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It's the end of an era at the Horse of the Year Show.

Today was the last show Kevin Hansen and his team at Event-Pro will run . . . and it's been a cracker.

While it is still early for exact numbers, show manager Andrew Hansen says around 85,000 people flowed through the gates over the six days. Gate admissions are up 10%, as are competitor numbers and trade.

Many trade exhibitors were reporting some of the best sales figures in recent years.

“These numbers are hugely encouraging for the future of the show,” says Hansen. “We are all very proud of the last 17 years and have gone out with a bang!”

Show director Kevin Hansen said he was comfortable with where the show was now at.

“HOY has its own future and it is up to others now to carry on what we have done. Our little company has an opportunity to break into the big time throughout Australia and New Zealand . . . that is very exciting.”

He looked back over the years with plenty of fondness.
“What stands out for me is the crowds watching our sport,” he said. “I don't run shows for 100 people to turn up. Whatever it is we do going forward, it is all about our sport gaining popularity. I love seeing full grand stands and we specialise in making that happen.

“It is exciting watching people enjoying our sport – whatever discipline that may be.”

He was chuffed with the winners of the two main Sunday classes – Claudia Hay (Mosgiel) and Euro Sport Centavos who won the Bostock International Olympic Cup and Dressage Horse of the Year Julie Brougham (Palmerston North) and her horse Vom Feinsten.

“It is great to see two German bred horses come here and win our two major titles.”
Both horses were imported from Germany as youngsters, but had been trained in New Zealand.

And Hansen continues to believe New Zealand could breed the best horses in the world.




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