Having one of the country’s top free riders performing on her horse in the centre of the city has got to be a highlight of this Sunday’s Horse of the Year Showcase. (Feb 28)
Alycia Burton rides her mount without saddle or bridle. Horses have always been part of her life, growing up in the Far North. Her career as a public performer started out by accident, when she posted a photo of her jumping her horse without any of the traditional aids. That led to a video, and the rest is history. The horse she will have with her on Sunday is Classic Goldrush, a horse with an “extra dose of personality”.
Another special guest, from Gisborne, is Tumanako “Tui” Teka. His horse Kingston, who he has described as “a real character” sits, bows, lays down and rolls over at the smallest signal from his show partner.
Really piling on the action will be the Mounted Games riders, who take gymkhana sports to a whole new level.
The horsey highlights coming into the city for the Horse of the Year Showcase, being held in Civic Square, do not end there. For those who want to get up close and personal, there will be petting horses, from the littlest miniatures to a Clydesdale.
The afternoon kicks off at 1pm with music (Headlock and Mia Sohnge), face painting, crafts, a bouncy castle and the “Great Wardini”.
From 3pm the horse action will include demonstrations by Burton, Teka and the Mounted Games team, as well as a presentation on the work of the Leg Up Trust, which uses horses to help at-risk youth.