THE SHOW HUB
brand new look for the show hub
tent pegging WORLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP comes to
YOUTH OLYMPICS SILVER MEDALIST OMAR AL MARZOUQI
The Al Shira'aa Horse Show, 2019
Al Forsan International Sports Resort,
Welcome to the new season! The last two months have seen riders back from Europe and all things equestrian are hotting up, as the weather cools off.
Our cover story this edition is our interview with Youth Olympics Silver Medallist Omar Al Marzouqi who proudly represented the UAE in Buenos Aires. Also we have covered the first few shows, competitions and auctions which have taken place at Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club – one of the largest indoor facilities in the UAE. Training shows and clinics have gotten underway at Emirates Equestrian Centre, Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club and Dubai Polo Equestrian Club, the endurance horses are back out training in the early hours in Nad Al Sheba, and the local pony club, cross country and flat racing seasons have begun. Moreover we were lucky enough to invited to the Tent Pegging World Cup Championship in Abu Dhabi – showcasing a sport which has been given an entirely new lease on life.
You may also notice that the magazine has undergone a bit of a makeover with a touch more style and broader coverage – all in our pursuit of bringing you the very best in equestrian news and interviews from across the region and the world.
From the 9th till the 12th of January, 2019.
TELEPHONE: +971 558808932
TriMedia Middle East
Follow The Show Hub across social media for up to the moment insight into the equestrian world
Letter from the editor
BE PART OF THE GLOBAL STORY
Equestrian headlines from the Middle East and around the world
An ancient discipline becomes
a spectacular international equestrian event in Abu Dhabi
What to see, where to see it and when - all the best local events
Equestrian centres take on
a new dimension when designed by Timothy Court
PSYCHOLOGY OF RIDING
Sandie Robertson explains how riding success is all about state of mind
GERMAN WARMBLOODS Exploring the history of this popular, diverse and ancient breed
Interview with UAE's 15-year old silver medalist Omar Al Mazrouqi
BACK TO SCHOOL
Ben Franklin takes us through the importance of straightness and collection
A NEW LEASE ON LIFE
New project aims to get ex endurance horses back on their feet
TRAVEL AND EVENTS
This winter we explore the magic of London and the Olympia horse show
A guide on how to choose the best probiotic supplement for your horse
The much anticipated Sharjah Arabian Auction took place on 3rd November, and saw 80 top Arabians up for grabs.
Eighty percent of the horse stock sold, and the sale raised an impressive
AED 1.175 million.
Gold went to Rashida Al Zobair owned by Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Althani
Ireland's Amy McAuley wins the Dubai Endurance 100km CEN race for F3 Stables riding Utoufa de Lap. Pictured with HH Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum & HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum after her win.
Cross Counter wins Melbourne Cup
New generation turns out
The first three National Show jumping events at Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club went down a storm after the quiet summer months. Everyone was in competitive spirits with the USA's Ayman Alonays with the 'speed demon' Brandy winning on two-consecutive days. With the UAE's juniors having gained more experience over the quiet summer period- we are in for an exciting season ahead.
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the Sharjah International Arabian Horse Show, "Straight Egyptian" took place showcasing some of the very best Egyptian bloodlines.
Irish rider takes top endurance honours
Godolphin's Cross Counter wins Australia's richest horse race- the Melbourne Cup. The highly anticipated race saw a number of firsts, in extremely wet conditions that would have made him feel at home. UK based Cross Counter, jockeyed by Kerrin McEvoy and trained by British trainer Charlie Appleby, came in first in a field of 24 runners . Appleby is the first British trainer to win the title, and the race marks the first time Godolphin has taken the top honours at this prestigious event; a super achievement for the blues!
SOLD, SOLD, SOLD!
The first Affiliated Dressage competition of the season took place at Al Habtoor. There was a super turnout of competitors, giving new hope for National Dressage in the UAE.
National jump season off to a flying start
Click the button for the All Nations Cup Championships Video
Image credits to Joelle Muller
Proud moments for the UAE & the Emirate of Sharjah as two Arabians bred by Sheikh Abdulla Bin Majid Al Qassimi reached the Finals in the Nations Cup in AACHEN. E.S Harir, bred by Emirates Stud and owned by Al Sakran, was Gold Champion. Bronze went to E.S Sarab (pictured right) owned and bred by Emirates Stud.
Founding Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor welcomed Her Highness Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and over 400 guests at the 2nd Polo Season Opening held at the five-star Al Habtoor Polo Resort. The yearly event celebrates polo tradition, fashion and UAE hospitality, marking a grand and glamorous start of the polo season in Dubai.
This gala event opened in style with a friendly polo match with the UAE Polo team playing a great game against Habtoor Polo. HH Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Patron of the UAE Polo team was joined by several players showing a high-level performance on the field including Mohammed Al Habtoor, Vice Chairman & CEO of Al Habtoor Group, and Habtoor Mohammed Al Habtoor, Director of the Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, and polo professional Alejandro Gowland. The Habtoor Polo team was represented by Rashid Al Falahi, Raja Albujabain, Tariq Rashid Al Habtoor and Tomas Iriarte.
The polo season includes 3 main 18-goal handicap competitions as part of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup series with the 2nd Polo Season opening until April 2019.
Back in the
swing of things
Click for more information
Dubai Polo Equestrian Club Showjumping League
HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup
Click for Al Forsan website
This Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club event attracts everyone from beginners to professionals, for this fun hosted Show Jumping League day out. Those looking for a little luxury can opt for the Epona lounge and take in a coffee or beverage too.
Watch the beautiful art of Dressage, in one of our National competitions with local and expatriate riders collecting points for the year end Championships to be held at Al Forsan International Sports Resort, located right at the heart of Khalifa City.
UAE National Day Polo Exhibition Ghantoot
Click for DPEC website
The Exhibition match will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Falah, Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Chairman of Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club. It's always a super event with shows and surprises mixed in with the fast paced action of the sport of Kings.
Al Forsan National Dressage
This 120 km race across the sand dunes of Abu Dhabi is for ladies only. Held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, the race lasts around 3.5 hrs, so take a drive and catch some of the riders out on their route.
HH Shk. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum CEN 100 km Race
For private stables only, this 100 km endurance race is a key highlight on the endurance calendar for the 2018 season.
Flat racing in Abu Dhabi Equestrian & Racing Club
Beach Polo Dubai is a star studded event for the whole family to enjoy. Fast paced, exciting and with plenty for the children to do too. The event offers one of the most stunning back-drops in equestrian sport- set along the shores of Jumeirah Beach Road. This is one event not to be missed.
