Away from the first-rate equestrian action taking place at the Show, this year visitors can lose themselves in an enhanced Olympia Shopping Village. In addition to the returning favourites there will be a host of new ‘start-ups’ with novel products or innovations that have so far had little exposure to the market in the ‘Olympia Introducing’ category. Showcased within this category will be nine new businesses, including: Posh Muckerz, a company that will be launching at the Show, producing stylish, ‘all-in-one’ waterproof coveralls; and Outward Success, a sports psychology practice delivering mental performance coaching that can help riders overcome any potential mental barriers.
Men’s fashion is set to feature heavily at Olympia this year, with the likes of Claudio Lugli being represented at the event. Through its Italian heritage, use of high-quality fabrics and unique take on style, every shirt produced is like a work of art. Adding to the calibre of ‘one-off’, unique products, and making its Olympia debut, is Parkers Cufflinks, a Hampshire-based company that sells bespoke cufflinks and ladies jewellery created from recycled rifle, pistol and shotgun cartridges. It’s precisely these kinds of shops that can’t be found on the high street, making the Olympia Shopping Village the ideal venue for a spot of last-minute festive shopping.
If the winter weather here in the UK is giving you the blues, then you may be tempted to visit some of the many travel companies situated in the Olympia Shopping Village. In The Saddle, an established equestrian travel company – whose main premise is to share its passion for riding holidays – has an enormous portfolio of more than a hundred rides in over 40 different countries. With such an extensive range of trips it’s certain there’s something that appeals to every equestrian fan. However, if your preference is polo, then Olympia has you covered. Based in Sotogrande, Spain with proximity to the exclusive Santa Maria Polo Club and Ayala Polo Club, Polo Valley can provide you with the trip of a lifetime, regardless of your ability. Extending the selection of lifestyle products and adding to the variety of interior design on offer will be the likes of Blackbrook Interiors, making its first appearance at Olympia, bringing fun and quirky furnishings.
A notable feature of the Olympia Shopping Village for the 2018 season, will be the Tim Stockdale Foundation, only recently set-up in memory of the late Tim Stockdale, one of the longest-serving Committee Members of the Show, who sadly passed away in November 2018. A selection of books and t-shirts will be available for purchase, with funds going towards the Foundation, which raises money for selected charities in Tim’s name, a highly worthwhile cause.
Returning after its successful launch in 2017, the Olympia Live Zone is an interactive space featuring rider signings, famous faces and informative talks that are not to be missed. In between watching the world’s elite riders compete, spectators can enjoy talks from the likes of British “super-groom” and winner of the FEI Groom of the Year Award 2017, Alan Davies, groom to Charlotte Dujardin CBE, who will be competing at the Show in the FEI Dressage World Cup™ supported by Horse & Hound.
A name to look out for on Friday 21 December is broadcaster, Clare Balding OBE, who will be making an appearance ahead of presenting the Markel Champions Challenge, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund later that evening. An ever-popular figure within the equestrian community, Balding will undoubtedly have countless fascinating anecdotes to share. Closing Wednesday’s Olympia Live Zone timetable will be Britain’s leading lady rider, Laura Renwick, who will be giving her guide to the Cayenne Puissance, in what will be an extremely revealing half an hour, ahead of the famous event taking place that evening. A link to the full Live Zone programme can be found here.
Tickets for Olympia, The London International Horse Show are still available, with an Olympia Shopping Village only ticket also available for purchase.