport with live music and spectacular family entertainment.
Said Nina: “The cancellation of our New Year’s Eve evening session was absolutely devastating both for our team and all our supporters who were there to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Many of our team and visitors also suffered a great deal of heartbreak losing their cars and possessions.
“We were so grateful for the tremendous work by the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. The professionalism of our team and the staff at the Arena meant that our emergency plan was put into operation and everyone, including all 150 horses stabled on the ground floor of the car park, were safely evacuated from the building.
“Given the financial implications, we were forced to think long and hard about the future of our show but with help from the Arena, together with the tremendous support we’ve had from our spectators, the equestrian community and everyone involved from the city of Liverpool, we have been able to regroup and go ahead.
“Everyone has worked so hard to establish the show and we are determined, now more than ever, that it will be one of the world’s premier equestrian events. We are looking forward to being back in Liverpool and we’re planning to make 2018 the best show yet especially as we are the climax to Liverpool 2018. As the show was sadly cut short before the climax of the competition, Billy Twomey remains the only rider to have won the Liverpool International Grand Prix and we look forward to welcoming him back to the Echo Arena this year.”
Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, said: “The Liverpool International Horse Show is part of the Liverpool sporting family and we are delighted that Nina and the team have kept faith with the city.
“New Year’s Eve 2017 was a difficult night for Liverpool and the visitors to the Horse Show. We have worked with Nina to ensure that this world-class sporting event stays in Liverpool and we’re looking forward to seeing this excellent international event back at the Echo Arena.”
For 2018, the Liverpool International Horse Show will have a programme of elite showjumping and dressage, climaxing with the showjumping Grand Prix on Sunday, December 31st with a top prize of 75,000 Euros (around £65,400).
London 2012 Olympic showjumping gold medallist, Liverpool-born Peter Charles, who first launched the LIHS by clearing the London Olympics’ ‘Abbey Road’ showjumping fence on the Liverpool waterfront said: “I’m full of admiration for the LIHS who’ve been able to re-group and keep the show in Liverpool. Everyone has worked together to ensure that this year’s show will be better than ever.
“We have had tremendous support from the equestrian world and we’re hoping that Britain’s brilliant community of equestrian people will be with us to show that as every horse fan knows, when you have a setback, you dust yourself down and get back in the saddle.”
Along with CSI 4*, Amateur, U25 and pony Showjumping classes, and a session of Freestyle Dressage, the Liverpool International Horse Show will have live music, its own ‘Grand National’ of Shetland ponies and a breathtaking display from the Arenacross Freestyle Motocross crew. Further details including additional acts will be announced over the next few months.
The Liverpool International Horse Show will be the finale to Liverpool 2018, which is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Liverpool’s triumphant tenure as European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Echo Arena Liverpool was opened as part of the European Capital of Culture celebrations and Bob Prattey, chief executive of The ACC Liverpool Group, which includes Echo Arena, said: “We are thrilled to welcome back the Liverpool International Horse Show for its fourth year. We have worked closely with Nina and her team following the terrible incident on New Year's Eve and we are pleased that they have chosen to remain in Liverpool and continue to build on the success of this prestigious event.
“We are looking forward to welcoming back fans of the Horse Show which is a major highlight on the equestrian event calendar and has such a global reputation for excellence.”
Liverpool International Horse Show will continue to include its world-famous VIP hospitality packages and exclusive viewing boxes with fine dining and excellent views of all the action. And for equestrian fans looking to spend some of their Christmas gift money, there’ll be a huge shopping village selling everything from jodhpurs to jewellery, stirrups to sparkling champagne.
There is a great Early Bird Offer of 20% off all general admission tickets, which will be live until the end of May. Prices start at £14 per person per session (plus booking fee) for a family ticket and are on sale and available online.