Bad news for the HOY team and community.
Here’s the full announcement:
“Last night, Land Rover Horse of the Year Board of Directors announced the show that costs over $2m to stage would not be going ahead for 2021.
Land Rover Horse of the Year is New Zealand’s premier equestrian event showcase, and the largest of its kind in New Zealand, attracting over 1500 riders, 1900 horses and a whopping 45 000 spectators.
Chairman Tim Aitken said the event team had worked tirelessly to find a way for the show to proceed but the uncertainty of Covid19 Levels left them with no choice. “We know there is huge support for us to go ahead however there were many factors we had to consider. These include financial implications for our show and its ongoing sustainability, the travel and time pressures for riders, the experience we can deliver for our riders and spectators, and most importantly of all, the health & wellbeing of everyone who attends the show”
The cancellation of the show is another blow for Hawke’s Bay who will now miss out on the 11, 000 visitors and $5.29 million visitor spend the show attracts to the region. Mayor of Hastings, Sandra Hazlehurst said “Hastings is so proud to host this event and every year we look forward to welcoming the thousands of visitors to our beautiful district. Whilst its disappointing and a huge loss to our economy, we support the decision and hope to see everyone in 2022”
Event Manager Sophie Blake said the decision was heart-breaking. “This is not a decision we made lightly, particularly when most of our expense had already been incurred, however we feel it is the right thing to do for our riders, stakeholders, exhibitors and spectators. We tried really hard to find a way to keep our show alive but sadly time was not on our side”.
Blake went on to express her gratitude for all the messages of goodwill from competitors, stakeholders, sponsors, and fans who had been so supportive over the last 48 hours. “Our riders have worked so hard during the last 12 months to qualify for the show, and we are sad they will not get to compete. We also have 160 trade retailers from all around New Zealand who are no longer able to sell to our thousands of visitors so we will be doing everything we can to try and support those businesses and encourage everyone who can support them directly to do so”
All tickets holders will receive full refunds over the next 7 days. Riders and Exhibitors will be notified directly about next steps.
Land Rover Horse of the Year 2022 is confirmed in Hastings for March 8th-13th.”