Popular NZ equine expo Equidays axed

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The 2019 Equidays site at Mystery Creek on the first day of the event last year. © Stephen Barker / Barker Photography / Equidays 2019

New Zealand equine expo event Equidays has been chopped after nine years.

“It is with sadness that we inform you that the New Zealand National Fieldays Society Inc. has made the difficult decision to exit the Equidays event, effective immediately,” organisers said.

“This decision has not been made lightly, after a thorough review and consideration of the effect on all stakeholders.”

Founded in 2011, Equidays was held each year at the Mystery Creek events centre in Hamilton. Last year its clinicians included British dressage hero Carl Hester, who ran a masterclass attended by more than a thousand spectators. Seven international and eight New Zealand equine educators were also among the lineup, with topics including horsemanship, showjumping, liberty, dressage, working equitation, physiotherapy, foal education and positive reinforcement training. Educational seminars included nutrition, hoof care, balance and stability, sports psychology, saddle fitting, equine biomechanics and homeopathy.

More than 680 horses from a range of disciplines were at Equidays last year, and there were more than 500 riders either competing or taking part in clinics. The event also raised more than $13,500 for the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ during the Jump for Cancer slalom.

Dressage at the 2019 Equidays.
Dressage at the 2019 Equidays. © Stephen Barker / Barker Photography / Equidays 2019

Equidays was supported by New Zealand feed manufacturers NRM and McMillan.

Australian clinician Warwick Schiller said he received the news of Equiday’s cancellation “with great sadness”.

“I have been lucky enough to have been a presenter there for the past five years, and it’s always a highlight on our calendar. Lynley Schollum and Ammie Hardie have made it such a great event for us, and catching up with our adopted Equidays family every year is something we always look forward to.

“There are so many wonderful horse owners I have met at Equidays, thank you so much for coming to watch the demos and coming by the booth to introduce yourselves and share your stories. I feel so grateful to have been included in this, I will always cherish my memories from Equidays.”

Several New Zealand equestrians also took to social media to lament the loss of the event, including trainer Russell Higgins, who said: “We are very sad to hear, and share, that Equidays will no longer be a feature on the NZ horse lovers calendar. There were so many benefits to the NZ equestrian community of having this great event and we have been very fortunate to be involved. Equidays gave us an opportunity to meet great trainers and clinicians both domestic and international, one of the many things we’ll miss. It just goes to show that you don’t know how long a good thing will last.”

This year’s event had been scheduled for November 6-8, 2020.

 

 

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