Stadium: Animal safety and welfare top priority? #Dunedin

Ride the Rhythm colour (1)Screenshot.

“Doors open at 3:30pm with equestrian action kicking off the evening’s entertainment, thrilling the crowd from every angle. It will include everything from international show jumping and the high-paced action of mounted games, to the masterfully crafted grace, power and beauty of dressage to music. The stadium’s intimate feel will only add to the spectacle, bringing its own unique party atmosphere.

The highlight of the equestrian action will be the McMillian Equine Feeds Super Grand Prix, boasting a $50,000 prize, making it the second biggest Grand Prix in Australasia. Run over two rounds, the competition will feature some of Australasia’s leading jumping combinations.

As the equestrian entertainment draws to a close, The Hollies will take to the stage bringing down the curtain on Dunedin’s biggest night of the year, providing hours of entertainment.”

Equestrian Information

Comments received.

Submitted on 2013/01/03 at 9:53 am

I read somewhere that the “highlight” is an attempt on the NZ high jumping record for horses. I’ve seen these events many time around the world and they can be incredibly dangerous for the horses. The height and force they land from/with puts tremendous stresses on their frames. Because of this, any attempt competition is always made on a specially prepared surface. They do not, repeat NOT, come down from 2+ metres onto a heavily compacted football pitch with all the forgiving qualities of a concrete slab. The riders are only ever specialist jumpers on horses trained specifically for this one event. Allowing this cowboy production to perform in our town puts a cloud over us all. Leave the rest in, drop the prices to match the product and get rid of the ridiculous jump. Show the animals some respect.

Submitted on 2013/01/03 at 9:43 am

You would think that someone with a knighthood would ask his reporters to check a story instead of simply posting a copy of the promoter’s advertising flyer and calling it journalism. Like the infamous rodeo, this is another overhyped event. There is only one legitimate show jumper on the start list, and she has sold the horse that gave her a name. Riding a new young horse is like expecting a Formula One driver to show his top skills while driving a Ford Escort. Riding is all about combinations. All top riders will be in Europe in February, at the height of the competition season, where their top horses are permanently based. The other so called “Olympians” date back almost 20 years and were Eventers. Expecting them to give a quality specialist display is like expecting a top Triathlete to win the Tour De France. These promoters are going to want to charge top dollar for tickets. The very least they could do is to be upfront about the product. Probably a bit much to ask. They have managed to shoot themselves in the foot a bit, however. So there is some justice. The date of the event is the same date as the national Dressage riding championships in Christchurch. A bit of a lesson in researching your target audience before trying to screw them.

The Animal Welfare Act 1999 is a very wide-ranging Act and deals with offences in the handling and management of animals (including fish and birds) in this country. For a full guide to the Animal Welfare Act 1999, visit the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) webpage.

SPCA Otago – Dunedin

General Enquiries:
Phone: 03 473 8252
Fax: 03 473 8169
Please do not send an email for animal welfare or emergencies. Please phone us on the above number.

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 10am to 4.30pm
Saturday and Sunday: 1pm to 3pm

The Haven:
SPCA Otago Centre, 1 Torridon Street, Opoho, Dunedin 9010

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

33 responses to “Stadium: Animal safety and welfare top priority? #Dunedin

  1. Elizabeth

    Comment from Rob Hamlin

    I see the one-page advertorial for Ride The Rhythm in ODT today (page 28) is supported by G.J. Gardner. How nice, how horsey.

    Further to Phil’s comment, the Jumping into the Unknown event is described as:

    “There’s $70,000 up for grabs, just a few minor requirements: courage, bravery, an extraordinary showjumping horse and an even more ambitious rider. The challenge: to clear a seemingly insurmountable wall, 2.21metres high (on display in the Octagon from February 25), 8cm higher than the New Zealand showjumping height record set in 1984. Hush will fall upon the stadium as riders put fear to one side and jump into the unknown.”

    They don’t say anything about the safety and welfare of the horses. Or about the landing surface.

