The world’s top show jumpers descend on the capital this week for the London International Horse Show from Olympia, live on BBC Sport and British Eurosport.
Widely regarded as the world’s best equestrian Christmas party, over 85,000 people visit the show every year and it is a firm favourite on the sport’s calendar.
This year’s show is set to be another action packed event with various Olympic medal winners on show, featuring a mix of world-class dressage and show jumping, and a variety of festive entertainment and special equestrian displays.
Some of Great Britain’s heroes from London 2012 return to the capital, such as double dressage gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin and current world number one show jumper Ben Maher, who will both be competing in their respective disciplines.
Olympia 2013’s stellar line-up will feature three world number ones for the first time in the show’s history, as well as the current top three showjumpers in the world, though some familiar faces will be absent.
Scott Brash will be joined by his European and Olympic team-mate Maher and German legend Ludger Beerbaum, who returns to the show after a break of several years.
However, the decision by Olympia organisers to allocate places based on the FEI rankings this year, rather than British Showjumping’s combined rankings, has left some riders and showjumping fans disappointed.
FEI rankings points are accrued by international results, meaning that Olympia stalwart Tina Fletcher and Hickstead Derby winner Phillip Miller, who compete largely on the national circuit, miss out on this year’s event.
Scotland’s Brash, who recently clinched the Longines Global Champions Tour title in Doha, elevating him to number one spot in the FEI world rankings, brings Bon Ami, Hello Annie and Ursula XII to Olympia.
Maher has Aristo Z, Diva II and his London 2012 superstar Tripple X III and will also be reunited with Noctambule Courcelle in the Alltech Christmas Puissance, on whom he won the famous competition in 2010 and 2012.
Legendary Beerbaum brings his three top horses Carinou, Chiara 222 and Zinedine.
Other notable entries include European individual gold medallist Roger-Yves Bost with Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois and Britain’s current number one female show jumper Laura Renwick.
In dressage, London 2012 hero Charlotte Dujardin will compete her Olympic gold medal winning horse, Valegro in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Leg.
The formidable pair won this competition at Olympia last year and Dujardin, who was shortlisted for Sportswoman of the Year earlier this month, will be hoping to repeat that feat.
Amongst those bidding to spoil Dujardin’s Christmas party is Edward Gal (Glock’s Voice) and Hans Peter Minderhoud (Glock’s Romanov) from the Netherlands who are regulars at Olympia.
Charlotte’s Team GB team-mate, Carl Hester will compete Fine Time 13, the horse with which he won the National Championships with in September.
A notable absentee is Dujardin and Hester’s London 2012 Teammate, Laura Tomlinson (nee Bechtolsheimer).
However, Tomlinson’s stable jockey and Reserve National Champion, Lara Griffith, makes her Olympia debut on Andretti H.
Olympia fans will again be able to enjoy their favourite action throughout the week with extensive coverage on BBC TV and British Eurosport.
BBC Sport will have all the main action live from the 2013 London International Horse Show at Olympia.
Equestrian fans can follow all the mid-week shows and displays via the BBC Red Button and online.
On Saturday afternoon, BBC One will screen extended live coverage of the showjumping World Cup, plus highlights of the spectacular puissance, best described as the high jump for horses.
Concluding the BBC’s coverage will be a special highlights show on Monday afternoon on BBC Two, featuring the best of the action from the Olympia Grand Prix where many of the world’s best show jumpers will be on display.
Clare Balding will present both BBC TV programmes from Olympia.
Michael Tucker and Andy Austin will be on commentary duties for the showjumping, with Judy Harvey joining Tucker for the dressage competitions.
All of the BBC’s TV coverage will be available to watch online via the BBC Sport website and app.
British Eurosport will also have live coverage of selected events from the London International Horse Show throughout the week of the event. Details will appear here shortly.
To find out more about the 2013 Olympia Horse Show, visit the official website.
Tuesday 17th December Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage LIVE: 7.40pm-10.25pm BBC Red Button Thursday 19th December The Alltech Christmas Puissance LIVE: 8.55pm-10.15pm BBC Red Button Saturday 21st December Longines FEI World Cup Show Jumping LIVE: 1.45pm-4.30pm BBC One Feat: Alltech Xmas Puissance highlights Sunday 22nd December Olympia Grand Prix LIVE: 6.10pm-7.55pm BBC Red Button Evening Performance LIVE: 9.00pm-10.55pm BBC Red Button Monday 23rd December Olympia Grand Prix Highlights: 2.05pm-3.05pm BBC Two