Equestrian set to thrill

More than 200 horses will compete in the 151st Warkworth A&P Lifestyle Show. Chief equestrian steward Genette Churches says it will be a packed weekend with seven rings operating on the first day (January 27) and four rings operating on the second day (January 28).

Altogether, there are 23 events and 266 classes within those events.

Genette says there will be something for everyone.

“Some really enjoy seeing the miniature horses and others love watching the jumping,” she says. “Others really enjoy seeing a beautifully presented and schooled horse or pony being put through its paces. Still more love to see the carriage horses and ponies do their thing.”

In addition to miniature horses, spectators will also get to see show hacks, saddle horses, working hunters, hunter ponies, pinto horses, pinto ponies and Standardbreds.

Harness classes – where a horse pulls a carriage or buggy – is back for only the second time this year and will feature horses ranging in size from miniatures to hacks.

“Seeing competitors put their horses through the slalom and cones courses should be fun,” Genette says.

Many of the Warkworth A&P equestrian classes serve as a qualifier for the Horse of the Year event held in the Hawkes Bay in March and competition is stiff.

“We get a very good calibre of horses and riders and a lot of them go on to win titles in Horse of the Year in their respective sections,” Genette says.

The Churches family have been running the equestrian section for more than 20 years and Genette says it’s incredibly rewarding to see a great turnout of beautiful horses and ponies enjoying the day’s competition.   

“I keep coming back because after all the years of effort that have gone in to make our show the very best we can, I would hate to see it go backwards.”


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