Equitana 2008 Launch
19th June - Royal Melbourne Showgrounds
Story and pictures by Berni Saunders
Horse enthusiasts, key industry personnel, media outlets and some very special horses braved the brisk Melbourne winter weather to celebrate the official launch of an event which is heralded to be the biggest and best equine extravaganza ever to be staged in Australia - Equitana Asia Pacific 2008, which will take place over 4 days from the 20th to 23rd November.
Daryl Herbert from Definitive Events described the "Equitana Precinct" at the recently re-developed Royal Melbourne Showgrounds as an "Equine Wonderland" with so much more to offer horse lovers ... and so much more scope for us to showcase all aspects of the Australian horse industry.
The official proceedings began indoors with some short speeches, announcements and a 4 minute DVD shown on the big screen. Equitana announced a new marketing and news distribution arrangement with The Weekly Times. This collaboration is intended to ensure that all horse people are kept informed about Equitana ... as we count down to the big event.
Above - the big screen presentation told the Equitana story.
The launch highlighted an exciting venture which includes
The Melbourne Showgrounds, The Weekly Times and
Definitive Events who are the Event organisers for Equitana Asia Pacific.
Above left to right - Daryl Herbert from Definitive Events, Mark O'Sullivan -
Melbourne Showgrounds and Ed Gannon from the Weekly Times.
Brendan Downey from Tourism Victoria and Marketa Mensikova from Definitive Events share enthusiasm for the benefits to Victoria which will come from an attraction which will see tens of thousands of people from outside the state
come together in November to celebrate the love of horses and all things equine.
The official indoor part of the day was kept to a minimum and the attendees were treated to a walk around the area of the showgrounds which has been mapped out
to form the "Equitana Precinct"
Daryl Herbert conducted the tour and could not hold back his enthusiasm for the improvements to the event that will be afforded by more space, better parking, 'state of the art' facilities for horses and their handlers and the co-operation from event partners who have so warmly embraced Equitana Asia Pacific and see it as a key tourism event for Victoria.
Daryl said "We had some concerns about moving away from "Jeff's Shed" (The Melbourne Exhibition Centre) where Equitana has been so successfully staged, bi-annually since 1999. This venue was very popular and worked well for us, however with extensive building developments now almost completed on the land around Jeff's Shed, the parking and access for horses would be very problematic and this limited what we could do with our equine demonstrations. The more we looked into the change of venue to the Melbourne Showgrounds ... the more we realised that all of the initial concerns could be overcome."
Daryl said "Arrangements with Connex mean that we are able to offer the purchaser of every ticket to Equitana free train access right to the door of the Showgrounds ... and back to the city, where the best hotels and accommodation can be arranged as part of a memorable experience at Equitana"
The undercover auditorium at the Showgrounds is modern and spacious and has a great atmosphere, it is sure to provide the perfect venue for the various exhibitions and demonstrations. There are a number of buildings and outdoor areas which will be transformed into the Equitana Precinct to become an equine wonderland with something to offer all people with an interest in horses. The traders, shoppers, clinicians, riders, owners and horses will all benefit from the new ideas and innovations in 2008.
The Team behind Equitana Asia Pacific ... from left,
Sicca van Schaardenburg, Daryl Herbert, Paul Thompson,
Rod Lockwood, Lynette Thompson, Marketa Mensikova
and Helen James - who were all delighted with the feedback.
View of part of the Equitana Precinct
Main Arena at the re-developed Melbourne Showgrounds
The "Red Building" and horse demo area where the launch took place.
Above and Below - View inside the Auditorium
Dr Andrew Clarke from the
Living Legends home for
retired Champions of the
Doug Ford from Ford Kinter who handle
Pet Plan Insurance (left) and
Geoff Sinclair the from the EFA
and Horseland/Weatherbeeta (right)
We were then treated to performances from some of the equine stars that will be on show in November, please go to the photo page to meet them.