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Horse of the Year Raises Vital Funds for CatWalk

Funds raised for ground breaking spinal research exceeded everyone’s expectations at last night’s annual ESNZ Hall of Fame Awards, at the annual Horse of the Year Show.

A generous $13,400.00 was raised through some spirited bidding with all money generated going directly to the CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Research Trust.

Auction items included a signed Tim and Jonelle Price chrome plated horse shoe, signed Black Caps bat and a guided Adventure pack with Wanaka based Best Foot Forward.

The hottest item of the night to top the auction was the signed Richie McCaw All Blacks jersey and World Cup rugby balls signed by Richie and former team mate Dan Carter.

Rotorua’s Kylie Needham-Roe was ‘fizzing’ to take home a piece of prized rugby memorabilia, but was quick to point out it was more for ‘hubby’ than for herself.


“Hubby likes New Zealand sports memorabilia so I thought it was a good purchase to appease him after spending up on horse gear at the show. Plus, we love to support charities, both in our community and nationwide.”

For CatWalk Trust founder and C6/C7 tetraplegic Catriona Williams MNZM it was a heart-warming night.

“It was a really special night surrounded by New Zealand equestrian royalty – young and not so young. We have some wonderful athletes in this country and it’s a fantastic evening to recognise their successes because it’s a tough sport and when it goes well it’s worth celebrating.”

Emcee for the evening Newstalk ZB’s Kerre McIvor did a great job parading the items invigorating the crowd

“High five to Kerre for working it for us in her usual Kerre style! We all love a great auction and I’m so incredibly thankful to everyone who got behind it.

“I can promise that the money raised will go towards the best spinal cord research that we can support. We’re very fortunate to have Professor Louise Nicholson on the CatWalk board who ensures we can enable our cutting-edge research to happen sooner rather than later,” says Catriona.

Catriona says having the support of some of New Zealand’s biggest sporting stars makes her incredibly proud to be a Kiwi.

“They are our rock stars and their support adds enormous value to our ultimate goal of getting wheelies walking again.

“The research happening is really exciting, we’re very close to clinical trials in Australasia and I’m proud that we all work together because ultimately we all want the same result – to get these legs working again. It’s possible it can happen in our lifetime and that’s our aim.”

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