EQUITANA AUSTRALIA AND SYDNEY – A GREAT NEW PARTNERSHIP!
The launch of EQUITANA Sydney on 10-13 November 2011, was an extraordinary success and organisers are pleased to announce that there were over 45,000 attendances over the four days and General Admission (GA) ticket sales broke all previous event records!
Sydney Showgrounds became an equine paradise and the air conditioned Exhibition precinct provided visitors with a real haven from the heat that Sydney turned on for the event. The Dome was transformed into a beautiful, 5,000 seat international venue with full concert lighting and sound, which gave Australian competitors the opportunity to experience conditions they would encounter overseas and, ensured our International clinicians felt right at home.
We believe that the excitement and commitment from our new media partners, Rural Press/Fairfax newspapers, together with a reinvigorated marketing campaign, really helped boost the numbers at EQUITANA Sydney. The event attracted a broader geographic spread - particularly from northern NSW and Queensland, which is incredible for a new event and for the horse industry generally. Many of the GA attendees were from outside of the core horse industry and the influx of general public provided not only an expanded audience for competitions, educators and entertainers, but also new customers for the exhibition.
The competition program was truly outstanding this year. The re-vamped EQUITANA Australian Open, which now focuses specifically on the finals in Reining, Cutting and Camp Drafting, had audiences wildly – and loudly! – showing their appreciation. The inaugural Equestrian Grand Final Competition, jointly presented by Equestrian Australia and EQUITANA Australia and supported by the Australian Sports Commission, was also a huge success with the crowds. We look forward to growing that competition into an even “Grander” one over the next few years.
The fusion of world class entertainment and the major competitions that make up the evening programs reached new heights this year, which was reflected by the enjoyment of audiences, who left their seats to give participants standing ovations every night!
An exciting array of contests supported the Australian Open and Equestrian Grand Finals including: - Carriage Driving, Vaulting, Horseball, Mounted Games, Trick Riding, Show Horse, Polocrosse and Barrel Racing, so there was something for every taste and plenty of action for the general public to enjoy too.
The Education Program was exceptional this year and in addition to the many educators who provided top notch presentations, our International guests Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud, US Horsemanship Clinician, Stacy Westfall, US Cutting Master, Bobby Ingersoll and gold medal carriage driver, Boyd Excell delivered outstanding learning experiences to visitors.
International US clinician, Stacy Westfall, loved EQUITANA Sydney and the Australian people, who she believes are some of the friendliest in the world. In a recent email, she told us that “We had soooo much fun while we were there. We are going to have to come back someday”!
The Way of The Horse – Australian Horsemanship Challenge – was a great hit with the Sydney crowds and the 2011 winner was Greg Powell, who did an outstanding job. Coolidowns Australian Stock Horse Stud, who provided the unbroken horses for the challenge, kindly donated Greg’s horse to his charity, Kalandin Foundation, which provides underprivileged kids with quality country time with horses.
EQUITANA’s Exhibition saw many new businesses come on board for the first time, creating an even more diverse and exciting shopping experience than ever before. The expansion of options was not only a winner with horse lovers, but also with the general public who took advantage of the great variety and craftsmanship of products, to stock up on Christmas gifts.
Exert from quote from Peter Horibin:
We have been with Equitana since the very beginning and I am proud to say that we enjoy being a part of the continuing growth of this fantastic event! Sydney was truly sensational! The Vibe of the crowd was uplifting, the range of stands were fresh & interesting. You can never predict the reaction and attendance, but Sydney and the Equitana team really pulled off a spectacular weekend!
We here at EQUITANA would like to sincerely thank everyone who worked so hard to make the event the success that it was.
The EQUITANA Australia team believes that the Sydney event has “thrown down the gauntlet” and is looking forward to the challenge of making the EQUITANA Melbourne event even better! Make sure you put 15-18 November, 2012 in your diary and stay tuned to the EQUITANA website www.equitana.com.aufor lots of exciting announcements in the New Year!