Equestrianism - Heroes welcome awaits Olympians in London

London will welcome back its Olympic heroes as the Olympia Horse Show opens with a World Cup edition of dressage, showjumping and carriage driving on the agenda.

Equestrianism - Heroes welcome awaits Olympians in London

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Charlotte Dujardin (Kit Houghton)

Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester, who won gold for Great Britain at last summer's Games, are sure to get a rousing reception as they return to the saddle for the first time since their Olympic exploits.

Dujardin, atop Valegro, and Hester, with Uthopia, will feature at the Grand Prix on Monday and the Grand Prix Special - which counts towards the World Cup - the day after.

The pair have skipped competition since July, but even so they are hot favourites for the top three, even with the likes of Germany's Isabelle Werth and Dutchman Edward Gall up against them.

Two rounds of carriage driving follow during the week with Australian multi-medallist Boyd Exell and his Dutch rival IJsbrand Chardon set to do battle.

The weekend heralds the start of the showjumping competition, with the World Cup class on Saturday and the Grand Prix on Sunday.

Edwina Tops-Alexander, Marcus Ehning, Kevin Staut and Olympic champions Scott Brash, Peter Charles, Nick Skelton and Ben Maher will all be in the mix for medals.

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