Flat vs. jumps as jockeys prepare for battle on Olympia turf

Frankie Dettori doing his famous flying dismount at Olympia last year.
Frankie Dettori doing his famous flying dismount at Olympia last year.

A relay showjumping competition at Olympia in London will feature teams headed by two of the world’s most famous jockeys, Sir Anthony ‘AP’ McCoy and Frankie Dettori.

Some of Britain’s best jockeys will switch disciplines to compete in showjumping for the Markel Champions Challenge, swapping the racetrack for the Olympia arena for an evening of crowd-enthusing entertainment.

AP McCoy
AP McCoy

‘AP’ McCoy, 20-time Champion jockey and legend of the Jump Racing world, is stepping out of retirement to rival the world’s most famous flat racing jockey Frankie Dettori. Both jockeys and their subsequent team members will have specialist coaching from top international showjumpers as they strive to cruise around the challenging course

“Last year, I watched from the sidelines as my fellow jump jockeys got thrashed by Dettori’s boys,” McCoy said.

“So this year I shall be picking my own team and shall be looking to the greats of the past to help me do this! Whilst we’ll be ultra-competitive, it’s all for such a great cause in the Injured Jockeys Fund.”

The final line-up will be announced in due course as McCoy and Dettori select their teams. As two of the most successful Jockeys in history, there is no doubt they will be seeking to field the most competent team members.

It is the third year the challenge has been held, each time supporting the Injured Jockeys Fund.

‘Race Night’ at Olympia will host an entire evening of racing themed excitement featuring top jockeys from the racing world.  Spectators can also expect to see appearances from racing legend Bob Champion whose charity, The Bob Champion Cancer Trust, is supported by The Shetland Pony Grand National which will also be in action, bringing racing stars of the future to compete in the fast-flying competition.

Last year, the team led by Dettori, comprising Jim Crowley, Bridget Andrews, Adam Kirby, and Jamie Spencer  beat National Hunt champion Richard ‘Dickie’ Johnson’s team of  Victoria Pendleton, Sam Twiston-Davies, Tom Scudamore, and Harry Skelton.

Both teams had professional guidance, with Dettori’s team trained by Scott Brash, and the Johnson team coached by Nick Skelton.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show, takes place from December 12 to 18.

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