A record number of schools across Hawke's Bay have entered into an art competition to have their banners displayed at the Horse of the Year Show.
A total of 14 local schools entered the 2020 Land Rover Horse of the Year Show's Resene School Arts Competition so far.
Horse of the Year schools programme coordinator Alisha Neilson said engaging Hawke's Bay students in Australasia's largest equestrian showpiece next March is a key community objective.
"Part of educating youngsters is exposing them to different experiences and in terms of attendance numbers and sporting action, this regionally staged event is the biggest there is," she said.
"Whether the children are 'horsey' or not, attending the show's school open days and banner parade at the Friday Fiesta offers the children a really fun and completely unique experience."
Neilson added: "We all love children's innate ability to bring 'colour' to whatever they do so what could be better than giving them all a paint brush and pots of Resene paints to create their own interpretations of the show."
All the school banners will be paraded at Hawke's Bay A&P Showgrounds on the show's Friday Night Fiesta on March 13, with the winner taking home a year's supply of Resene paints for their school.
Argyll East Primary School principal Julie Thelwell said it was a chance to get their name on the map.
"Our Farm Club has been participating in the Horse of the Year show's banner competition for three years now and it's something our children look forward to and absolutely love," she said.
"The students learn leadership and collaboration when creating the banner; they communicate and take turns. These are all the key competencies from the New Zealand curriculum along with school values that we place a lot of emphasis on."
Argyll East student Isla Gregory, 10, added: "It's a cool experience, being creative and starting something from scratch with our own ideas. It's really good working collaboratively to create an art piece together."
The annual event is held on March 10-15 and attracts over 1400 riders, 1800 horses and in excess of 50,000 spectators.
Hastings Intermediate visual arts teacher Manda Dagg said it was an "exciting" opportunity for the children.
"There are many talented artists at Hastings Intermediate School and creating a piece that will be showcased at a key local event encourages them to reach their potential.
"The kids love Resene's test pots so having all the resources supplied was a big drawcard."
Schools wanting to participate in the Land Rover Horse of the Year's Resene School Art Competition should contact Alisha Neilson on firstname.lastname@example.org