Equidays 2016 was held at Mystery Creek on October 14-16. We sent reporter Hayley Clarke along to check out the action. Read on to find out what she got up to at the event!

PHOTOGRAPHY: KAYLEE MCBETH & CHANTELLE FLETT

Equidays, or should it be Equi-sisters or Wilson-days? 2016 was a blast! Apart from three days of cold weather and rain, the atmosphere was amazing. The weather didn’t scare the crowds away and a lot of that is down to the
Wilson Sisters being named Equidays ambassadors. But no matter how mad you are about them, there are plenty of other things to keep your eye on over the three days.

There were many clinics by held by trainers famous in the equestrian arena. The likes of Clarke Johnstone, Dan Steers, Vanessa Way, Albert Voom and Warwick Schiller, just to name a few, produced many knowledgeable ways of doing all things equine. The younger kids also had their chance in the limelight with youth camps that
included daily lessons from Jody Hartstone, Amanda Wilson and Vicki Wilson.

The shopping was incredible. There were some amazing deals from every exhibitor and everyone spent far too much money, including myself, with no regrets however! Because of the weather the shops were all flooded with people throughout the whole weekend so many of the bargains were snapped up.

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If after all that shopping you felt a little hungry, there was a variety of food to suit everyone’s needs. Bacon and egg rolls, Subway, Pita Pit, pork belly burgers, hot dogs, chips, crepes, ice cream and the hot drinks caravans were over loaded all weekend!

There were some amazing displays of horsemanship throughout the competitions over all three days. Napier’s Olivia Ahlborn aboard Aorangi Ragtime won the Honda NZ Pony Derby on the first day of competition.

On Saturday, Lucy Olphert and Eve Saint Laurent won the Hyundai Derby with the only double-clear round.
There were a few challenges that ran over the three days including the Kaimanawa Heritage Horse Stallion Challenge.

Tina Fagan and Bullwinkle took out the overall win. Vicki Wilson received the People’s Choice Award with her horse, Mascot. DSE Sunset Pass, ridden by Donna Edwards-Smith was the winner of the Beyond The Barriers Dunstan Feeds Ex-Factor Challenge which was held over the three days.

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Holly Morrell and Alani won the well contested Isuzu D-Max Cross Country and Show Jumping Challenge.
The champion of all had to be crowned with Trey Cadwallader on Leeara Park First Edition taking out the Lisa Chittick Memorial class for the Champion of Champions.

The night shows were a major highlight for me this year. Friday night saw the Equidays Showjumping Spectacular Show where two competitors set off against each other at different ends of the indoor arena to complete their course the fastest in order to move on to the next round.

There was also an appearance from Amanda Wilsons’ mustang, Bragg, later followed by some barrel racing.
Later on was the moment everyone had been waiting for: the Equidays Grand Prix Show Jumping.

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With some amazing jumping shown from all competitors it came down to the final two who happened to be sisters Vicki and Amanda Wilson. Amanda completed a clear round and had to wait on Vicki to compete to see which one of them had won the title.

Vicki knocked a few rails so the win went to Amanda and Showtym Cassonova.

Saturday night saw the Horseplay and Hijinks show come to life. The entire show was very impressive; we saw a horse sitting on a bean bag, a horse carrying a dummy around, cutting, a Fresian display, acrobatic dancers,
carriage driving and so much more.

But what had everyone laughing was the battle of the breeds. Vicki, Kelly and Amanda Wilson all brought their horses out, Vicki’s Kaimanawa, Argo; Kelly’s brumby, Shyla, and Amanda’s mustang, Bragg.

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The girls had the crowds in hysterics as they completed tasks to see who would rein in Champion of the Breeds.
Amanda and Bragg took it out with their faultless bareback jumping and Amanda’s hilarious American accent.
After three days of horses, food and shopping everyone packed up and headed home.

This year I camped on site which gave me easy access to the show, discounted breakfasts and best of all I could unload my arms full of shopping bags and head back in for more!

For all the horse mad people out there, even if you’re not quite mad yet, you need to get along to Equidays- you won’t regret it!

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