Show ponies will be in their element in Queenstown tomorrow.
Along with the traditional equestrian classes, the Lake County A&P Society has added a new one to the 107th Lake Hayes A&P Show: hobby horsing, where the public can watch entrants whip and neigh-neigh their way around a special course in the showgrounds.
The new class, open to all ages and abilities, was initially going to be introduced to the show last year, but Covid restrictions meant the show had to be canned.
It’s not just about foaling around, though.
Originating in Finland, hobby horsing’s classified as an official sport — participants compete in various disciplines like showjumping and dressage — on wooden stick horses.
It’ll debut here on Saturday from 1pm, straight after the Grand Parade, which Mountain Scene understands hobby horsers can participate in.
Entrants in what could be argued will be the mane event of the day will be judged on riders’ conformation, suitability, technique and presentation in the ring, while a special ‘stallion’ award may also be handed out, if the required standard’s met.
Society committee member Sara Irvine says anyone can enter on the day — no prior experience is necessary.
Hobby horses, including one commissioned by the society from Turakina’s The Rocking Horse Place, will be available to borrow, though people are welcome to make and bring their own.
Meantime, the 107th show, again supported by Destination Queenstown, Queenstown’s council and Central Lakes Trust, along with a host of sponsors including Arrowtown Lifestyle Village and Queenstown Airport, is taking its first steps to becoming waste-free within the next three years.
Initial initiatives include using DISHrupt’s reusable plates and cutlery, setting up free water stations around the grounds for people to bring their own drink bottles, and introducing a ‘mug library’.
Gates open at 8am tomorrow — tickets, available at the gate, cost $15 for adults; kids go free — with the Topp Twins headlining this year’s entertainment, performing at 11am and 3pm.
A free shuttle bus is also running from Arrowtown and a park-and-ride’s being set up at Alec Robins Road.