Top jockey star attraction at Hall of Fame Gala Dinner

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Photo: Top jockey and trainer Lance O’Sullivan, pictured aboard Kaleidoscope, still rides track most mornings.

World-beating jockey Lance O’Sullivan is the guest speaker at the 2014 NRM Horse of the Year Show Hall of Fame Gala Dinner.

With a sharp wit and cheeky tongue, O’Sullivan is bound to entertain at one of the must-do events on the New Zealand equestrian calendar.

Each year, the event is a sell-out, so organisers are once again urging people to buy their tickets early.

O’Sullivan will be interviewed by national Farming Show host Jamie Mackay in an armchair manner similar to the very successful Mark Sainsbury and Sir Mark Todd chat in 2013.

O’Sullivan (ONZM) is arguably one of New Zealand’s greatest-ever jockeys, having ridden successfully in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Turkey, Macau and Singapore.

He won the New Zealand Jockey Premiership a record 12 times, with a jaw-dropping 193 wins in the 2001-2002 season. His career wins total 2479, and include the 1989 2400m Japan Cup on champion mare Horlicks, in which they notched a world record in front of 148,000 spectators on course.

His reputation as a very entertaining public speaker is second-to-none, and he’s looking forward to seeing a different side to the Horse of the Year Show, where his daughters have ridden on numerous occasions.

Mackay, who will also be broadcasting live from the grounds on Friday morning, hosts one of the highest-ranking shows in the country. As part of the Radio Network, the lunchtime show is usually run from Dunedin.

Mackay, a former Southland B rugby representative and weekly sports columnist, is lauded for his show that is described as “an integral part of the New Zealand rural economy”.

The CatWalk Trust, of which O’Sullivan is a patron, is the charity of the evening. Stuart McLeod is the master of ceremonies.

Last year HOY show director Kevin Hansen and his wife Sue were completely broadsided when they were honoured with induction into the Hall of Fame, alongside Waverley race horse trainers Harvey and Ann Wilson.

Long time dressage supporter Chris Paston – the co-convenor of dressage at HOY – was awarded the David Ross Memorial Trophy as volunteer of the year.

It is always a very closely-guarded secret as to who will be inducted each year, with plenty of guessing going on among riders, organisers and supporters.

This is the fifth Hall of Fame celebration, and will again feature Orton Catering who will serve a sumptuous meal with all the delicacies of Hawke’s Bay. There will also be available for purchase, a selection of wines from HOY sponsors Clearview and Trinity Hill, beers and non-alcoholic options.


2014 NRM Horse of the Year Hall of Fame Gala Dinner


Thursday, March 20


VIP Marquee beside the Land Rover Premier Arena

TICKETS: or Gameplan 06 857 8117