This year's Farmlands Horse of the Year made a loss of about $170,000.
HOY chairperson Cynthia Bowers said while it was disappointing, some of the work that led to the loss will help reduce costs for next year's show.
The annual show is the largest event in the Southern Hemisphere and brings $12 million in to the local community.
The interim figure was announced by Horse of the Year Limited today, with the audited result to be confirmed by August 31. The 2016 Show cost $2.3 million to run.
Mrs Bowers said the interim figure had been released in the face of speculation in the media that the loss was of much greater proportions.
New management company SMC Events had increased spending on, among other things, heightened health and safety requirements, enhanced security, and improved stabling facilities, she said.
While trade sites and competitor numbers were slightly down on previous years, those competitors attending the Show entered into more classes than previously.
The result was however a decline in revenue from these sources and this contributed to the loss, Mrs Bowers said.
On the plus side, spectator numbers were up and competitors rated their satisfaction with the show at 92 per cent, up from 66 per cent the year before.
"While we are disappointed at the level of loss, as a board we are satisfied with the benchmark laid with this year's event by event managers SMC," Mrs Bowers said.
The board, SMC and facility owner A&P Society are working together to ensure the success of the event, she said.
"We are working closely with the A&P Society to agree a plan and set the priorities for improving facilities on the showgrounds which will help save costs for Horse of the Year".
Work on signing up trade sites is already well under way with a number of sites already committed, Mrs Bowers said.
Last week event manager Dave Mee said he was confident the company would turn the loss around.
SMC Events ran the event for the first time this year, taking over from long-time event manager Kevin Hansen.