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Huge Coup for 2014 NRM HOY

Huge Coup for 2014 NRM HOY

One of the superstars of the world of showjumping is heading to Hawke’s Bay for the 2014 NRM Horse of the Year Show.

In one of the biggest coup of recent years, reigning world champion showjumper Philippe le Jeune will compete at the show.

The exciting news was announced this evening (Wednesday) by show director Kevin Hansen at the launch attended by more than 130 people representing Hawke’s Bay businesspeople, media and show supporters.

“It is dream,” said Hansen. “It is just out of this world to have him here riding top horses in the Olympic Cup. For New Zealand riders to be warming up and walking courses alongside the current world champ will benefit the sport for years. What a thrill it will be for them.”

Le Jeune, who is from Belgium, won the number one title at the World Equestrian Championships in Kentucky. He will compete at the show on Katie McVean’s top horses, including in the JB Olympic Cup aboard Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark (owned by June Berrington), and in the McMillan Equine Feeds Silver Fern Stakes and Norwood Gold Cup. He will also compete at Showjumping's Holy Grail at Church Road the weekend before HOY.

Hansen also announced that a high-powered equestrian delegation would be attending the show from China – a direct result of the trip he took to the Asian nation last year. Included in the party are business owners, riders, professors and some media.

“It is great to see these people here and I believe they will have quite an influence on the 2014 show. If we nurture this relationship, it can only be beneficial for the New Zealand equestrian industry, as well as helping the Chinese in growing theirs.”

The Chinese will ride in a team against New Zealand and Australia in the Country TV Tri Nations. Sir Mark Todd will captain the New Zealand team.

A crack Australian contingent are also expected at the show and will ride both in the Tri Nations as well as the Mitavite Trans Tasman Test.

In an exciting new development, the cross country course for the two and three star eventing has been moved to the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds.

“This is going to be one heck of a day for the thousands of spectators we are expecting at the showgrounds,” said Hansen.

A family fun park will be set up at the Waikoko Gardens, near the lake where the cross country water jumps will provide plenty of thrills. Also nearby is a corporate area with VIP seating, food and entertainment.

Also launched was The Seventy Percent Club, an initiative by Hawke's Bay rider Beth Bielski who is determined to help more of New Zealand's top dressage riders have access to funding to help them compete with success on the world stage.

The NRM Horse of the Year Show runs from Tuesday, March 18 through to Sunday, March 23.

ENDS

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