15 Amazing Olympia Horse Show Facts
Olympia, The London International Horse Show is one the UK’s most high profile and largest equine event. The Olympia Horse Show attracts people and riders from all over the world. Here are some things you might not know about the even as well as a few amazing facts!
1. Over 108 Years old
Held in the Olympia exhibition centre in London, Olympia celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2007 and is one of Europe’s oldest Equine Competitions.
2. The Royals
Queen Victoria is believed to have attended Olympia for the show at some point during her reign, while Queen Elizabeth II paid visits both as a princess and then later, when she became Queen. It is also rumoured that King Edward VII maintained a private suite on the north side of the Grand Hall to entertain his numerous female acquaintances when they came to see a show.
3. Along came jumping
In 1907, show jumping was added to the programme, with early participants being of a military background. The popularity of this discipline meant that soon civilian riders were able to take place as well. However, with lapse rules and some questionable decisions, the British Show Jumping Association was formed. This body set about tightening the rules and promoting the discipline.
4. 400 Plus horses
The show features more than 400 horses and ponies across the week.
5. Nearly 300 stables
280 stables are build on site to house the animals.
6. Truck loads of bedding
With such a large amount of stables, more than 32 tonnes of bedding is used as well as 50 bales of hay and 82 bales of haylage.
7. Vital but unseen
There are 2 farriers and 8 vets working throughout the show.
8. Let it snow!
Santa as tradition now marks the end of the show and the start of Christmas – well not quite! As he arrives into the arena, 26 litres of liquid snow fall down, creating a North Pole illusion!
9. Champagne and Coco
Over 1,878 bottles of champagne will be quaffed throughout the show by thirsty horse lovers. However, for those taking it a little easier, 12,000 hot drinks are served.
10. Equine superstore
Away from the drinks and the arena is the shopping hall, home to 220 shops. Whether you’re looking for a new rug, tack or the latest feed, you’ll find whatever you’re after here. So get your wallet ready and prepare to shop until you drop!
11. Mini Grand National
11 Shetland ponies each night fly around the mini Grand National course, in a blur of coloured silks to the roar of the crowd. Some famous faces including Sam and Willy Twiston-Davies have started on this race. Plus, as the tiny racers charge over a diminutive Becher’s Brook it’s sure to be (nearly) as exciting as the real thing. Get ya bets in!
12. Massive crowds
Each year over 85,000 people attend the show over it’s 7 day run.
A massive 360 cubic metres of horse poo is produced each year. The local roses never looked so fine or smelt so good!
14. Pizza Express does a roaring trade
Thanks to many thousands of hungry spectators the on site Pizza Express sells 8,000 pizzas throughout the show.
15.The Christmas Puissance
The Puissance is one of Olympia’s most iconic events. French rider Patric Caron set the record in 1980 when he jumped 7ft 5 1/2 inches (2.26m) on Gui Sanda. Recently the highest the fence has been is 7ft 4 inches (2.24m) when John Whitaker, Robert Whitaker and Markus Fuchs tied for first place in 2006.