Photographer Olivia Freeman took these fabulous shots during the inaugural Liverpool International Horse Show earlier this month.
The show was a hit with spectators and competitors alike, and over the three days riders competed for a total prize fund of £200,000 – as well as important points in the FEI rankings. As well as the jumping competition, spectators were also treated to displays, music, and entertainment at the Echo Arena.
The show was the brainchild of equestrian promoter Nina Barbour, who is president of Cheshire’s prestigious Bolesworth International Horse Trials.
She said the show was part of the London 2012 Olympic legacy, and the centrepiece of New Year celebrations in the city.
“I watched the equestrian events in the heart of London at the 2012 Olympics and I wanted to bring that kind of world-class sport to the north west of England.
“Liverpool is world-famous for its sporting and entertainment heritage and we want to put the city on the map as a centre of excellence for showjumping. We hope we’ll become a key feature of Liverpool’s sporting and entertainment calendar.”
British Showjumping chief executive Iain Graham said the Liverpool International Horse Show was a terrific start to the Olympic year as riders prepare for Rio 2016.
Many of the riders taking part praised the show, including John Whitaker, who said: “The facilities, the ring, everything here is top-class. It is not easy to organise something like this, but it’s a great new addition to the calendar.
“I normally have a little bit of a break after Olympia, but it is great to be here.”
Ireland’s Billy Twomey said the show was “unbelievable”.
“The organisers of this show deserve a serious amount of credit. The arena has been nearly full every day. To get a show kicked off in the first year and have big crowds is really impressive.”
Figures for the show’s live streaming on the official website revealed 85,000 playbacks across three days, more than 500,000 minutes watched and more than 500,000 people reached on social media platforms.
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All images © Olivia Freeman