British based Kiwi eventer Jonathan Paget is among the riders at next week’s 2015 New Zealand Horse of the Year Show in Hastings. As well as competing on Henton After Dark in the Land Rover 3* eventing, Paget is also guest speaker at the Hall of Fame Gala Dinner.
The show will also host, for the first time, an international dressage combination which has travelled to New Zealand especially to compete. Jeremy Janjic and his stunning Friesian Django of Cacharel will compete in the Grand Prix CDI, Grand Prix CDI freestyle and the Intermediate II at HOY. It is the first time a Friesian has represented Australia offshore.
In other show highlights, leading New Zealand showjumper Katie Laurie (nee McVean) will be aiming to win a record sixth Bostock International Olympic Cup on the Sunday of the show.
Show director Kevin Hansen is promising that the six-day event will be the best ever. It will also be his swansong as director of the show after 16 years. This year the Farmlands-sponsored event marks the 17th consecutive show in Hawke’s Bay, and afterwards he and his wife, Sue, will head to Sydney to start a new phase of their life.
“It’s going to be a great celebration of the past 16 years of shows,” Hansen said of the 2015 renewal.
He said Equestrian Live’s live streaming of the show, which was introduced last year, would be a highlight and would be bigger and better this time around.
It is a superb service that will be available to those not at the show and can be enjoyed world wide.”
He also looked ahead to the show’s Plus Four Hall of Fame Gala Dinner, with guest speaker Jock Paget, who would be interviewed by local radio host Ross Holden.
“That’s going to be a great night,” says Hansen of the Hall of Fame dinner. “It’s always a celebration, and it will be fascinating to hear about Jock’s highs and lows of the last couple of years.”
Just who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame – a closely guarded secret – is always eagerly anticipated.
The action in the Land Rover Premier Arena rolls right through the week (March 17-22) with Gerrit Beker tasked with challenging the showjumpers.
This year the Bostock International Olympic Cup is not a qualifier for a World Champs or Olympic Games, so Hansen is hopeful a few more riders will step up to the challenge.
But Hansen says the biggest heroes of the show are those behind the scenes – all 450-plus of them who work tirelessly to ensure everything ticks along.
“They are just magnificent,” says Hansen. “Without them, we just wouldn’t have a show.”