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Thursday 14th – Monday 18th December 2000


Germany’s Olympic Gold Medal winning team; Ludger Beerbaum, Lars Neiberg, Otto Becker and Marcus Ehning of Team Ericsson, who are all ranked in the world’s top ten, are set to compete at the Olympia International Show Jumping Championships next month (14th-18th December). Victorious in Sydney, the Germans will be competing against some familiar adversaries when they make their way to London’s famous arena, as the entire Swiss Olympic Silver medal team will also be in pursuit of individual glory.

In all, competitors from 11 nations have been nominated to take part, with fifteen of Britain’s leading riders including John and Michael Whitaker and Geoff Billington; Tim Stockdale of the Traxdata Team and Di Lampard. Young Irish rider Cameron Hanley will be enjoying his first competitive outing at the Christmas event, following his best season on the circuit to date, which saw him win the King George V Gold Cup and the Dublin Grand Prix.

Italian rider Jerry Smit, a class winner at Olympia last year is set to return, following the most financially rewarding year of his career to date. In June Smit became only the second rider in history to win two Pulsar Crown competitions and in doing so netted a bonus of over £400,000.

Last year’s winner of the Young Show Jumper of the Year competition, seventeen year old Robert Whitaker, son of John, graduates to the top level this year with a full invitation to the show, allowing him entry to compete in the big money classes. If Robert, takes part in either the World Cup qualifier or the Traxdata Grand Prix he will not be eligible to compete in Juniors next year.

At the other end of the experience scale, Liz Edgar, forty years Robert’s senior, makes her return to the Christmas show this year after an absence of a decade. Edgar, Geoff Luckett and Duncan Inglis gained their invitations to Olympia after qualifying at Towerlands.

Heading the bill in a packed programme of competitions will be the Traxdata Grand Prix, with The World Cup Qualifier and Andersen Consulting Christmas Puissance offering entertainment that is bound to keep people on the edge of their seats. The annual Horse Magazine Fancy Dress Relay will quite literally allow some of the show jumpers to let their hair down and give audiences a chance to see their favourite riders in a new light.

After an absence of four years Lorenzo – The Flying Frenchman, will be back at Olympia this year supported by Horse & Hound. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, supported by Champagne Taittinger, will also be demonstrating their equestrian expertise, with a new Musical Drive making its inaugural appearance in front of Olympia audiences.

Family favourites the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and Pedigree Dog Agility are back and the traditional Finale will provide a spectacular end to every performance to put everybody in a party mood for Christmas.

There will be ten performances at Olympia from Thursday 14th December - Monday 18th December. The box office can be contacted on +44 (0)870 848 0000 or visit the web site at Tickets are priced from £11 with concessions for groups, seniors and children. For boxes and corporate entertainment please call Nicola Hedley Lewis on +44 (0)20 7370 8189.

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