• Five days of competition.

• One of New Zealand's largest sporting events.

• Internationally accredited competition in 3 major sections.

• By 2009 will be a FEI 5* event - only one of SIX in the world.

• Large promotional and advertising section of the $1.3million budget

• Large number of internationals officials, competitors, spectators & trade.

• In excess of 130 trade sites, including overseas based businesses.

• Twelve hours of television broadcasting on national television.

• Live Worldwide Web coverage.

• A wide national and international market base for huge brand
promotional opportunities.

The Story of the Show…..


Our mission statement reads

"To provide one huge event in which competitors, young and old, experienced and inexperienced, and from all equestrian disciplines, can compete. Being held at one magnificent venue, its aim is to create a true celebration of the equestrian art. Our mission was also to provide Hawke's Bay people with an event that they would be proud of and happy to support." With this aim in mind, The Kelt Capital Horse of the Year Show has grown to become one of the largest and most prestigious annual Equestrian Events in the Southern Hemisphere. Attracting over 1800 competitors and 2300 horses to sunny Hawke's Bay, the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds becomes New Zealand's "Equestrian City" with the buzz of competition by daytime and entertainment by night. The excitement of the event's five days culminates in each section awarding its own prestigious Horse of the Year titles, and ultimately the Showjumping Horse of the Year crown.


In 1998, a group of Hawke's Bay Equestrian enthusiasts approached Equestrian Sports New Zealand, the owner of the Horse of the Year Show, for permission to run the event in Hawke's Bay. For a number of years prior to this, the show had been held in Auckland, resulting in accumulated financial loses.

By March 1999, the resulting successful application saw the first show run under the new format, this being organized by the Northern Hawke's Bay Showjumping Group. With a budget of under $100,000, this show was run completely be volunteers and was a resounding success. The subsequent years have seen a tremendous growth in all aspects of the event.

It is now eight years since those dreams turned to reality and in that time we have watched with pride as the Kelt Capital Horse of the Year show has become the biggest international event of its type in the country. We have seen further equestrian disciplines
join this celebration each year and the event has continued to capture the hearts and minds of the equestrian world and the Hawke's Bay people alike. The growth forced the formation of Showjumping Hawke's Bay Inc, which has become the organizing body, assisted by a paid event manager. However, the show is still heavily reliant on its 300 member volunteer force, whom assist with the day to day running of the five days of the event. Since 1999, the numbers of horses, arenas, competitors, spectators, trade sites and disciplines have more
than tripled. Now every square inch of the Showgrounds is used. As the show grew, so did the budget, with the 2007 show expenditure in excess of $1,100,000. A large part of this expenditure is covered by the $600,000 of sponsorship received from numerous businesses and organizations, both locally and nationally. The 2007 show saw the continued support of Kelt Capital as a naming rights sponsor and as such has taken the show to yet another level from both a financial and a professional point of view.


Welcome to the Kelt Capital Horse of the Year Show for 2008. We are delighted that you are interested in being part of this wonderful event. We are pleased to be able to offer you the opportunity to beinvolved in what has become one of the great events on the Hawke's Bay sporting calendar. Since first winning this magnificent event back to Hawke's Bay in 1999, we have developed the show in stature
and size, so it has now, without doubt, become the biggest and most high profile equestrian event in the Southern Hemisphere and a true "celebration of all things equestrian".

The 2008 Show will continue its theme of being a truly International event. International competition will include Dressage, Endurance and Showjumping competitions featuring teams from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other European Nations. For the first time in the history of the Show, the Showjumping Horse of the Year Class has a prize pool of $500,000. Due to this we expect to attract riders and horses from Australia and Asia. With both riders and officials from around the globe now looking to be part of the event,the 2008 Kelt Capital Horse of the Year show can truly be classed as international event which is recognized by the FEI. Continuing from the 2007 show, some of the other highlights will include the tri nation's classes and, along with old favourites, the derby and endurance

The assistance of outside professionals has ensured that the growth of the show is maintained in a professional and ongoing way. The Hawke's Bay Showgrounds is now firmly established as the home of the Kelt Capital Horse of the Year Show and our positive relationship with the A & P society helps to ensure the show's success. With the additional support of the Hastings District Council we are now
well positioned to continue with the next step. Over 2300 horses are now expected to compete in the various disciplines and classes that will make up the show for 2008. The 300 or so volunteers who come from around the greater Hawke's Bay region to offer their services are all bringing with them the special equestrian character that makes this event so different. The spin off for the region as a whole both in direct and indirect spending is now rated at over $4 million. In addition, television assistance, helps to make this show even more attractive to the
competitor, sponsor and spectator, as well as the viewing public.

(Photos that appear in on this are from Barbara Thomson Photography)