The future of the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) has been secured by a momentous decision on the part of Grandstand Media Limited to extend its current management contract of the event by a further 25 years.
HOYS, set up in 1949 as a special event to mark the end of the equestrian season, faced near demise in the mid 1990s due to a gradual decline in television coverage of the event, as well as the withdrawal of key sponsors and dwindling live audiences. In 1997, Grandstand Media stepped in, and since then, the show has gone from strength to strength.
Since its initial affiliation with the BSJA at HOYS, the London-based Grandstand Media Ltd has proved beyond all doubt that it is committed to delivering objectives and aspirations for HOYS, and has successfully managed one of the country’s largest equestrian events.
The company was originally contracted to manage HOYS until 2011, but following extensive negotiations with the BSJA, this has now been extended to 2036.
Grandstand Media will hold the management rights to the show for the long term, which in the words of Grandstand Group director, Mark Wein, “will give us (Grandstand Media) the opportunity to further improve and expand this historic Blue Chip Event”.
After more than 40 years at Wembley arena, HOYS moved to the NEC Arena in Birmingham in 2002. In spite of the complexities of the move, which took a year of intense planning, the new venue has been heralded a resounding success, with the event attracting record audiences and sell-out performances.
The BSJA are delighted by the continuing relationship with Grandstand Media, and, with the future in mind, are planning strategies to further raise the profile of the event, in particular by encouraging more international riders.
BSJA chairman, John Jacks, says: “This contract extension is simply a reflection of the faith the BSJA has in the ability of Grandstand Media to deliver us a fantastic event and in doing so, safeguard the future of the Horse of the Year Show”
Horse of the Year Show remains a national institution, the finale to the showing year and the climax to the domestic show jumping year. It is a place to which all horse owners and riders aspire, as top show jumper John Whitaker highlights by saying: “Winning at HOYS is the pinnacle of every equestrians career”.
For more information about HOYS visit: www.hoys.co.uk