Hawke's Bay's Horse of the Year will receive nearly $300,000 from Hastings District Council.

In a council meeting today, councillors voted to give more financial support to what has become New Zealand's premier equestrian competition, after this year's event resulted in a loss of around $170,000.

An independent review requested by council found this was partly due to the transition from event managers Eventpro, to SMC Events last year.

Councillors voted to make a cash grant of $170,000 to Horse of the Year (Hawke's Bay) Ltd - which would provide the company with cash flow, and de-risk some of the event's cost.


Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule said the decision might not be supported by all in the community, but a one-off cost of $170,000 for an event which returned up to $12 million to the regional economy was an investment worth making.

It was also agreed by the majority of councilors that council should increase their annual contribution to the HOY event to $120,000.

Several councilors said they believed the event had been underfunded in the past, and the council needed to support HOY to keep it in Hawke's Bay.