Get practising for the Derby at Equidays!

This year's Equidays promises to be even more exciting with the addition of even more competitions.

Derby action
Derby action

Two classes have been added to the line-up of competitions at the next Equidays. This is a great event, and it’s on October 14-16,  so you have plenty of time to get that practice in. It’s not just for the “big guns” either: the new Horse Derby class is aimed at those wanting to get more experience, giving less-experienced horse and rider combinations the chance to have a go at a world-class course. Jumps will be set at a lower height than those in the Hyundai Premier Derby.

The other new competition, the invitational Dual Jump will be part of Friday’s Show Jumping Spectacular and will see two combinations jumping identical courses at the same time – and against the clock.

The Derby class involves banks!
The Derby class involves banks!

Equidays Event Manager Ammie Hardie says the new competitions add value to all aspects of the event. “It’s imperative we try new things every year, whether it’s competitions, arenas, challenges or night shows – and these two competitions work for all sides. Extra competitions will draw more competitors and spectators, which has a flow-on effect to our exhibitors and food vendors. And the great thing about the Horse Derby is that it’s a bit more attainable. The Premier Derby height is 1.35m, which is a fairly daunting level for most people. By creating a derby at 1.10-1.15m, we’re opening up the excitement and experience to the lower-level combinations. It’s exciting.”

Ammie says the organisation is thrilled with the addition of the Horseware Ireland Dual Jump to the Friday night line-up. “Visitors want to be wowed by what competitors are achieving during the Show Jumping Spectacular – and the Dual Jump is fast, fun and entertaining.

“2014 had the elite young riders and ponies pushing the limits in the Pony Grand Prix, and 2015 saw horses going flat tack to win the Speed Class. It just makes sense to up the ante again for 2016.

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Last year Vicki Wilson won the main Derby class on Showtym Girl

“We’re not doing away with everything though! We’ve created core competitions over the years that competitors and visitors love and want to see every year. And the success of the FEI World Jumping Challenge and the Pony Six Bar last year means they’re returning too.”

For a full list of Equidays competitions, visit equidays.co.nz/equidays-2016-competitions. The complete competition schedule is due out at the end of July and all entries will be handled through equestrianentries.co.nz.

Horse & Pony Magazine will be there in full force to bring you all the coverage and capture you in action! If you haven’t made a plan to get there, even to watch, best get started, as it is going to be a fabulous event.