Celebrating All Things Equestrian

Press Release – Horse Of The Year

HOY – Celebrating All Things Equestrian

It’s the week the equestrian world has been waiting for – the Farmlands Horse of the Year Show.

It’s when thousands descend on Hawke’s Bay to celebrate all that is good about their sport and find the supreme champions across the disciplines.

Around 1400 riders are expected to compete over the six days at the 64th HOY, which gets under way officially on Tuesday.

Wednesday marks the first of the ‘big ones’ in showjumping, with the Norwood Gold Cup. That’s followed by the Ultra Mox Lady Rider on Thursday, the Dunstan Horse Feeds Young Rider of the Year and the McMillan CSI2* Silver Fern Stakes on Friday, Saturdaybrings the Farmlands Pony of the Year and then the big one, Sunday’s CSI2* Olympic Cup.

New Zealand’s top showjumpers line up in the big class, which is set to start at 2pm on Sunday. Five time winners Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) and Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) are both keen to add a record-equalling sixth Olympic Cup to their trophy cabinets, but they’ll be pushed hard by Aussie raider James Arkins as well as top Kiwi rider Helen McNaught-McFarlane. Not to be forgotten in the $116,000 class are the likes of Lucy Akers (Opiki), Tash Brooks (Cambridge), Aussie Clint Beresford, Josh Barker (Auckland) and rising young stars Sam Morrison (Tauranga), Olivia Robertson (Christchurch), Amanda Wilson (Hikurangi) and Emily Hayward-Morgan (Te Awamutu).

It’s the class that is considered the jewel in the crown of the show and fittingly brings it to a close.

Showjumping is but one of 14 disciplines competing over 15 arenas before more than 68 judges from all over the world, several of whom are internationally ranked.

Dressage also has its superstars on show, with Rio hopefuls Julie Brougham (Palmerston North) and John Thompson (Hamilton) both chasing valuable qualifying marks that will make them eligible for Olympic selection.

Brougham and Vom Feinsten are defending their 2015 Dressage Horse of the Year crown, but Thompson continues to improve with every outing. And there are others to watch out for including Wendi Williamson (Kumeu) and Abbie Deken (New Plymouth).

The Land Rover CIC3* eventing is lining up to be a cracker with a 17-strong class lining up for top honours. Amongst them is former winner and New Zealand’s only onshore based high performance rider Clarke Johnstone (Matangi). He leaves for Europe not long after the show and will be keen to leave with a win in his bag. However, there are a raft of riders equally as determined to halt his march including Sam Felton (Matangi) and young gun Sarah Young (Tokoroa).

There’s plenty of other entertainment on offer at the show, with the Friday Night Extravaganza starring extreme free rider Alycia Burton and the Equissage Slalom Challenge where riders will be pushed by the skills of German course designer Werner Deeg as they go one on one to find the final two to dual it out for the $1000 prize money.

Saturday is People’s Day at HOY where thousands flock to the Showgrounds to see and feel first-hand the excitement of the cross country.

The rest of the show shuts down to allow the John Nicholson-designed cross country course to meander its way through the grounds.

From showing to mounted games, Pony Club to dressage, showjumping to show hunter and everything in between is all part of HOY.

WHAT: Farmlands Horse of the Year Show

WHEN: March 1-6, 2016

WHERE: Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds

TICKETS AND INFO: www.hoy.kiwi

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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