BBC to Broadcast London Olympia Dressage Live

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For this passage tour. © 2009 Ken Braddick/
Moorlands Totilas at the European Championships © 2009 Ken Braddick/

LONDON, Nov. 17–The BBC announced Tuesday that for the first time it will broadcast live the FEI World Cup dressage from London’s famed Olympia international horse show next month.

In its second year of a four year deal to broadcast Olympia, the BBC said the Grand Prix Freestyle to Music will be available through its red button and internet services on Wednesday evening, Dec. 16.

This live broadcast decision was made after the BBC recorded what it described as “outstanding viewing figures” of its coverage from the dressage finals of the Alltech FEI European Jumping and Dressage Championships at Windsor in August. Simon Brooks-Ward, Olympia Show Director, also staged the European Championships outside London.

“It is certainly a sign of the times that the BBC has committed to support this discipline,” Broosk-Ward said. “Dressage is on a meteoric rise in terms of public interest and we’re delighted the BBC has decided to include it in its Olympia coverage.”

Michael Cole, Deputy Editor BBC Sport, said: “Olympia is a great entertainment spectacle and also a hugely important sporting event on the build up to the 2012 Olympics in London. With the popularity of Dressage increasing–highlighted at the recent European Championships–it was a natural decision for us to include Dressage within our Olympia package. We’re looking forward to giving viewers such extensive coverage of a fantastic show.”

In addition to dressage, the BBC will broadcast the Accenture Christmas Puissance, the FEI World Cup™ Show Jumping Qualifier and other events.