London Olympia Dressage, Jumping, Driving World Cup Cancels Christmastime Event

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Charlotte Dujardin riding Mount St. John Freestyle to victory at the 2019 London Olympia World Cup. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Sept. 14, 2020

The London Olympia dressage, jumping and driving World Cup event that over the past half century has become a major indoor Christmas entertainment event on Monday announced cancellation of the show that was scheduled for December.

Olympia is the fourth of 10 qualifiers in Western Europe to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The others to cancel are Madrid, Stuttgart, Germany and Amsterdam, leaving Western European events leading to the final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April. The 2020 World Cup final of dressage and jumping scheduled for Las Vegas in April this year was canceled as a result of the pandemic.

Olympia organizers said that the organizing team has been looking at multiple scenarios to try to stage the indoor show with the health and welfare of everyone involved at the heart of that decision-making process.

“Reluctantly, it has been concluded that it is not possible to run the event in December 2020 given the commercial implications of the government’s social distancing guidelines and the numerous additional Covid-19 safety requirements,” it said.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Olympia Show Director, said: “My father, together with Clarion Events, started the Olympia Horse Show in 1972 and it has run every year since, meaning that this year would have been our 49th show. My brothers and I have attended every show and therefore I completely empathize with the sadness felt by our visitors, who will not be cheering, laughing, and clapping in the Grand Hall this year. I also understand the disappointment felt by our competitors, officials, sponsors and particularly our trade stand exhibitors, who would have been particularly looking forward to the Christmas boost that Olympia gives them.

“Olympia holds a special place in the equestrian world’s hearts. Generations of families have held their Christmas parties at the Show and many will not be able to imagine a Christmas without a visit to Olympia. However, we are looking forward to being back in 2021, with a bumper show to celebrate our 50th anniversary.

“I am extremely grateful for the supportive messages we have received from the equestrian community over the summer and am only sorry that we are unable to be with them at Olympia this Christmas.”