Show Continues Despite Rain

Published 12 March 2017

Torrential rain and flooding at the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds has not dampened spirits at the Horse of the Year Show in Hastings, even for those camping on the grounds.

There is extensive flooding around the showgrounds, where around 3000 people are staying on-site in tents and trucks.

About 20mls of rain has fallen since midnight and it continues to come down, with gumboots and coats the order of the day.

Debbie Hendry and her daughters Georgia and Maria are part of the Canterbury New Zealand Mounted Games Association contingent. Their camping site was surrounded by a sea of mud, but they remained upbeat.

“We’re pretty well set up, we didn’t get flooded out – games people are pretty hardy.”

They brought three ponies up from Christchurch for the show and, other than trying to tack up in muddy yards and wash bays turned to brown making things difficult, they were philosophical.

“It’s obviously a dampener because we have to move to continue, but it’s our national champs and we need to complete it,” Debbie says.

The mounted games will shift to the Equestrian Centre at Flaxmere today in order to complete their competition.

They plan to continue camping at the showgrounds, but the challenge transporting the ponies to the Equestrian Park, and then commute between venues.

“We have to make the best of the situation – we have a solution, it’s just getting the horses down there.”

As rider and horse safety is the paramount concern, the conditions and forecast for further rain forced the cancellation of the cross country phase of the eventing and showjumping in all arenas today.

There is still plenty of action in other arenas, including dressage and showing, as well as shopping and the dessert degustation, designed by acclaimed Australian chef Adriano Zumbo and delivered by Orton Catering.


Due to poor weather the following changes have been made to the schedule for Saturday:
Show Jumping:  There is no competition today.


The Premier Stakes and cross country phase of the eventing have been cancelled.

Dressage and showing: continue in their main arenas including the  Dunstan Horsefeeds CDI FEI Grand Prix Special Title (1:15pm) and the Harney & Sons Fine Teas Level 6/7 Musical Freestyle Title (3:30pm)

Mounted Games – has moved to the Equestrian Centre located at 89 Equestrian Ln, Bridge Pa 4175

Re tickets: Saturday tickets are valid for Sunday.

For more information, head to .
What: Horse of the Year Show
Where: Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds, Hastings
When: March 7-12

Diana Dobson
HOY Media Manager
021 222 0145