"Christmas, Christmas, oh how I love Christmas. Yes, the festive season is once again upon us, and one of the very best excuses of the year to eat, drink and be merry.
To most people it is the groundhog day like playing of bad Christmas tunes on the radio and the unfortunate prevalence of colleagues’ dodgy festive jumpers that heralds the approach of Christmas Day. But for me it is the convergence of the entire equestrian community on a small corner of London town - the Olympia Horse Show - that means it's Christmas time, and it is one of my favourite shows of the year. Some of my best memories of being little are tearing around with the incorrigible Robert Whitaker and Matthew Broome in the Olympia Christmas Finale. Try as I might I am yet to convince Simon Brooks-Ward that I should still be allowed in it!
The show got off to a storming start on Wednesday with a stunning win from dressage’s wonder girl Laura B on Mistral Hojris, and with the brits clinching the top four places two nights in a row. Becoming the first British rider to win the the Olympia World Cup Qualifier since its inception, Laura remained as understated as ever about her win, saying simply that she ‘didn’t want people to think Alf and I were old news.’ That’s certainly one way to show everyone, well done Laura!
Ben Maher provided the first big jumping win of the show in last night’s Christmas Speed Stakes on the lovely mare Milena, and admitted that even he got star struck riding in front of so many celebs! The Duchess of Cornwall, a huge horsie fan, was in attendance, as were half of the cast of Made in Chelsea, and I rather think their tiny xmas outfits proved a little bit more of a distraction to Ben than HRH’s demure ensemble.Tonight is puissance night, with Ben going in as strong favourite on last year’s winner. A class that’s always guaranteed to provide thrills and spills a plenty I wonder what eye watering height they’ll get to tonight.I must go as I have an enormous family and need to start my Christmas shopping – thanks goodness for Olympia’s trade stands!"