Though it’s a far cry from eventing, with its capacious fields and wide open spaces, the London International Horse Show is always a gathering point for champagne-drunk event riders — and, really, anyone with so much as a passing interest in horses, all of whom gather together under the lights in the Thameside venue to ring in the holiday season to the sound of ‘Sweet Caroline.’ This year, the show has made a welcome return after a year out due to the pandemic, and though it’s relocated from its iconic home at Kensington’s Olympia to east London’s ExCel Centre, all the magic has made the journey too. (No word, yet, whether the magic found the Docklands Light Railway or the Emirates cable car a quicker entry point. I, for one, took a boat, like the true Bond villain I am, and I highly recommend doing so and getting a leetle beetPinot Grizj drunk en route.)
If you’re not able to get to London for the show this year, you can follow along with all its major classes on Horse&Country TV and the BBC — including the entertainment line-up, featuring the Shetland pony Grand National, the Household Cavalry, and an appearance from Santa himself. Alternatively, catch up with the action so far with these highlights reels from the past two days of competition, featuring a 2.10m puissance wall, a special prize for Olympic showjumping gold medallist Ben Maher, a look around the venue, and much, much more. In the words of Noddy Holder in that awful Slade song, IIIIIIIIIT’S CHRIIIIIIISTMAS!