Show continues despite rain
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 region 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 bought 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 leave their camping set-up at the showgrounds, but the challenge is how to transport ponies to the Equestrian Park, and then move between the two venues.
“We have to make the best of the situation, we have a solution, it’s just getting the horses down there.”
The conditions and forecast for further rain forced the cancellation of the cross country phase of the eventing, as rider and horse welfare is the paramount concern, but there is still plenty of action for spectators and competitors alike in other arenas, including dressage and showing.