Record entries, a royal visit and the end of daylight saving are turning the 2014 BNZ Kihikihi International Horse Trial into one to remember.

The draw is done and by Thursday, nearly 300 horses and riders will be heading to the Kihikihi Domain in readiness for another sterling event. A little rain late this week has hopefully taken a bit of the sting out of a very parched ground.

FEI liaison Jenny Draper, who with former president Pete Jenkins, pushed to have a CIC1* at the 2013 event, says it’s heartening to see so many entries across the board.

There is both a CIC1* and CNC1* running – one under FEI rules and the other under ESNZ. “The response has been great to having these classes,” says Draper.

CIC2* entries are almost double from last year and the interest in the run of pre novice classes has created all sorts of challenges. “Fitting everything in during daylight is a challenge all right. We are pretty much at our ceiling for numbers we can run on cross country day. If we get an unexpected hold up, you really start running into the danger zone with light.” Everything is starting at 8am as a result.

It is just Draper’s second year helping at Kihikihi. As an FEI judge she felt she had plenty to offer the event.
“It is a great event to be part of but there is a lot more to it than you first imagine!”

Big entry numbers have also created a bit of a headache for Judith Williams who had to get in an extra 40 yards in. “It has been a bit of a juggle, but I think we are there!” Extra yards mean extra space, but Williams says thanks to Paul Kay moving machinery, she will be able to fit some where the day parking is and the remainder in the small paddock. The yards have come from the Tirau Putaruru Polocrosse Club.

And the royal visit to Cambridge on Saturday has put additional pressure on the hire companies which also supply Kihikihi, but don’t expect to notice anything missing from one of New Zealand’s premier events.

Date Added: Sunday, 6th April 2014