A dazzling array of showjumping stars – including an Olympic gold medallist, Ireland’s finest and five Whitakers – are set to shine at this year’s Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show.

Organisers can proudly announce some of the headline acts that will take centre-stage at the city’s Echo Arena from December 31-January 2.

Leading the way will be former world number one, London 2012 Great Britain team gold medallist and Rolex Grand Slam winner Scott Brash, who makes his Liverpool debut across three days of guaranteed world-class sporting action.

Britain’s leading female rider Laura Renwick will also be among the contenders, while the famous Whitaker family are out in force, spearheaded by multiple major championship performers Michael and John, who were part of the British team at this summer’s Rio Olympics, and Nations Cup regular Robert.

And there will also be a chance to see two of the rising Whitaker stars, with in-form Joe and Michael’s son Jack, winner of the individual gold medal at this year’s European Pony Championships, confirmed starters.

Irish riders enjoyed success at the inaugural Liverpool show 11 months ago, and they are again out in force, led by reigning Liverpool Grand Prix champion Billy Twomey. Joining him are Rio Olympics combination Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global, former world champion Dermott Lennon, Aachen Grand Prix winner Denis Lynch, plus the ever-popular Shane Breen and consistent Anthony Condon.

And there is certain to be plenty of Irish interest in the Equitop Myoplast puissance on New Year’s Eve, as the contenders will include defending champion Peter Smyth and Cavan puissance title holder Chris Megahey.

Leading the continental challenge will be Germany’s three-time World Cup finalist Philipp Weishaupt and two top Italian riders – Emanuele Gaudiano and Piergiorgio Bucci – who have already proved to be Liverpool audience favourites with their thrilling all-action styles that saw them feature on the first year roll of honour.

More entries will be announced over the coming weeks, and organisers of the Equestrian.comLiverpool International Horse Show have certainly given themselves a tough act to follow with the soaraway success of the inaugural 2016 event.

But bigger and better are two words on the agenda as the countdown continues towards a spectacular opening day – New Year’s Eve – in less than seven weeks’ time.

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, world-class carriage driving, the Black Fire Girls and so much more.

And New Year’s Eve itself promises to be an unforgettable night, with exclusive acts lined up, 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, which is always a show-stopper, 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 fantastic range of products from high-end equestrian outlets, exclusive fashion retailers, unusual giftware and beautiful things for the home. There will be many food and drink outlets on-site, including 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 spectacular 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, please contact Mel at the show office on 01829 307676.

Show tickets start at just £11.50, with family tickets and season tickets available. Booking line number 08448 000400. 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