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Kaimanawa Horses Quite the Drawcard

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Kate Hewlett and Redcliffs Bill have taken the first of the classes in the Kaimanawa Heritage Horses CopRice Stallion Makeover Challenge.

The former eventer from Kerikeri, who has competed at both Badminton and Burghley international horse trials, won the Saddlery Warehouse Horsemanship Class after a very closely-fought battle.

Coming in second was Tina Fagan (Pukekawa) on Rock Star, with Tommy Waara (Raetihi) and Tukotahi third.

KHH committee member Katrina Duncan says the interest in the challenge has been incredible.

“The whole aim is to raise awareness of how wonderful these ponies are . . . and it's working.”

Earlier in the challenge each of the 12 horses passed the trot up, and were judged on welfare and best condition, which counts for 20% of the final score for the title and won't be announced until Friday finals night.

Just 250 days ago, these horses were stallions in the wild. All have been gelded and are now being trained using various techniques. Some of the horses are in bridles, while others halters and some just a rope.

Each of the speciality classes has a $5000 prize pool, with the final worth a whopping $20,000.

Next for the competitors is the Thoroughbred Floats Obstacle Course between 4pm-6pm today in the Fiber Fresh Number 3 Arena, followed by Friday's 7am Wash Bar Freestyle Class in the Land Rover Premier Arena.

Competitors in the freestyle have five minutes to really show what they have achieved with their horses – four minutes of that to music.

The final will be tomorrow as part of the Hawke's Bay Today Extravaganza.




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