Preparations for this year's Land Rover Horse of the Year are well under way with setting up the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds Tomoana for next week's influx.

A number of marquees were already in place, and behind the scenes the operations team, who had been based at the site for several weeks, were working hard to get everything in order.

More than 600 temporary yards and stables are being brought in to help house the horses over the course of the week, and there will also be 4 kilometres of fencing and 2 kilometres of crowd control barriers used.

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Yesterday, work was continuing on preparing covered stables, which had been brought down from Mystery Creek, said operations manager Trish Webb.

"We have been putting these up over the last two days, which is heavy, hard work, and now we are filling them up with AHD biodegradable bedding."

The bedding was delivered in pellets and this would be watered and raked so it puffed up to provide a comfortable, natural floor for the horses.

Outdoor pens for a variety of horses and ponies were also being erected this week and a section of premier stabling would start to be set up this week.

In preceding weeks Showjumping Hawke's Bay had been conducting working bees painting and fixing up the rails and jumps, and would be back at the venue on Friday putting them out, and then with the assistance of the course designer they would be set in position, she said.

"A big thing is bringing in the dressage arena, which will have several tonnes of limestone laid down for it.

"Then it has to be groomed so it's brought up to a nice level, and it's bowed slightly to allow for run-off."

Ms Webb said horses were brought in last Sunday to test out the surface to ensure it met the specifications required.


The event's groundspeople would take over from the normal staff today to prepare the various areas for the events.

While a lot of work went into preparing the grounds and facilities, there was still much to do during the event including feeding out 2000 bales of hay to the horses over the show week, and dealing with the 150 tonnes of manure that they produced.

The Land Rover Horse of the Year kicks off on Tuesday next week and runs until March 18.