CSI2* jumping at Al
Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club
The International showjumping season kick-starts this year in Al Ain with the first CSI2* event. These Internationals attract some of the sports biggest names, so why not come along and see who you can spot.
Beach Polo at
Abu Dhabi Equestrian & Racing Club plays host to the Al Wathba Stallions Cup. Enjoy a great day at the races and of course, don't forget to bring your hat!
Thanks to the sheer number of Arabian horses leaving the racing and endurance industries each year, Arabian ex-sport horses remain the most affordable and accessible equine companions the UAE has to offer. However, if you thought owning an Arabian was only about pleasure and desert riding, you’d be wrong. A recent initiative set up by HH Sheikha Hissa bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan aims to celebrate everything this beautiful, versatile and hardy horse has to offer and, in the process, gives potentially hundreds of Arabian horses a new lease of life. The Arabian Sport Horse Championship (ASHC) has been established for three years and offers ex-competition Arabians and their riders/owners a series of competitions located across the UAE. Showhub speaks to Sheikha Hissa bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan to find out more...
Why do you think there is a need for this type of event in the UAE?
The Arabian is an intelligent creature, a wonderful all-around friend and performance horse. There are many horses being bred and coming into the UAE for racing, endurance and showing; unfortunately, not all of them can make the grade at the top, but they are here and they need a job to do, a new lease of life, and that’s what the Arabian Sport Horse Championship is working towards. There are numerous benefits to owning an Arabian in the UAE, obviously there is the fact that the Arabian is the ideal horse to have in our climate, it can cope without AC if necessary, and it does not require the feed levels of a bigger horse. Arabians come in all shapes and sizes so there should be something for everyone, and we see massive potential in using Arabians in the versatile sports activities offered at the ASHC, whilst promoting our UAE heritage.
What makes ex endurance/racing Arabians the ideal low-level and family competition horse?
Because they have such lovely temperaments and huge ability to please. They’re also very versatile and intelligent, so you can venture into many new activities with them. Approximately, how many Arabians do you think leave the UAE Endurance industry each year? Many, probably several hundred, there is also quite a large number of racehorses that retire each year.
What stage are you at now in establishing and running the Championship?
We have run the Championship for the last three years and the show continues to move from strength to strength. This year we are reaching out to new yards to join in. We will be sponsoring three teams of four riders with their Arabian horses to compete at various venues this season and spread the word. We will be announcing the teams soon.
What are the ASHC goals this season?
We hope to be able to connect riders with the owners/trainers of horses that are finding their new purpose and assist them wherever possible with getting ready to compete for the Championship.
Looking further ahead, what do you hope the Championship will have achieved?
For the show and organisation to have brought many horses back into the fold of being cared for and competed with, as well as for riders to participate and find steady progression in their abilities within the ASHC, nationally and internationally.
There are those who think Arabians are not ideal for jumping and dressage activities, what would you say to those people?
Horses bred by HH Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan at W’Rsan Stables have achieved fantastic results in the European Sports Horse Championship in Vienna, Austria. In the three years that they took part they brought back the All-Round Championship gold medal twice along with various other medals in Dressage, Classic Pleasure, Native Costume and Side Saddle. Emirates Heritage Club also sent one rider the year before last, he took part in the Show Jumping and a variety of other classes bringing home a bronze medal.
The highly popular Sports Horse competitions in the USA are now seeing champions coming from the world of flat racing, with Crown Royal (bred at Cre Run Farm by Alan Kirshner and Deborah Mihaloff) who won Champion Dressage Stallion and Champion Hunter Stallion at the VAHA Sport Horse Show in 2013, and Spin Doctor (bred by Kathryn and Paul Smoke) who became 2015 U.S Arabian National Sport Horse Champion at Training Level Dressage.
Where does this all take place?
The Championship final takes place in the Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Grand Equestrian Hall at Boudheib. It’s the largest indoor arena in the world.
Which riders and horses are eligible?
Anyone who has an Arabian horse that can perform in the disciplines we offer.
It’s a great initiative, how can interested equestrians get involved?
Riders can participate at our qualifying Championships and spectators are always welcome!
"Arabians come in all shapes and sizes so there should be something for everyone."
THE PRODIGAL SON
Last month, fifteen-year-old, Emirati showjumper Omar Al Marzouqi brought home silver from the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
The event in Buenos Aires drew competitors from 206 countries aged between 14 and 19 years old, competing in 28 different sports.
Riding the bay mare La Corina Lala, Omar was one of only 5 in the 30 strong field to make it clear. The nail-biting jump-off saw just two clear rounds- Omar and Italy’s Giacomo Casadei- with the Italian two-seconds faster on the clock. Pedro Espinosa of Honduras took the bronze with four-faults. Showhub's Abby Blom met with Omar on his return to the UAE to find out more... .
Your father has been hugely influencial in your career to date, can you tell us a little more about his influence on your riding?
My dad grew up in Abu Dhabi and began horseriding in the 80s. He trained with the Olympic medalist Hervé Godignon, silver world medalist Patrice Delaveau, and many other top riders of the day.
When I was younger I was so inspired watching my father compete and rank, every time I saw him whether on TV or in real life, I just wanted to be like him. Today, my father produces horses for the higher levels. My current favourite horse, Albariz is actually trained by him, he got him when he was three-years old.
I began riding Albariz last year when he turned nine, I prefer him more than any other stallion because he is extremely friendly, he’s a hard worker and always aims to meet my expectations, for me, he offers everything i look for in a really high quality horse.
What was your father’s greatest equestrian achievement to date?
I would say, the WIG2010 in Kentucky, and winning the silver medal at the Asian games in in India in 1996.
When did you find out you were picked for the Youth Olympic Games?
I qualified during the 2017 season... it was based on certain qualifying classes.
Tell us about your ride in Argentina-La Corina Lala?’
La Corina Lala was my ‘draw-horse,’ she is an Argentine showjumping mare.
What were your thoughts when you knew you were going to the games?
As soon as I heard I had qualified, I was excited and began practicing harder, my main aim was to rank to make my nation and father proud.
How did you prepare for the games?
My preparation to this competition has been to ride several horses that were nothing like each other, some were sensitive, and others were the total opposite.
Who trained you in the build up to the event?
My father was my main trainer. He kept pushing me harder, setting higher and higher goals for me. He had full faith and trust in me, therefore I didn’t want to let him down.
What was the overall experience of the Games?
This competition is my highest achievement to date, it was a magnificent and unreal experience.
You had an amazing summer competing in Europe, what was your favourite show and why?
During summer of 2018 I competed in many shows, although my favorite was in Šamorín X-bionic sphere, because they had 5* layout, the stables were comfortable, the arenas were superb, and the hotel's location was perfect.
