Tokomaru horsebreaker tipped as favourite at Equitana Festival


Auckland crowds were treated to a sneak peak of the country's top equestrian riders and their horses ahead of the Equitana Festival, tipped to be the country's biggest international equestrian event.

More than 2000 people watched New Zealand's top equestrian stars parade along Queen Street.  Special guest, New Zealand World Eventer and Olympian Andrew Nicholson was one of them.

He says the Equitana Festival is an opportunity to promote the equestrian community.  "It's a way to advertise equestrian sports to the public and I'm really excited to be involved with it."

One hundred and forty riders, trainers and educators from across the world will showcase their equine talents during the four-day event. Tokomaru horseman Tui Teka is one of those specially selected.
The 24-year-old is competing in The Way of Horse challenge where he has to train a wild horse in four days.

"It's an opportunity to show the public my unique style of horse breaking. I want to showcase the best of my skills, that's my main focus."

Auckland will host the inaugural event which includes masterclass clinics, competitive showing jumping, dressage, polo and horse breaking.  Event director Kevin Hansen says crowds will be treated to the very best.

"'It's great to see a young bloke from the East Coast come into Auckland to Equitana and compete against the very best from Australia and New Zealand. I've got my money on Tui cause I think he's New Zealand's best-kept secret.'

He says the exposure from young riders will create endless opportunities.

"There are half a dozen riders competing at Equitana that will go on in the next four to five years that will compete at Olympic games and world equestrian games I've got no doubt."

Teka aims to make the most of the opportunity. Nearly 7000 tickets have been sold for the event.