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To compete in the Dressage at NRM Horse of the Year, is the focus for many riders from the beginning of each season. An extensive programme includes pony classes for the younger competitors right through to the International Grand Prix competitions for riders hoping to qualify for the 2014 World Equestrian Games.

NRM Horse of the Year is also the culmination of the Zilco National Freestyle to Music Series Bonus points at this event adding an exciting dimension with the possibility for combinations to considerably improve their Leaderboard rankings.

Dressage NZ and NRM HOY have embraced the new FEI (International) Intermediate level to be introduced in 2014. This new level is the stepping stone from small tour (Prix St Georges) providing an opportunity for our future international representatives to put their best foot forward in the dressage arena in front of experienced international judges as they develop the difficult piaffe and passage movements.

NZ has some really exciting combinations already competing at this level including the two sparky chestnuts Vom Feinsten (Julie Brougham) & KH Ambrose (Abbie Deken), and NRM Arawn (Vanessa Way). There will doubtless be other combinations who will emerge during the season and will contest the first ever Intermediate NRM Horse of the Year title.

2013 Grand Prix title holders Vanessa Way and NRM KH Arvan are expected to put up a strong challenge in their defence of the Grand Prix NRM Horse of the Year.

Karen Trotter and Flamenco G will be looking to build on their 2013 Trans Tasman experience while Hannah Best and Zactac Graceful recently scored a personal best and have scored two Regional Championship titles from as many starts. Put the experienced combination of 2013 runners-up Bill Noble and "Bowie" (Airthrey Highlander – the previous Grand Prix Showjumper turned dressage owned by Linda Moughan) in the mix and it's going to be a great battle.

With a cool $18,850 prize money up for grabs in the Grand Prix Kur, the atmosphere will be electric.

The Under 21's will be looking for good scores in the International Young Rider Class, the CDIY and with some new combinations on the circuit this year there is no real stand out favourite – watch this space.

The judging panel has a European flavour with FEI 5* Annette Fransen Iacobaeus from Sweden plus judges from Australia and NZL. Along with Tiina Karkkolainen from Finland, Ricky McMillan TBC from Aus and Sue Hobson and Helen Hughes-Keen from NZL.

Dressage in the main oval will be dominated by musical freestyles – horses and riders having a chance to express their personality in the artistic section, but also requiring strong technical skills to score well in front of such an experienced panel of judges.

We wish to thank the following photographers for their images used on this website (all images are subject to copywright rules and regulations):

  • Barbara Thomson
  • Diana Black Design
  • Kampic Photography
  • Take the Moment

© 2013 Horse of the Year (Hawkes Bay) and NRM Horse of the Year Show

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