What horses do you have for the season in the UAE?
This season in the UAE I’ll be riding Albariz, Ugoline de le Pierre, Coral beach, and my new young mare Doubai de Hus.
Who’s your favourite horse out of all of them and why?
Honestly, my favorite horse is my stallion Albariz.
Tell about your weekly training programme?
I train with Abdulaziz Ali Al Marzouqi (my father) in Albahiya Equestrian club (BEC), I train around 3 to 4 hours daily 3 or more horses a day, my training process is consists some flat work and jumping.
Who is your favourite rider and why?
My idols are Christian Ahlmann, Steve Guerdat and Patrice Delaveau. Christian Ahlmann has a super quiet seat, he’s always calm and his horses are in the best form. On the other hand, Steve Guerdat’s top three / four horses jumping in the five-star competitions are really impressive, and I like how he always rides in a big rhythm maintaining calmness under pressure.
Patrice Delaveau is one of the first riders I admired when I started competing. I like his style of riding with short reins and a big canter without time faults. He’s one of the riders that rides in the ‘pure French’ riding style.
If you could give any advice to younger riders, what would it be?
My only advice would be- to train hard and train with love!
What’s your favourite quote?
“Before you give up, think of the reason why you held on so long.” Is the quote stand by.
You’ve been home for two weeks now, how has it been?
The past two weeks have been honestly, filled with proudness and joy. It all just makes me want to do even better and achieve more.
Who do you want to thank?
My goal is to improve and never impair. I would like to thank my father and Al Shiraa Stables and especially, Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Al Nahyan for their full support.
Omar and his father Abdulaziz being welcomed back to the UAE after Omar's astonishing success
"My favorite riders and my idols are Christian Ahlmann, Steve Guerdat and Patrice Delaveau."
Since it launched in 2011, PS of Sweden has been turning heads with its dazzling range of ‘couture’ horse-ware. The brand's 'gemed' browbands are handmade using English leather and are available in 36 striking diamante gem arrangements. The patented ‘Click-it,’ system means a new set of bling is only ever seconds away, with the bridle staying firmly on the horse.
Click below to watch Omar's Silver medal winning round.
A Touch of Luxury
We can’t take our eyes off the new PS of Sweden Autumn/Winter 2018, saddle pad sets. With their eye-catching soft-sheen and metallic hues, the 13 new ‘fall inspired’ pads are available with additional colour-coordinated accessories.
Colours include the deep berry inspired ‘Merlot,’ the gorgeously pearlized ‘Prosecco,’ and the moody ‘Oryx,’ complete with contrasting silver trim.
As always with PS of Sweden, it’s not just about the looks. The company remains streets ahead when it comes to usability and fit too. The pads come in both showjumping and dressage cuts, all with anatomically shaped top line to avoid pressure on the withers, and integral stop cushions. The pads are made with dirt repellent, breathable and anti-fungal and microbial materials to efficiently wick away moisture and keep the saddle pad fresh. And, for those who need their kit coordinated- each new pad is available with matching polo bandages, crystal encrusted browbands and fly bonnet.
PS of Sweden launches
A/W 18 collection
eQuestri is the UAE’s exclusive supplier of PS of Sweden products, to see the full range visit equestri-online.com
For further information UAE
Abby Blom on 00971-558808932
In Partnership with
For further information KSA
Mansour Khalid on +966 50 385 8685
The spectacular three-day event showcased the relatively young equestrian discipline in the heart of Abu Dhabi city and offered something for everyone; from the children’s entertainment area and food trucks, to the big-screen action and glittering trophy presentations of the tent pegging itself.
The event was managed by the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation (UAEERF) under the patronage of Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nayhan with attendance and prizes presented by His Excellency Major Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi President of the UAE Equestrian & Racing Federation and the head of the Higher Committee of the World Cup Tent Pegging Cup Abu Dhabi 2018, and Dr Ghanem Al Hajri general secretary of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation and member of the Higher Committee of the Tent Pegging World Cup 2018.
Speaking at the event, Mohammed Al Hadrami member of the Higher Committee for Tent Pegging World Cup 2018, said, “Abu Dhabi is always supporting all equestrian sport… when we got the chance to go to the international federation of tent pegging to host this championship, we promised them we would make an amazing event in Abu Dhabi and to start marketing this sport. I would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his support in making this event so amazing and his efforts to publicise this sport and bring it to the world,”
What is Tent Pegging?
According to Haitham M. J. Al-Lawati, secretary general of the ITPF, “the real beauty in tent pegging is not like other equestrian disciplines, where the horse is the major factor in the game itself… in tent pegging it’s the rider.”
Incredibly, none of the competitors had ridden their horses prior to the event. Competitors drew their 'rides' in a lottery immediately prior to the games and were given just one afternoon and four practice runs at the ‘peg’ to get to know their 'mount.'
The sport itself involves riding a timed 60 metre track at a gallop, before piercing and carrying a small cardboard peg with either a lance or sword.Each event offers competitors three runs, the first two with a peg 60mm wide and the final run at 40mm. The event is measured on both time and accuracy.
For the 11 countries attending, both individual and team medals were up for grabs. The sport is dominated by the MENA region and surrounding countries.
This year saw teams from; the UAE, Jordan, Oman, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, India, South Africa and Norway.
The action began immediately with day one offering individual and team lancing competitions. Egypt placed first with 129 points, Saudi second with 127.5 and South Africa only .5 points behind.
Swords were the weapon of choice on day two, which once again saw Egypt storm the leaderboard with an impressive 129 points, with India in second and Saudi third.
The third and final day offered possibly the most spectacular viewing with lemon slicing and the tricky gallows events. South Africa took the lead with an impressive 295.5 points, with Egypt second with 275 and Oman third with 259.5.
Overall Championship Cup winners were Egypt with 533 points accumulated over the three-days, South Africa with 522 and Oman with 470.
Abu Dhabi a Pioneer in Pegging
The Abu Dhabi event saw two incredible firsts for the sport.
"The beauty of the ITPF is that the host country provides the horses. This removes the huge burden of things like shipping, weather, accommodation," said Haitham.
The Committee initially selected 90 horses for the event. After several months of intensive tent pegging training 70 were chosen for use in the Championships.
"We came out with 70 really strong horses," said Mohammed. "When the [ITPF] technical committee came to see the horses, they told us this is the first time they’ve found more than 60 horses supplied in any previous games," he continued.
"We’re very happy and we want to thank all the teams who helped to prepare these horses."
