But it couldn't ever happen in real life, could it?

Oh yes, it could!

In fact, non-professional riders getting the chance to jump at Olympia is something which happens every year ...

 

The Pony Club Mini-Major Relay

One of the regular competitions at Olympia is the Pony Club Mini-Major Relay, where PC members aged 12 or under get the chance of a lifetime to ride at the show. Entries come from all across the UK, with the final lucky eight riders being selected by the Chairman of the Pony Club's showjumping committee, who looks for competitors who as well as being capable riders, will be able to keep their cool under pressure. 

At Olympia, following a masterclass with a top competitor in the morning, the riders are then paired with a top international showjumping star and take part in a fast and furious relay competition against the clock.  Previous showjumpers who have taken part have included Ellen Whitaker, Laura Renwick, Michael Whitaker, William Funnell, Tim Stockdale and Ben Maher - while one of the past Pony Club riders (and winners) was none other than Robert Whitaker!

 

                               ... And of course, there is also the famous

 

Shetland Pony Grand National

First begun in 1981, the Shetland Pony Grand National has gone on to become a regular feature of the Olympia shows, with audiences cheering on their favourites as they gallop two and a half laps around a course of mini Aintree fences.

Around 60 ponies start the season each year, carrying riders aged between 9 and 13 years, all hoping to be amongst the 10 who will finally make it to the final held at the Olympia Christmas show ... 

 

 ... and don't forget there is also the Services Showjumping Championship ... or you could always live the experience by reading Living the Dream!

"The best book ever if you like to hear people's success and how they got there." (Amazon review by Anna)