Olympia Horse Show, 12-18 Dec, London
IMMERSE yourself in the Christmas spirit at Olympia, where Santa’s sleigh parades in a flurry of fake snow and the audience sings a soul-stirring rendition of The First Noel. Festivities continue with a packed programme of Christmas-themed classes, such as the Mistletoe Mini Stakes for top pony showjumpers, while seasonal treats on offer in the new Winter Market include chocolate or cheese fondues, waffles and sugared doughnuts.
Expect some hot competition in the atmospheric floodlit arena, because the show hosts FEI World Cup qualifiers in dressage, showjumping and driving.
Competitors are ready to let their hair down at this time of year too, so you’ll spot some of them doing their own Christmas shopping and may even bag yourself a selfie or two. For an insider’s view, buy a special ticket (£15) for access to the warm-up arena where riders hang out and media interviews take place.
NOT TO BE MISSED: Wednesday evening’s dressage freestyle to music, which usually features some of Britain’s household names. THE NITTY-GRITTY: adult mid-range tickets for an evening performance start at £42.
a winter wonderland: Father christmas’ visit to Olympia puts spectators in the festive spirit — and there’s world-class jumping action too
Who’s the star at Heythrop point-to-point?