"We will turn it around," Farmlands Horse of the Year event manager Dave Mee says of this year's financial loss.

The largest equestrian show in the country lost money in its first year being run by SMC Events.

The loss will be carried by the event's board, HOY chairwoman Cynthia Bowers said.

Shareholders and ratepayers will know the full extent of the loss next week.


Mr Mee said it was a "huge undertaking" coming in just nine months before the event and the company had made a massive investment.

There had been some increased costs, along with a few areas that under-performed but he was confident he could "turn it around".

"If it wasn't a sound investment we wouldn't be sticking around."

Mr Mee said most of the competitors surveyed gave the show positive feedback which gave the event a good footing to work on for next year.

Ms Bowers said shareholders had been advised of the loss.

Hastings District councillor Wayne Bradshaw said unfortunately the chairwoman and Board of HOY Ltd "have not felt it appropriate" to disclose the 2016 financial loss to their shareholders yet.

Shareholders should have been told about the loss "pronto", he said.

Ms Bowers said shareholders would be given an estimation of the loss next week, 10 days since the board's balance due date of May 31.

"I think that's a reasonably good time frame to be advising them."

Mr Bradshaw said with one of the shareholders of HOY Ltd being the ratepayers of Hastings, it was extremely important the show directors were honest and upfront.

"This is not council money, but ratepayer's money."

Ms Bowers said the HOY board would carry the loss and would cope as it did with previous losses.

The 2014 show, under former event manager Kevin Hansen made a $108,000 loss and the board recovered that from the profits from the following year's show.

SMC Events was paid a base fee to run the event, with an incentive structure over that.

The company was not entitled to a bonus as it incurred a loss.

Ms Bowers said she still had confidence in SMC Events.

"There are more measures of success of the show than the financial measure.

"Obviously I'm really disappointed ... but setting that off to one side I think SMC did a really good job with this year's show. They made a whole lot of enhancements."

Mr Bradshaw said Horse of the Year was a fantastic event for the region but needs to have a "strong, professional and transparent team".

"Having a council as a shareholder with the deputy mayor as the board's chair, can create issues that need to be addressed.

"These include conflicts of interest, necessary skills and political influence."

Ms Bowers, who has been chairwoman of the board for four years, said the auditor-general had already thrown out a complaint about a conflict of interest.

Mayor Lawrence Yule took no issue with the board, saying he completely trusted Ms Bowers.

Mr Yule said instead of people taking pot shots they should be getting behind the event to ensure it succeeds in the future.