Star jockey, Frankie Dettori, will captain a team of leading male jockeys who will be looking for victory in an unmissable battle of the sexes. Pitched against Dettori’s team will be the racing world’s ‘Girl Power’ – a team of leading female jockeys captained by Bridget Andrews.
The Markel Champions Challenge will see the jockeys switch disciplines for one night only, as they compete in a relay Show Jumping competition. This is the fourth year of the Markel Champions Challenge at Olympia and it has quickly become a highlight of the week.
With a long list of achievements under their belts, both captains have the credentials to lead their teams and take the Markel Champions Challenge title. Dettori recently took centre stage at Royal Ascot, riding three winners to victory on the opening day, adding to his extensive list of over 3,000 winners. Bridget Andrews took her biggest win to date at the Cheltenham Festival in March, aboard Mohaayed in the County Hurdle, cementing her position amongst the best female jockeys in the country.
Bridget Andrews says: ‘I am delighted to be captaining the girls. I’m sure we’ll give Frankie and the boys a real run for their money, and hopefully, come home winners! More importantly, it’s all for a great cause, raising money for the Injured Jockeys Fund.’
The final line-up will be announced in due course as Andrews and Dettori select their teams. Expect to see some of the biggest names in racing as competition gets fierce for the 2018 showdown.
Juliet Redfern, Managing Director of Markel’s Equine and Livestock division says: ‘Markel is delighted to be continuing our support of this fabulous event which gets more competitive every year between the teams. Having a “Girls vs Boys” theme this year puts a new twist on things and of course I’ll be rooting for the girls. Combining such a popular event in support of such an amazing charity in the Injured Jockey’s Fund – it doesn’t get any better.’
Lisa Hancock, CEO of the Injured Jockeys Fund says: ‘Olympia is becoming one of the highlights of the jockeys’ year and they have so much fun. We can’t thank Markel enough for their continued support of us and the work we do and are looking forward so much to being back at Olympia again.”
‘Race Night’ at Olympia, the UK’s largest indoor Show, will involve an evening of race-themed entertainment. With a full line-up still to be announced, spectators can expect appearances from the legendary Bob Champion. The Bob Champion Cancer Trust is supported by the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, in which crowds can cheer on the mini jockeys and their fierce Shetlands over a mini Grand National course.
More information about Olympia, The London International Horse Show, and details on how to secure your place at one of the equestrian performances of the year can be found online here.