“I would like to thank his Highness Sheihk Sultan bin Zayed as he provided us with more than 45 horses and also his highness Sheikh Haza bin Zayed as he also provided more than 45 horses for the event. These are their own horses and they have gifted the horses to make this event a success.”
The horses used for the games are also the first in the world to hold official tent pegging passports.
“The horses are chipped and for the first time in the ITPF we have launched the [ITPF] passport," said Haitham. "So each horse here today has a passport specialised for the ITPF and its stamped as approved as a tent pegging horse."
Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club played host to the third edition of the Tent Pegging World Cup Championships. Cursty Hoppe went along to find out more.
The fast and the furious
Egypt took the World Cup Title, with South Africa taking second and Oman picking up third place
The history of the German Warmblood
Their genes are evident in almost every great jumper and dressage horse today- yet their origins are rooted in transportation and war.
Just how did Germany create so many incredibly versatile horses to match each era and need?
Germany’s 800-year love affair with the Warmblood has seen the 'type' meet every human need- from knights' charger to high-moving carriage horse, cavalry mount to agricultural beast of burden, through to today's top competition horse.
In fact, the Warmblood is neither a breed nor a single type. From Germany there are Hanovarians, Holsteiners, Bavarians, Trekhainers and more, and not forgetting the KWPN from Holland, the French Selle Francais and the Irish Draft.
Generally standing over 15.2hh, the Warmblood was created by crossing 'cold-blooded' draft horses with those with hotter temperaments such as the Thoroughbred, Friesian and Arabian. Each Warmblood type has both developed and evolved to meet the needs of of the region in which it originated.
After the German reformation, stud farms become the responsibility of the state.
In time, the first Warmblood 'type,' is recognised- the Holsteiner. The Oldenburger is born when Count Anton Gunther von Oldenburg chooses Spanish stallions to breed with his Friesian mares, in the process he creates an expressive and much sought after carriage horse- sending European aristocrats into a frenzy.
Historical documents and artifacts from the time depict warriors and knights on horseback. The need for high quality horses which could withstand the ferocity of a medieval battlefield was obvious.
For war and games
The elite of the Schleswig-Holstein region of North Germany, encourage local monks to improve the local wild horses, primarily for war efforts and jousting competitions.
In 1732 the Trakehner breed is developed in Prussia (now Poland/Russia). In 1735 the State Stud of Celle is founded when 14 Holsteiner stallions are imported and crossed with local draft horse mares. The aim is to create carriage and cavalry horses.
Horses are no longer required by the military and breeding now focuses entirely on sports horse development .
The era of
the sports horse
A horse for all seasons
1944- The Trakehner stud farms are evacuated as the Russians advance through Prussia. The people and their precious Trakehner horses embark on what is now called Der Treck (‘The Flight’) west. Crossing the barely frozen East Sea, mostly at night. Horses and humans are lost in vast numbers. From the 18,000 prize Trakehners which set out on the incredible journey, only 21 of the toughest mares remain to restart the post-war stud book.
As World War One ends- so does the need for the need for cavalry horses. The German stud farms now turn their attention to creating light, versatile and good-natured agricultural horses which can also be ridden.
As steam trains begin to cross Europe, the need for coach horses with extreme endurance diminishes. In response, Warmblood development changes focus again. Baroque (Friesian and Spanish) stallions to improve stud books fall out of favour and focus now turns to the hotter and finer Thoroughbred and Arabian.
Like so many Emiratis, Mohammad Bin Sabir's affinity with the horse runs both deep and back to a time of childhood.
As the eldest son, Mohammad was encouraged to take up other, less dangerous sports, but even from an early age it was clear that horses were to be his passion. When his father traveled, the rest of the family would request perfume and chocolate, Mohammad however, would ask tirelessly for a toy horse. Mohamad’s fondest childhood memories were of the pony rides at the Maamza Friday market in Dubai. As he entered his teens though, it was clear the bug had truly bitten. He would beg his older sister to drive to the Hobbies Club near the Dubai Rugby Sevens stadium. “By this point, horses were my adrenaline,” he says. Mohamed spent much of his time at the stables, desperate to learn everything he could about horses and spending as much time as he could with them.
He began to develop what many saw as special connections. The trainers at the stables began to take notice, and to test his skills would give him the more difficult ponies, all of which he quickly mastered. As he grew in confidence, he moved to the Al Ali stables where he learned to bareback desert-ride, he loved the feeling of being ‘at one’ with the horse in a natural way. “I think I learned a lot from this. It helped build my character as a young adult, but also shaped how I interact with horses.”
But Mohammad always wanted to have an Arabian horse of his own. “My dream was a jet-black colt and I woke everyday with the belief that one day I would have one.” And, he didn’t have to wait long. At the age of 24 the opportunity arrived when a close friend at the Mandara Arabian Stud in Abu Dhabi invited him to see two young Arabians.
After seeing the two colts however, he realised he had fallen not for a jet-black of his imagination, but for a bright bay. He wanted the horse so badly- he couldn’t sleep. But, with only 24-hours to make a decision, everything was on the line. The sale couldn’t wait and others were keen to snap-up the young potential star.
“I racked my brains trying to figure out how I could finance this purchase. I didn’t want to ask my father as he was still not keen on the idea of horses for me.” A dear friend came to the rescue offering to loan him half of the money needed to make the colt his own.
“It was a toss-up, fix my car or buy the colt – I chose the colt!” The next day, Mohammad was the proud owner of Sirhan MS (ABHA Qatar x Samira El Bri). “After I had bought the horse, I told my father about the purchase and took him to see him immediately.”
Sirhan MS is a pure-bred bright bay Arabian with phenomenal blood lines. His father is World Champion ABHA Qatar, bred by Marieta Salas who considers him, 'the best colt she ever bred.' In 2009, he won the European Triple Crown for colts and in 2010 he won Scottsdale Reserve Champion Stallion and Las Vegas Breeders Cup Silver Champion Stallion. He was also awarded Silver Champion Stallion at the All Nations Cup, European Gold Champion Stallion, and World Champion Silver Stallion in 2012 and in 2013 he was All Nations Cup Gold Champion Stallion. Today, his Offspring are winning major championships around the world.
With the colt in his possession, Mohammad needed a plan. He says, “Saeed Saif Ahmed Majid Al Gurrair who owns the Al Hamra stables in Khawaneej, is a dear relative and immediately made room in his stables for Sirhan MS.”
