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Rich Stakes Luring Australasia’s Elite Equestrians

RIDE THE RHYTHM Media Release 28. 12. 2012

Rich Stakes Luring Australasia’s Elite Equestrians to Dunedin

There’s more than a $120,000 in prize money to be won at Ride the Rhythm, the

Equestrian event / live Hollies concert, to be staged at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on February 1 and it is attracting an unprecedented level of competition from both sides of the Tasman.

Ride the Rhythm Director, Kevin Hansen, who also runs the New Zealand Horse of the Year Show, says the event will boast the strongest line-up of Australian show jumpers ever to compete in New Zealand before.

“The response from the Australians has been overwhelming. I have been blown away. It is undoubtedly the most impressive line-up ever to compete on New Zealand shores. I had hoped we might get four to five Australians, but we have 14 confirmed and more in the pipeline. It is unbelievable. It is going to change the face of show jumping in New Zealand.”

Kevin Hansen says the $50,000 prize money for the McMillan Equine Feeds Super Grand Prix and the $70,000 up for grabs for anyone who can beat the New Zealand show jumping height record of 2.21metres, has made these events some of the richest in Australasia and is luring the best.

New Zealand Olympians Katie McVean, Maurice Beatson and Samantha McIntosh head the impressive Kiwi line-up, each entering with two horses. The Aussie onslaught is led by Alison Rowland, from Perth, recent FEI World Cup Australian League winner. She and fellow West Australian Rory Hovell are bringing a big team to New Zealand as their first stop of a world tour aiming to qualify for the Australian team for the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Kevin Hansen says, “It will be a tough competition, and unlike anything we’ve witnessed here in New Zealand before, with the added attraction of it being held in the world’s only permanent grass indoor stadium. It’s going to be a true trans – Tasman battle with the top Australians and Kiwis in action.”

Following the equestrian action, Ride the Rhythm continues with a two hour live concert by the enduring UK band The Hollies.

Hansen, who saw the potential of the Forsyth Barr Stadium as a world class equestrian arena, hopes to establish Ride the Rhythm as an annual event in Dunedin.

“It’s a unique event where we are offering audiences the thrill and spectacle of elite equestrian action and a night of world class music entertainment all on the one ticket.”

Tickets are available through www.ticketdirect.co.nz or directly from www.ridetherhythm.co.nz.
ends

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