There’s cash, crowns and plenty of fun on offer for Australian combinations heading to New Zealand for the 2014 Long White Cloud Tour.
With eight shows on the card, culminating in the NRM Horse of the Year Show, and the chance to travel the length of the country, there is plenty to tempt those up for a challenge.
The tour starts at the Otago Showjumping and Show Hunter Championships starting on January 30 in Mosgiel before heading to Ride the Rhythm in Dunedin on February 1, the New Zealand National Showjumping Championships in Christchurch on February 6-9, the Canterbury Showjumping Champs on February 14-16, Woodhill Sands Showjumping on February 22-23, the 3* Tauranga Showjumping Champs which run from February 27 through to March 2, the Taranaki 3* at Hawera on March 8-9 and then it’s to the business end, with Showjumping’s Holy Grail and the Horse of the Year Show running from March 16 in Hawke’s Bay.
Test matches will be held at Woodhill Sands, Tauranga and HOY.
Brainchild behind the tour, Kevin Hansen, attracted a top-flight crew in 2013’s inaugural year, and is hopeful of a similar turnout for 2014.
Jamie Kermond proved the one to beat last year and headed home with plenty in the prize pot.
The big money classes are at February’s Ride the Rhythm, which has $50,000 prize purse for its grand prix, with the NRM Horse of the Year offering $200,000 for the JB Olympic Cup – $40,000 to the winner – and $50,000 in the McMillan Equine Feeds Silver Fern Stakes, which incorporates the trans-Tasman test.
The National Championships have around $11,000 in prize money on offer over the three days of competition, with $8000 on offer at Tauranga and $3000 at the Canterbury champs.
“The shows are excellent and there is plenty of fun to be had,” says Hansen. “It is seven weeks that will not be forgotten.”