DESPITE THE RAIN OLYMPIA HAS ANOTHER SUNSHINE YEAR
As the curtains closed at one of the most popular show jumping events in the world, the Olympia International Show Jumping Championships (14th-18th December), organisers Clarion Events, announced that it had been a near sell-out.
Whilst the rain and gales that hit the Channel at the beginning of the week meant that the arrival of the international competitors was delayed, they arrived just in the nick of time and the show, once again, provided top class entertainment.
Robert Whitaker became the youngest ever winner of a class in the 29 year history of the event when at the age of just 17 he won The Millennium Challenge on the opening day of the show. Roberts uncle, Michael Whitaker, won three classes whilst German rider Rene Tebbel, from Germany, took the top spot in the prestigious World Cup Qualifier. With Lars Nieberg winning the Traxdata Grand Prix the audience could not have wished for more.
In addition to the quality of the show jumping classes, many will remember the magnificent display by The Kings Troop, RHA who, for the first time in nearly 50 years, included in their display a demonstration of the skill of Jumping the Gun.
It is a testament to the shows increasing appeal that of the 300 private hospitality boxes, only four were left unsold by the end of the week.
The BBC and Eurosport both covered the event with a highlights programme due to be screened on BBC2 on Friday, 22nd December from 1.05p.m. 1.50p.m..
Plans for 2001 are already well underway and with the show due to run from 19th-23rd December, even more of the Christmas spirit will be added to the successful recipe that produces this world-beating show format.