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Nothing too Much Bother to Ensure the Best at HOY

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CAPTION: Farmlands HOY show director Kevin Hansen watches Hawke's Bay Helicopters drying out the Land Rover Premier Arena. Photo: Kerry Marshall/KAMPIC


Horsepower of a different kind made its debut in the Land Rover Premier Arena at the Farmlands Horse of the Year Show in Hastings this evening.

Hawke's Bay Helicopters hovered slowly over the premier arena in an effort to dry out parts affected by the torrential rain that has hit the region in recent days, impacting on one of the biggest sporting celebrations in the Southern Hemisphere.

HOY show director Kevin Hansen made the decision to call the helicopter in to ensure the very best of footing for the competitors who will battle it out for some of New Zealand's most prestigious titles over the coming days.

“This is what Eden Park is to cricket,” says Kevin Hansen. “It is where the big money is won and lost.”

Tomorrow sees the first of the 'biggies' in the premier arena, with the Virbac Equine Norwood Gold Cup, followed by Ultra.Mox Lady Rider of the Year on Thursday.

The first ribbons of the show were awarded today – long time campaigner Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) and Schimmel Warrior won the Prestige Equestrian 1.4m, which was moved from the premier arena to the NRM Arena.

He was nearly nine seconds ahead of second-placed teen Emily Hayward-Morgan (Te Awamutu) on AP Ninja, with Olivia Robertson (Canterbury) and DH's Ceniki third.

There were plenty of people at the grounds and lots of shopping being done, according to Hansen.

Wednesday evening's Taste of the Bay Night Market has been cancelled in another effort to save the footing in the premier arena.

“We're all very disappointed, but it is just too wet underfoot in there to cope with more than 1000 people and vehicles,” said HOY show manager Andrew Hansen.

He extended a big thanks to convenors Gaylene and Graeme Wright who had done a sterling job putting the market together.

There is still a chance to enjoy the best of the bay, with the HOY at Hastings City Night Market on Thursday evening from 5pm-9pm in the heart of the city, as well as Sunday's Farmers Market at the showgrounds.

Organisers were confident the show had seen the last of the bad weather.
“We're true optimists in Hawke's Bay,” says Kevin Hansen. “We're not anticipating any more rain . . . actually, it will be sunshine right through to Sunday.”


WHAT: Farmlands Horse of the Year

WHERE: Hawke's Bay Showgrounds

WHEN: March 17-22




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