Mohammad has spent time with Amru Alabidi, a man known across the UAE for his skills in natural horsemanship. “I chose this route for Sirhan,” he says, “I wanted to focus on developing and enhancing the him using the principals of Natural Horsemanship. "Basically, my first priority was to to begin building a relationship with Bin Yameen," (Sirhan MS’s stable name). “I want my horse to feel absolutely connected to me, and me with him. It is a strange comparison, but I want our bond like that which is seen in the movie Avatar, between the animals and their riders. In that, the animal is entirely connected with, and becomes one by heart, by passion and by thought alone.”
When spending time with this young man, the passion he has for horses and particularly for his colt is almost tangible, and the connection he has striven for is clear to see.
A STRONGER CONNECTION
Follow Mohammads story on Instagram - Bin_sabir or email him for update on email@example.com
What’s it all about then?
Try a simple online search for equine probiotics and you’ll discover thousands of pages of research, articles, products and advice. But, dig a little deeper, and you’ll pretty quickly discover all is not what it seems. For every fact, opinion and hypothesis there’s a slew of passionate advocates and dismissive detractors, all battling it out online. While the research on human probiotic use and benefits is impressive, for horses, we’re only just beginning. With only a few strains of microbe thoroughly researched, a liberal amount of assumption (that what works for humans should work for horses), and literally thousands of pieces of anecdotal evidence- much of the scientific community is clearly still on the fence. Given the industry’s exponential growth and the sheer number of probiotic products now available, it is essential horse owners understand the potential pros and current limitations of the products on offer- before they invest in yet another costly supplement.
Your Horse - Host to Trillions
Your horse is home and host to trillions of microbes, bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Together these micro-organisms are known as ‘microflora.’ Although they flourish throughout the entire equine gastro-intestinal tract, the cecum and large intestine are host to the most microflora. To give you an idea of just how vast this colony is inside your horse, scientists estimate that around one-third of equine dung is composed of bacterial matter.
These organisms are essential to the horse for a myriad of reasons. When they are healthy, diverse and numerous, they protect the horse from becoming a host to ‘bad’ bacteria, like salmonella etc. They help stimulate the immune system and play an essential part in the horse’s digestion process by releasing important nutrients from food. The microflora also help the lining of the gut resist disease, increase the flow of digestion and help prevent ulcers by maintaining the correct stomach Ph.
We all know horses are creatures of habit, and so it would seem are their microflora populations. Upsets in microflora often happen when schedules change creating stressful environments for the horse, like; during longer travel, when horses compete often, even a change in management can upset the delicate balance, and of as we all know from our own health- after the use of both NSAIDs and antibiotics. And, when the microflora is negatively impacted, colic and/or diarrhea often follow.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are ‘live’ supplements fed to horses which impact the animal beneficially. Most probiotic products contain five to ten strains of bacteria and yeast which can be grown in a laboratory. These often include; Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Enterococcus as well as the yeast Saccharomyces.
How to feed probiotics
Probiotics are measured in Colony Forming Units (CFUs) a measure of viable (live) bacteria or fungi. If your probiotic is a liquid it will measure in CFU/mL (colony forming units per milliliter) and if it is solid in CFU/g (colony forming units per gram).
To date, there is still a lack of testing and research on dosage. Around the world, vets recommend from as low as 1 billion CFUs to 500 billion per day, making it tricky to know just how much a horse requires. Vets do agree however, it is essential to check the CFU concentration of products prior to purchase, to ensure you have maximum CFUs for your money.
Sadly, not all probiotic products are created equal. Different brands offer different microbial populations, check the ingredient list and make sure it names the specific strains of microbes. Beware of those which simply state a ‘mix.’
What are the limitations?
The research in equine probiotic use is certainly not extensive nor is it entirely conclusive, however, a small number of studies have shown they do indeed have a positive effect.
Two of the top researchers in the field of equine intestinal populations, Costa and Weese, describe the overall body of evidence supporting the use of probiotics in horses as “disappointing.”
The report goes on to say, “however, the possible reasons for the somewhat discouraging results include a lack of information on dosing, choice of organisms being administered, the quality of commercially available products, and whether it is actually possible for live organisms to reach and colonize the large intestine following oral administration.” If you think about it, we’re asking a lot of these little ‘workers.’ First, we need them to ‘breed’ successfully in the lab and stay ‘alive’ through processing and product storage. Then once opened and fed, they need to pass through the intestinal tract without damage, move into the large intestine and then begin replicating to establish a new microbial colony.
In addition, each horse’s microflora population is unique both in its numbers and species, yet most probiotic supplements contain only five to ten different types.
Then what are PREbiotics?
Prebiotics are oral feed supplements which do not contain live bacteria. They are designed to effectively feed the horse’s existing ‘good’ bacteria and/or improve the environment in the gut- to encourage the growth of the horses own preexisting bacteria.
How to choose a probiotic
There are several things to remember when buying equine probiotics. Firstly, they are considered nutraceuticals or supplements which means the manufacturer does not have to prove the efficiency of the product. While scientists still debate the overall efficiency of probiotics, the general consensus is that they do not ‘harm,’ and are generally regarded as safe, good news for anyone planning to feed in the upper CFU ranges.
Always read the product labels; choose a product with the highest CFU you can find and always look for numerous ‘named’ organisms, simply stating a ‘mix,’ tells very little.
Many probiotic products are also mixed with other substances, such as; vitamins, yeasts, electrolytes, enzymes and prebiotics, so always check these do not conflict with other supplements you might already be feeding.
Sources: Journal of Veterinarian Medicine, Kentucky Equine research. Horse and Hound, Equus magazine.
by Cursty Hoppe
The past few years have seen a explosion in equine probiotic products - but what do they do and how can we choose the best product for our horses?
"Many probiotic products are also mixed with other substances, such as vitamins, yeasts, electrolytes, enzymes and prebiotics."
FOR TAILOR MADE DESIGN CONTACT:
+971 52 415 1920
Saeed Saif Al Gurrair
Aleyas Street, Al Amardhi Road, Al Khawaneej, Dubai, UAE
Two jumping arenas
One dressage arena
One horse walker
One lunging arena
Two hectares of grass paddocks
Al Hamra is set in the peaceful and lush Khawaneej area. The livery yard is an ideal commute for those living in the Al Warqaa, Mirdif, Mizhar, Muhaisnah and Silicon Oasis neighbourhoods.
The peaceful yard is home to riders of various disciplines including; top international showjumpers on the circuit in the UAE and Portugal, pleasure riders, dressage riders and those who practice natural horsemanship.
With a relaxed ‘American Ranch,’ feel, Al Hamra is also clean with exceptionally friendly and experienced grooms, many of which have been with the yard since 2007, including the yard’s top groom AlGalib, a firm favourite with everyone!
