Ride Into Liverpool To Launch Horse Show

THIS year’s Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show will be launched with a Ride Into Liverpool featuring 1981 Grand National winner Bob Champion. Around 50 riders are expected to take part in the event on October 25 along a route from the city’s Garden Festival Site, then into Riverside Drive and on to Salthouse Quay before ending at the ACC Plaza and Echo Arena.. The celebration ride comes ahead of this year’s Liverpool International, which takes place at the Echo Arena from December 31 until January 2. Bob Champion returns to Liverpool, where 35 years ago he won the National on Aldaniti, two years after being diagnosed with cancer. His inspirational story was subsequently made into a film “Champions” when Bob was portrayed by actor John Hurt. International showjumper Geoff Billington and carriage driver George Bowman are also set to take part in the ride, while Liverpool International’s charity partner the British Horse Society will send riders from their approved centres such as Croxteth Park, Beechley, Gellings and Knowsley Village. The ride starts at 11am, and will take approximately an hour, culminating in the arrival at the Echo Arena to a welcome party. “This will be a great way to mark the official start of our build-up to this year’s Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show,” Liverpool show president Nina Barbour said. “It promises to be a terrific launch to the event as riders of all ages combine on a ride into the city.” Showjumpers from across the globe will compete for a total £160,000 prize fund at Liverpool later this year, highlighted by the Equestrian.com Grand Prix, which saw Irish star Billy Twomey crowned as inaugural champion in January. Showjumping action will be interspersed with performances that hold a wide family appeal, including music from the UK’s no 1 ABBA tribute band ‘Revival’, the Shetland Pony Grand National, carriage driving from George Bowman, with teams competing in a speed challenge, the Black Fire Girls and much more. And New Year’s Eve will feature exclusive acts including Collabro, the world’s number one musical theatre boy band and the winners of Britain’s Got Talent series 8, plus the Equitop Myoplast Puissance and a spectacular indoor display of fireworks. All tickets give access to the show’s shopping village from 9am each day, with the shopping experience featuring a range of products from high-end equestrian outlets, exclusive fashion retailers, unusual giftware and things for the home. Food and drink outlets on-site, include an upstairs Champagne Bar and the new Mersey View restaurant, which is open all day and suitable for all the family. VIP hospitality, meanwhile, offers a first-class ringside dining experience on the newly-designed raised platform at the head of the arena. Prices start from £165 + VAT per person. For information about all of the hospitality options, including private boxes for 12 people, contact Mel at the show office on 01829 307676. Show tickets start at £11.50 with family tickets and season tickets available. The booking line number is 08448 000400, or tickets can be purchased online. For groups of 15 people and more, a 20 per cent discount on adult prices only for silver and bronze areas can be obtained. The booking line for this is 08445 617672. For more information, visit www.liverpoolhorseshow.com