Great Millennium Start for HOYS

A record number of competitors and an audience of over 40,000 helped to create a fantastic atmosphere at the Horse of the Year Show 2000, making the first show of the new millennium a resounding success. The show enjoyed near capacity crowds at the weekend and a glittering turn out for the Sunday gala night.

"We are delighted with this year's event", says Mark Wein, director of Grandstand Media Ltd, organisers of Horse of the Year Show. "We've been organising the event since 1997 and have seen dramatic improvements over that time, with yearly gains in audience to the point that attendance has more than doubled over the past four years. This year we have enjoyed an unprecedented amount of positive feedback from people who have been involved in the show for many years, indicating that the Horse of the Year Show now really is back to its best. The atmosphere was fantastic, the displays were superb, the shopping area was packed and the competition fierce - with nearly a quarter of a million pounds in prize money up for grabs. When you consider that we were competing with the Olympics on television it is real proof of the strength of the Horse of the Year Show and the power of the live event."

The style and glamour of the event attracted a host of stars including top entertainers, Elaine Page, Robert Lindsay, Noel Edmonds and Shane from Westlife, plus celebrated sportspeople like Jackie Stewart, Johnny Francome, Rory Underwood and the courageous Jenny Pitman.

The three special displays were particularly well received. Returning to Horse of the Year Show to make his only UK performance this year was horse supremo Jean Francois Pignon. Pignon used the show to premier a new act, and as always his magical display of equestrian theatre kept the packed Arena spellbound.

Two hugely successful debut performances at Wembley arena were made by the thrilling Metropolitan Police's Activity Ride and the miniature military display - the HOYS Mounted Guard - performed by members of the Cheshire Hunt North Branch of the Pony Club, with an average age of nine years.

"There is no doubt that we have set the tone for the Horse of the Year Show for the years to come," concludes Mark Wein. "The success of the show over the last two or three years has given it real momentum and its future has never looked so certain."

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Updated: October 2005.