Horse of the Year Hawke's Bay's council-appointed director and chair Cynthia Bowers says further recommendations from the Waterhouse review of the annual equestrian competition have been adopted and the event is looking in good shape for next year.
The review, written by Craig Waterhouse, was requested by the Hastings District Council after the week-long event recorded a loss of about $170,000 last year, put down in part due to the transition from event managers Eventpro to SMC Events.
It recommended that the council retain SMC as event managers despite their breach of a delivery agreement with HOYHB by not delivering budget, and in July this year the council gave HOYHB a cash grant of $170,000 to provide the company with cashflow and reduce the risk around some of the event's costs.
In speaking to the HOYHB annual report that was presented to the Hastings District Council yesterday, Ms Bowers said the board had been following the Waterhouse recommendations and addressed risk assessments and mitigation strategies.
"The 2017 budget is reasonably conservative and the board has recognised that there are two areas of risk - charitable trust donations have reduced by $67,000 [from last year] and we have put a modest figure on sponsorship."
The forecast in the annual report predicted a net surplus of $55,000 for 2017, increasing to 75,000 in 2018.
"In planning for 2017, of the revenue stream we can predict at this stage the trade site sales as of last month were ahead of normal with 80 per cent sold and sponsorship is progressing well, also ahead of where we were last year."
She said that as per the recommendations they had also put together an equestrian advisory committee comprising representatives of the competition sectors to ensure that it was well organised.
"It's been really well received by the equestrian sectors - we are really pleased with the way the show for next year is coming together."
Councillor Tania Kerr questioned the timing of the Statement of Intent reporting dates, and the fact it was later than requested - coming in at the end of July rather than the end of May.
"We need to look at that and make sure we comply with the dates for next year," Ms Bowers said.
Councillor John Roil asked if the board would have a checking process throughout, rather than the issues coming to light after the event.
Ms Bowers responded that there had been a number of controls introduced, including former HOYHB financial administrator Sophie Blake attending all board meetings.
"She is monitoring the financials and this will enable us to have better control over those predictions."
Ms Bowers' continued representation on the board was also discussed, and she said that the Waterhouse report had recommended continuity, but that would be something for the new council to decide after the local body elections.
"If I'm not considered for a councillor role, there is still a space on the board for another independent director seat."