Kelt Capital Horse of the Year - A celebration of all things equestrian - New Zealand


2012 is the fourth year that Eventing has been staged at the Horse of the Year Show under FEI (International) rules.  The first phase, dressage, take place on Friday 16th March at the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds; the second and most exciting phase, the cross country, is on Saturday 17th March at the Hawke's Bay Equestrian Park; and the third and final phase, the showjumping, is back at the Showgrounds on Sunday 18th March.

The cross-country course at the Equestrian Park is designed by John Nicholson (brother of Olympian Andrew), from Te Awamutu, who made his name designing the New Zealand leg of the FEI World Cup at Kihikihi.  He was persuaded to design the HoY course by Show Director Kevin Hansen, and the Hastings Golf Club generously made land available, enabling John to incorporate totally new design concepts.

The Eventing Selectors will be watching the top competitors at Hastings prior to naming the New Zealand Team to defend the Trans-Tasman Trophy at Kihikihi on 6-8 April.  Several of the successfully NZ Young Rider Trans-Tasman Team Members have stepped up to 3* level and are now bidding for a place in the Senior Team, so the future looks rosy.

These youngsters rank highly in the Bell Tea Super League, which runs throughout the competition year, designed to recognize and reward the country's top combinations.  The series culminates at the NRM Three-day Event at Taupo from 17-20 May.

John Holmes, the regular course designer at the Park, works alongside Nicholson and designs the CIC2* (Intermediate) course, as well as the Novice and Young Rider course.  All three tracks are designed to facilitate spectator viewing, with the fences grouped so riders wind their way through the main oval several times, for those who choose not to walk the course while it is being ridden.

Buses will run from the Showgrounds to the Equestrian Park, where full facilities are available, so the opportunity to see world class eventing is not to be missed.

Previous winners CIC3*
2009 Clifton Promise, Jonathan Paget (owner Frances Stead)
2010 Clifton Promise, Jonathan Paget (owner Frances Stead)
2011 Henton Attorney General, Elizabeth Brown


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Please Note: Novice and Young Rider are the same level test – NZEF Eventing NZ Novice