Horse of the Year Show reverts to five-day format

  • It is unclear where Express Eventing will hold its final next year following the news that Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) will revert to a five-day format.

    But Helena Pettit, of show organisers Grandstand, said HOYS is trying to work out if it can fit the competition into the show.

    “We will be holding meetings but it is not yet guaranteed,” she said.

    HOYS added a sixth day this year to incorporate the Express Eventing final. It was won by eventer Matthew Wright, who said it would be a shame if the final was not at HOYS.

    “It was a great competition this year,” he added. “I keep a horse especially for it and hope it will take place next year.”

    The competition, which involves dressage to music, arena-based cross-country and showjumping has had a number of incarnations since its troubled inception in 2008.

    This year’s new sixth day was not entirely a success for HOYS. Concerns were that it diluted, rather than increased, the show’s audience.

    Ms Pettit said HOYS had decided not to run a sixth day in 2012 because of the expense involved in hiring the venue and staff for an extra day.

    “People have already bought tickets for the Olympics – it will be an expensive year for our audience,” she pointed out.

    Paul White, spokesman for Express Eventing, said: “We are finalising plans for 2012 and are in discussion with venues who held the 2011 series, as well as additional ones.”

    This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (8 December 2011)

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