It's one week to go until lights, camera, action at Farmlands Horse of the Year.

Just seven days until Hawke's Bay Showground becomes a bustling mecca of all things equine, drawing some of New Zealand's top riders and horses for six days of competition.

Once again a huge audience will watch the action with new and improved live streaming of the 17th annual event.

Show director Kevin Hansen says this year's event is set to be the biggest yet and will mark his last at the helm, before he and wife Sue move to Sydney.


"It's going to be a great celebration of the past 16 years of shows," he says. "I want everyone to see what I see when I watch showjumping or eventing or dressage."

Highlights this year include the return of two-time HOY Eventer of the Year, Olympian and World Champ representative Jock Paget, and Katie Laurie (nee McVean) who is seeking her sixth Bostock International Olympic Cup victory.

The Kaimanawa Heritage Horses CopRice Stallion Makeover Competition, which runs from Wednesday March 18 to Friday March 20, will showcase 250 days of work by respected trainers to transform wild stallions.

As well as competing, Paget is also guest speaker at the Plus Four Hall of Fame Gala Dinner, where he will be interviewed by local radio personality Ross Holden.

"That's going to be a great night," Hansen says. "It's always a celebration and it will be fascinating to hear about Jock's highs and lows of the last couple of years."

Land Rover Premier Arena runs over six days from March 17 to March 22 .

This year the Bostock International Olympic Cup is not a qualifier for the World Champs or Olympic Games, which opened it up to more riders.

Hansen says the biggest heroes of the show are the more than 450 volunteers who work behind the scenes to ensure it all runs smoothly.


"They are just magnificent - without them we just wouldn't have a show."