Al Hamra has some big plans for the 2018/19 upcoming season. There are several exciting new developments now underway and launching shortly, including a covered ‘summer’ riding area. The facility also hopes to focus on more family friendly events, by offering various children’s fun-days, shows and training events.
Summer livery comes in at 3,500 AED and includes feeds, hay, wood shavings, use of horse walker, plus grass and sand paddocks.
The grooms are fantastic, speak great English, and work very hard, The place is beautiful and quiet and the arenas are well-maintained. It's like an oasis in the desert!
Equine Sports Therapist
If your last equestrian performance didn’t quite go to plan- all is not lost. We speak to performance coach Sandie Robertson and discover the simple tricks required to turn your last performance from waning to winning.
“Stress and negativity cultivate low self-esteem,” Sandie says, “I see these often in clients, and most can easily be avoided by learning to manage their expectations,” she says.
We all know the equestrian world has so many variables; gaining and keeping rides and owners, soundness issues, time constraints, the demands of family, jobs and work which allows us the time to ride, our qualifications, our own financial limitations and so many more. It can become very easy to put ourselves under an unreasonable amount of stress or pressure and become fixated on a negative and/or downward spiral.
On a good day, when life, work and money are all working together, we’re happy and mentally balanced, and the idea of hurrying a horse through the grades before it is ready seems ludicrous. We think, who would want to comprise a horse we have managed so carefully for one single event?
The answer? Well, there are many…
• Have we created a scenario in our mind where by you would be competing at certain level at a certain time?
• Perhaps you weren’t chosen for that team the way you always dreamed you would be?
• Do you compare yourself to the performance of others?
• Do you want it so badly that you just tried too hard? Were you so stressed by the time it came to perform you actually rode like someone else entirely by the time the long awaited event arrived?
• Do you feel the weight of everyone’s else’s perceived expectations, that in your mind you managed to lose sight of what is good enough?
So your last performance didn’t go well, what can you do? Firstly, to create a really great equestrian performance, riders need to learn to manage their expectations. This DOESN’T mean accepting compromise- think of it more as seeing things for what they really are. To create a viable strategy to move forward, we need to be able to assess situations and review them, we need to take in to account what went well and what didn’t. The really important message, when things didn’t go your way, is, to remember you are not ‘hopeless,’ no, your horse doesn’t deserves better, and really you MUSTN’T give up! It simply wasn’t your day.
Review: Was your training adequate? Were you in the correct class? Where could you improve show day preparation? How was your warm-up? How did you and your horse ‘feel?’ Think back and review everything from your home-based training to your completed performance- and everything in-between. What could you improve? What needs to change? What will you do differently next time?
In the planning stages it’s really important to remove the emotion from our expectations, yet being human we naturally bring the stresses from other areas of our lives to the saddle, so if you are exhausted, stressed, rung out and haven’t ridden for a week – it’s not fair to be disappointed that the class didn’t go well.
Something to try: A really good way to manage your expectations is to make a plan- but to visualise this is for another rider/ horse combination at the same level and the same desired goals and outcomes as you. By thinking through the steps required, working through the expectations rationally with no personal expectation or emotion- you will be pleasantly surprised at how balanced and practical you can be!
Sandie Robertson is the platinum standard in equestrian performance coaching, No-1 bestselling author and columnist. Sandie supports riders across the globe achieve success in the saddle, in business and in life. firstname.lastname@example.org
STATE OF MIND
by Sandie Robertson
Every horse owner dreams of creating their own equestrian facility. Creating the perfect space for both equines and humans to relax and perform to the very best of their abilities.
For those planning to make this dream a reality, Australian Equestrian Architect, Timothy Court, is the ideal choice.
Timothy was previously responsible for both the Sydney 2000 and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Equestrian venues, and completed the Balios Equestrian Club in South Korea in 2015.
Balios, the unique private club represents the ultimate in top end, state-of-the-art, high-tech, riding facilities. The facility houses two indoor arenas, two outdoor arenas, a luxurious Clubhouse, 108 stables and 10km of riding trails throughout the grounds of the meticulously maintained golf course.
“The design of the Club uses elements of traditional Korean residential architecture with different textures and levels of local stone that combine with the deep eave shadows and flat panelled roof to create a strongly earthed building form with an intimate atmosphere”, said Court. “I am hoping the stonework ages and gathers moss allowing the entire building to be absorbed into the landscape.”
Entering the club, you are greeted by a hotel-style reception and an amazing upmarket tack shop which opens into the restaurant and bar area unveiling a full vista of the 75m x 35m main arena on the floor below. The arena itself is housed within a vaulted hall with views to the two outdoor arenas with seating for 400 on one side and function areas for events on the other.
“As all riding in winter is done indoors, we designed the main outdoor arena, so it could be flooded, frozen and then used by children as a skating rink”, said Court. From reception a lift or stair takes you to the stables on lower floor, or private dining or conference rooms on the floor above. The stables have members’ locker-rooms (with a boot cleaning facility), a full gymnasium and lecture theatre and an instructors’ office with all these having views of the arena. Stone archways adorned with leadlight windows then lead to the barns that have timber stables trimmed in stainless steel and brass with each stable box even having individual vacuum cleaning points.
Outside, the training arena is lined with bonsai gardens that can be overlooked by horses through the windows to each box, staff accommodation apartments on corner towers of the stables enclose the space enhancing the intimate atmosphere. Perimeter archways then lead to the 10km of riding trails that traverse the perimeter of the golf course.
“It was a wonderful project with a brilliant client in an amazing environmental setting and hopefully we have created something very special” said Court. “We are always looking for clients that are willing to lift the bar on quality and safety for guests and the wellbeing of horses.”
For more information on Tim Court and his 35-years of equine facility design visit here: www.timothycourt.com.au.
"As all riding in winter is done indoors, we designed the main outdoor arena, so it could be flooded, frozen and then used by children as a skating rink."
Ask the expert
Straightness seems quite a simple concept so why is straightness included in the scales of training?
As we are all aware, both horses and humans can be one sided and can favour one direction of travel or find it easier to bend or flex one particular way. It is important that the rider is aware of this and that both horse and rider work on their straightness together.
Is one sidedness in a horse the same as a person being right or left handed?
Horses do have two hemispheres to their brain so it is possible that like us they have a dominant side – it has also been suggested that it may relate to the way the foal is curled in the womb. Nobody really knows for sure. But it is true that many horses favour one rein and may be stiffer or stronger on one side and weaker and more hollow on the other and it is our job to improve this.
If a rider is also naturally very one sided can this make the horse even more crooked?
