New Zealand’s premier equine event, Equidays, is proving more popular than ever, with ticket sales already 21% ahead of this time last year.
Equidays, now in its sixth year, will be held at Mystery Creek Events Centre, Hamilton, from Friday October 14 to Sunday October 16.
Event manager Ammie Hardie says ticket sales are humming, with less than a month to go. “The Saturday Nightshow is two-thirds sold out, and there are 211 exhibitors confirmed this year; more than previous years.”
Since its inception in 2010 Equidays has grown into a world-class event, endorsed by Sir Patrick Hogan and Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ), with industry luminary Sir Mark Todd serving as the event patron and the popular Wilson Sisters as event ambassadors.
Last year it attracted almost 22,000 visitors, double the number five years before, and the 2016 event is expected to be the biggest yet. Exhibitors have almost doubled from 109 in 2011.
Hastings horse lover Ros Rowe is the founder of Leg-Up Trust, a charity that uses horses to work with at-risk and vulnerable people. She has been at every Equidays and is excited about attending again this year. “Equidays is unique in New Zealand,” she says. “It’s the only place where you can turn up and see world-class horsemen showing their skills in one place. I love it because it’s not primarily competition. It’s about learning, sharing information and exploring other people’s methods.”
This year two new arenas and a dedicated farrier marquee have been added and clinics will be led by some of New Zealand’s and the world’s top equine experts. Among them are Dutch Olympic medallist show jumper Albert Voorn and Western clinician Tom Chown.
And, with fantastic shopping for all things equestrian, the event is a must-attend for horse enthusiasts.
There are two Nightshows, featuring top riders and world-leading equine entertainers. Australian horseman Dan Steers will perform at the Saturday Nightshow with his wonder horse, Double Image. Other performers include Warwick Schiller, Tommy Waara, the Wilson sisters and their Kaimanawas, brumbies and Bragg the mustang, and Jody Hartstone with her gorgeous Lusitano stallion, Ali Baba.
Cutting demonstrations add a Western flavour, with experienced international cutting champion Bryan Lowcay giving demonstrations over three days. “We have tried to mix up the programme so we cater to those interested in both English and Western riding styles,” says Ammie Hardie. “It’s going to be a fun three days with so much to see, do and learn – if you love riding horses, or just want some family entertainment you won’t want to miss it.”
NZ Horse & Pony will be there too, so be sure to come and see our stand. We’ve got some very exciting things happening, with chances to win great prizes, including a superb trek for two in Central Otago. Our special Horse Gifts NZ competition is open now: a massive $800 in NEW-release Schleich horses and accessories for five lucky readers. The horses themselves are just adorable… and then there are those fantastic accessories! To enter visit www.horsegifts.co.nz/schleich and email the secret code to the address you’ll find on page 68 of the spring issue of PONIES! magazine. You have until 23rd November to enter.
Look forward to seeing you at Equidays!