Equidays growing in leaps and bounds

International clinicians, world-leading equine experts, and some of New Zealand’s top equine athletes are part of New Zealand’s premier equine event, Equidays, later this month.

Now in its sixth year, Equidays is being held at Mystery Creek Events Centre, Hamilton, from Friday, 14 October to Sunday, 16 October.

Equidays event manager Ammie Hardie says ticket sales are humming this year.

“The Saturday Nightshow almost sold out, and there are 211 exhibitors confirmed, more than previous years,” says Hardie. “We are excited about the growth of the event, and the exciting line-up in terms of education and entertainment.”

Since its inception in 2010, Equidays has grown into a world-class event endorsed by Sir Patrick Hogan and Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ), with industry luminary Sir Mark Todd serving as the event patron and the popular Wilson Sisters as the event ambassadors.

Last year, Equidays attracted almost 22,000 visitors, double the number seen five years ago, and the 2016 event is expected to be the biggest yet. Exhibitors have almost doubled from 109 in 2011.

This year, two new arenas and a dedicated farrier marquee have been added, allowing more than 40 hours of educational clinics and seminars daily. Education of horse and rider is a key pillar of Equidays, and clinics will be led by some of New Zealand’s and the world’s top equine experts. Among them are Dutch Olympic medallist showjumper Albert Voorn and Western clinician Tom Chown.

Visitors can purchase equine equipment from a variety of on-site speciality exhibitors, and the event is regarded as a must-attend for equine enthusiasts.

There are two nightshows, featuring top riders racing, jumping, and performances from world-leading equine entertainers. Australian horseman Dan Steers of Double Dan Horsemanship will perform at the Saturday Nightshow with his wonder horse Double Image.

Other performers include Warwick Schiller, Tommy Waara, the Wilson sisters (Vicki, Kelly, and Amanda) and their kaimanawas, brumbies and Bragg the mustang, and Jody Hartstone with Ali Baba.

This year, horse cutting demonstrations are returning, bringing a Wild West flavour to Equidays. Experienced international cutting champion Bryan Lowcay will be giving demonstrations over three days.

“We have tried to mix up the programme so we cater to those interested in both English and Western riding styles,” said Hardie. “It’s going to be a fun three days with so much to see, do and learn. If you love riding horses or just want some family entertainment you won’t want to miss it.”

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