Horse of the Year organisers encourage children to watch the first-ever "Olympic Games-style" cross-country event for only $5.

NRM Horse of the Year Show (HOY) director Kevin Hansen said the show from March 22 will have a focus on creating a People's Day around the new cross-country course at the Hawke's Bay A&P Showgrounds.

"This will be the closest you can get to feeling like you are watching the cross country at the Olympic Games" he said.

"We know how important it is to make the show as affordable as possible for Hawke's Bay families so they can bring their children and picnic in the Waikoko Gardens, right in the heart of the action as horses and riders take on the water jumps."


Horses will take on the new 3.8km cross-country course jumping 38 fences on Saturday, March 22. Mr Hansen said the entire Horse of the Year Show would come to a standstill at 2pm to watch the action.

He said a big screen would be at the grounds for everyone to enjoy the other jumps.

The cross-country event is expected to attract a record crowd to the show and is a real draw-card for attracting the "not-so-horsey" to the event.

"We wanted to do more to bring the great people of Hawke's Bay to Horse of the Year, so everyone can enjoy and take part in the greatest event of the show."

For people who attend People's Day, a special discounted family ticket of $38 for two adults and two children will be exclusively on sale for Saturday at the gate. Entry for all children is $5 and parking is free.