It is certainly true that a rider who sits crooked or to one side can exacerbate any problems and possibly cause long term damaging effects to both the horse’s way of going and their body makeup.
What kind of damage could this do?
Any lack of straightness increases the likelihood of lameness as the horse compensates through the body hence placing more stress and strain on joints, ligaments, tendons and the muscle structures.
So it really is important then?
Yes it is a vitally important aspect of the scales of training and should be considered at all levels and in all exercises.
So how do I know that my horse is straight, especially if I don’t have mirrors or someone watching me ride?
When straightness is achieved, the rider should have an even feel through each rein contact due to the horses hind legs stepping into the tracks of the fore legs whether this be on a straight line or a circle.
So my horse has to be straight even when he is on a circle? I think I am confused.
It is a little confusing - but remember we are using the term “straightness” to mean that the horse’s hind feet follow the tracks of his front feet. Try to imagine the horse is moving on a train track - the shoulders follow the track without bulging out to the outside or collapsing to the inside and the quarters follow the shoulders without swinging out to either side.
I can see why if I am jumping I need to be able to come in straight to a fence, but will this really help me with dressage?
Definitely! Straightness will enable the horse to work to his full potential with regard to stride length, fluency and balance, something that is highly sought after in dressage and especially important for the medium and extended paces within the gaits to achieve a full range of motion. And even at the lower levels of dressage the horse will find it very hard to perform movements such as leg yield or shoulder in if he is not straight.
What level of training should my horse be at to benefit from your pole work exercises?
The exercises are designed to be useful to horses at all stages of training. Start with the simplest one and as you build up strength and confidence you can move on to the more demanding exercises.
In the final part of our pole work series, Ben Franklin talks us through the remaining two scales of training which are Straightness and Collection. He provides us with pole work exercises to improve these areas.
You will need up to 12 poles to carry out these exercises however you can use fewer if need be. Cavaletti blocks or similar will also be required for ‘raised pole work’ in the more demanding variations.
Place the poles using the centre line as your guide, Diagram 1a.
In walk travel down your pole exercise using the 2 poles at D, X and G to guide the horse in to the grid.
Repeat in walk and trot and from both directions.
For a more experienced horse a more demanding variation of the basic pole exercise can be used . Keeping the ‘tunnelling’ poles at D and G, place 5 poles on the centre line with the 3rd pole being placed over X. Place Cavaletti blocks or similar at the end of each of these 5 poles to raise them one at a time at one end (so pole 1, then pole 3 then pole 5) in order to further test the horses balance and straightness, Diagram 1c.
DIRECTION OF TRAVEL
Walk poles should be at a distance of 1m apart and trot poles 1.25m apart, adjust according to horses stride length.
Any straightness or balance changes will be corrected due the ‘tunnelling’ effect created by the 2 poles .
Once your horse is confident with this exercise, increase the difficulty by increasing the number of poles in between each ‘tunnel’ of 2 poles so that you now have 3 poles to either walk or trot over, Diagram 1b.
What do you mean by collection? Isn’t it just doing everything a bit more slowly?
No - I am afraid it isn’t! Collection is the ultimate aim of dressage and is mastered through years of time, patience and correct training. Through this training the horse becomes more reactive and responsive to the riders aids, his balance changes and this allows him to carry the rider in the most efficient way.
So in terms of dressage what am I aiming for in terms of changing my horse’s balance?
Put simply the transfer of weight allows the horse to alter from working on the forehand where he is more likely to run when asked to lengthen, to taking more of his weight on the hind legs. Collection should be demonstrated through the horse stepping under his body more with the hind legs, allowing him to lighten the forehand and transfer more weight on to the hindquarters as the horse shortens his step.
OK so if my horse is heavy in my hand does that mean he is out of balance and not able to collect?
Yes your horse may well feel heavy in the hand until he has the strength, balance and capability to really lighten the forehand. This in turn allows him to be more athletic and powerful as a result of having more movement through the shoulders and not relying on the riders hand for support.
What else will suggest that my horse is unbalanced and not moving correctly towards collection?
You may find that it is difficult to stop and steer easily and your horse will struggle when he starts to learn the higher movements in the more advanced dressage tests.
And what about my show jumper? Does he need to learn to collect?
Yes - the same things apply. If he is on his forehand, leaning on the rider and out of balance it will be much more difficult to achieve the accuracy, power and athleticism required for jumping.
I think my horse is probably not in balance so how can I start to get him more collected? Is it something I am doing wrong?
No - its not as simple as doing something wrong and there is no quick fix for this. Moving towards working in collection is only possible by developing the necessary muscles to produce this new way of working and this takes time.
So when can I start developing the strength for collection? And what flat work movements test for collection?
You are probably doing much of the work already but maybe not thinking of it as working towards collection. Work towards collection is tested throughout the horses training career. When he is a young horse it may be tested when coming into a halt transition; naturally his weight will travel onto the forehand however when the rider uses the correct leg to rein aid, the half halt comes into play and the horse will be encouraged to take slightly more weight onto his hind end in order to execute the transition with an improved balance. Over time this feeling will encourage the horse to engage his hindquarters and collect his stride before the transition.
And when my horse is truly able to collect what will he be able to do?
By then you will hopefully have a horse who can start to do the most difficult movements, because he will be balanced, powerful and athletic. You may well be on the road to Grand Prix level where the piaffe, passage and canter pirouettes are a true test of the horses level and ability of collection. Good luck!
The final exercise provides the ultimate test of your horse’s straightness. Raise all 5 poles at alternate ends, and repeat the exercise on both reins. This exercise is the most demanding. It will require the horse to be fully focused on the rider and their aids as well as being able to work in a balanced, self sufficient way whilst maintaining straightness, Diagram 1d.
Place 3 poles starting at the K marker and 3 poles starting at the F Marker at a distance of 1.25m. You can alter the distances between the poles depending on the amount of collection required and depending on the horses's stage of training.
On a 20m circle from A, ride forward in an activated working trot. As you approach the poles, allow the trot balance and stride length to alter while maintaining the activity. The horse will naturally alter his stride length which will eneable him to have a moment of collection.
Repeat this exercise as many times as necessary on both reins until the horse is comfortable and confident with the difference in stride length and will allow you to use a half halt throughout the excercise where required.
Once your horse is comfortable with this exercise you are ready to develop it further. Place another 3 poles at both H and M. Using the same approach and going large around the arena, ride your active working trot in between each set of 3 poles. The horse may now find it more difficult to alter his balance and collect over the poles due to the fact that he is not on a continuous circle. Be aware of the speed of his pace and also the bend throughout his body.
The previous scales of training should still remain in place; rhythm, suppleness, contact, impulsion and straightness to enable this exercise to be successful.
Once you can perform the exercise with ease add another 3 poles at both A and C in the arena and repeat the exercise both ways. Allow the poles to do the work by enabling the horse to collect his pace himself, then quietly and positively move forwards to the working trot pace again between repetitions.
Once again remember that this work may be much harder than he is used to so you may have to build it up over several sessions.
Heritage, prestige and good old-fashioned fun at the London International Horse Show
The London International Horse Show, or simply ‘Olympia’ to its fans is not only one of the oldest annual equestrian events but is also one of the most loved.
Dating back to 1907, this quintessentially British institution has been attended by almost every major British Royal ever since. The show offers something for everyone; from the major UK FEI qualifiers, to the dazzling equine-entertaining shows, the iconic Puissance wall, plus carriage driving, canine agility, flat-racing Shetlands and of course the incredible Olympia Shopping Village.
Showjumping classes at Olympia are for many- the highlight of the show. The classes range from the extreme to the comical and everything in between. The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Leg is one of the biggest competitions in the sport with fences set at a maximum height of 1.60m. The competition attracts some of the biggest names in the sport who all hope to win the prize of over 145,000 AED. There’s also the most enduring class of the show, the Cayenne Puissance- a high-jump challenge which often sees the iconic red wall towering well over two-metres high.
The week long show also hosts; the Pony Club Mini-Major, the Santa Stakes, The Musto Inside Edge Stakes, The Christmas Stocking Stakes Six Bar, The Longines Christmas Cracker and The Mince Pie Stakes.
Olympia promises two incredible new dressage launches for 2018. Firstly, organisers have worked in conjunction with the FEI and international dressage riders to revitalise the UK leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup. Although we don’t quite know what this means yet, the show organisers do promise incredible performances and a compelling new format.
And, for the ‘Queen of Dressage,’ fans, Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle, dubbed ‘Mrs Valegro’, will be performing their new and never seen before Freestyle test when they compete in the FEI World Cup Dressage Freestyle to Music.
Olympia’s equestrian displays have traditionally stunned even the least horsey spectators, and this year promises to be no different with a show from the Karabakh riders from Azerbaijan performing their ‘Land of Fire.' Originally created by the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation the show includes acrobatics, Cossack riding and an interwoven ‘Sarhadchi’ dance. This year's Markel Champions Challenge is themed, ‘the battle of the sexes.’ Watch the drama unfold as world class jockeys try their hand at relay Show Jumping competition. Who will be victorious? The men led by Frankie Dettori or the women captained by Bridget Andrews?
The world-famous French cavalry regiment ‘La Garde Républicaine,’ will also bring their display to Olympia this year. The ‘Reprise des Douzes’, is a spectacular balletic dressage show with twelve chestnut horses working to music. The show is choreographed to reflect the origins of French equestrianism and the way in which horses were ridden in battle, with speed and precision.
Everyone’s favourite, the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National will be held nightly throughout the show. This fast and furious race showcases some of the UK’s young, talented, and up-and-coming jockeys and of course, the UK’s cutest pony breed!
Outside the Arena
For those seeking a little more luxury, the Olympia Private Box boasts excellent views onto the Main Arena, fine dining and a top-class beverage selection.
Experience equestrian shopping at its finest at the ‘Olympia Shopping Village.’ The Village is host to hundreds of unique stalls selling everything from equestrian wear and horse equipment, to handmade gifts, leather-work and gourmet foods.
Olympia runs 17th to 23rd Dec in Hammersmith, West London.
The Show Hub's definitive guide of where to go and what to do while you are in the British capital from the finest equestrian themed shopping, to dining and exhibitions.
Dine Out in Style at Ralph’s Coffee Bar
The Osborne Studio Gallery is known around the globe for its exceptional equestrian art. The gallery specialises in sporting paintings and bronzes by leading contemporary artists,. The main emphasis is on horse racing, however, the gallery has, over the years, branched out to handle the works of many respected landscape and figurative painters too.
Get some shut eye at St Paul’s Hotel 153
Stay in this quintessentially British boutique hotel conveniently located near the Kensington Olympia exhibition halls. The building was originally St. Pauls School and was designed by Alfred Waterhouse in 1884, the architect of the Natural History Museum. Each room is unique and encompasses the original character of building with several rooms still boasting original fire places. St Paul's is elegantly decorated, yet comfortable and welcoming. The hotel even has a place in global history when it became the setting for the historic meeting of Eisenhower, Montgomery and Winston Churchill to plan the D Day landings.
Explore the Household Cavalry Museum
Based in the heart of historic London, the museum celebrates the dual roles of the Queen’s mounted bodyguard. The regiment has operationally been at the forefront of every major battle since its genesis in 1661. The museum celebrates their lives and achievements as well as the ones they protect. Set in the 18th century regiment stables, the museum allows guests a unique glimpse into a modern working world of the regiment set in the 18th century stables, a site they have guarded for over 350 years.
The décor at Ralph’s Coffee Bar pays homage to Ralph Lauren’s trademark equestrian sensibilities. The interior features a brass topped bar, saddle leather banquettes, and equestrian themed art. An intimate oasis in the heart of Mayfair, the cafe seats 24, with 12 additional seats at the bar. The curated menu offers light fare in the traditional American style, and, of course, Ralph’s Coffee—the immensely popular custom blend roasted specifically for Ralph Lauren.
Hack out with Wimbledon Village Stables
STAY UP TO DATE
Shop at Schneider and W&H Gidden
With Hyde Park Stables closing earlier this year, we recommend those wishing to ride visit Wimbledon Village Stables instead. For hacking in quintessential English Parkland, the 1,100 acres of Wimbledon do not disappoint. Riders seeking a longer adventure can make use of the additional 2,700 stunning acres of Richmond Park and Ham Common adjacent to Wimbledon. See if you can spot the wild deer amongst the ancient trees!
Click the links above for all the latest results from around the UAE
For some of the finest bespoke handmade boots and leather goods a visit to Schnieder Boots and W & H Gidden is essential. By appointment to the Queen, Schneider boots are worn by British royalty and the Household Cavalry. W H Gidden has been making the finest saddlery since 1806 and holds the Royal Warrant as saddlers to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The aristocratic patronage dates from 1815, when the Duke of Wellington rode into battle against Napoleon on a Gidden saddle. For the convenience of customers, W & H Gidden also offers a bespoke concierge service. Whether in your home, office, hotel or Members Club, the W & H Gidden concierge will meet you and work with you to create your special bespoke piece.