    • Elizabeth

      Deadbeat promoters don’t care about the horses, no wonder the event has ‘dropped out’… public know best, to stay away.

      ### January 24, 2013 – 5:55pm
      Wall in Octagon sets the bar for 30 year old record
      A more than two metre high wall that has risen in the Octagon has set the bar for a record that’s been in place for almost 30 years. The New Zealand show jumping height record is set to be challenged at an event in Dunedin. And organisers hope it may focus attention on a competition that has dropped out of the equestrian scene in the last few decades.
      Video [to be uploaded]

    • Cr Fliss Butcher praised Mr Scott’s plea, and said she was ”100% with you”, but Cr Kate Wilson questioned why rodeos – and not equestrian or greyhound racing – were being targeted.

      ### ODT Online Tue, 12 Feb 2013
      Group appeals for DCC rodeo ban
      By Chris Morris
      The International Rodeo could be barred from returning to Forsyth Barr Stadium if the Dunedin City Council agrees to a plea from animal rights group Safe. The group’s Dunedin co-ordinator, Carl Scott, yesterday petitioned the council to follow the Auckland council’s lead and ban rodeos from all council-owned land and facilities.
      Read more


      topsy replies: Dear Cr Wilson

      • ### February 14, 2013 – 7:02pm
        Nightly interview: Carl Scott
        Dunedin’s rodeo events have attracted criticism recently, from animal rights group Safe. This week, the group’s Dunedin volunteer coordinator called on the city council to follow the Auckland City Council’s lead and ban rodeos outright on council land. Carl Scott from SAFE joins us to explain.

  2. Peter

    I saw this wall today. Why have they employed two security men to guard it? What a waste of money.

    • Elizabeth

      Guarding? Too weird, Peter. Don’t suppose anyone gave them the extra job of selling tickets to Ride The Rhythm.
      Gimme the keys to our tank.

  3. Anonymous

    Like the phallic statue, wasted spending on this wall also represents the joke this council has become, the type of brick-heads it now employs and what it is invariably heading towards.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 25 Jan 2013
      Formidable obstacle under close watch
      By Shawn McAvinue
      The large wall put up in the Octagon yesterday demonstrates what showjumpers will need to clear to break a New Zealand record at Ride the Rhythm next Friday. The wooden wall will be in the Octagon until noon on February 1. A security firm would guard it until then.
      Read more

  4. Kevin Hansen

    Hi Everyone. I am the promoter of Ride the Rhythm and also the Otago Showjumping Championships. We are also the event organiser of the largest equestrian event in the southern hemisphere, the New Zealand Horse of the Year Show. I am past president of the New Zealand Equestrian Federation and I have also volunteered at the World Equestrian Games and the Olympic Games. During my equestrian career, I have represented showjumping for New Zealand and also competed in many puissances. My best horse Charlie Brown competed in many puissances with me and jumped 6ft 9 five times. I rode him for 18 years, and retired him at 18 years of age and he died at the age of 30 at the back of my farm in Hawkes Bay. I consider the surface at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, the best surface any New Zealand showjumping rider will have competed on within New Zealand, and ideally suited for a puissance. The best riders in New Zealand and Australia would not be competing in this event if they considered it to be harmful to their horses.
    Thanking you for your views
    Kevin Hansen
    Event Manager to Ride the Rhythm

  5. ### January 31, 2013 – 7:07pm
    Sound of hooves at Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow night
    The sound of hooves will be ringing out around Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow night. Around 50 horses will be taking part in a world first equestrian spectacle, on a surface they’re not too familiar with. A former World Champ says the precious turf at the stadium seems to be standing up well to the pressure the horses are putting on it.

    • ### Thu, 31 Jan 2013 10:48p.m.
      The Hollies team up with horses in Dunedin
      By Dave Goosselink
      One of Britain’s top classic bands is joining with some of Australasia’s top show jumpers for a unique event in Dunedin. The Hollies are here on their 50th anniversary tour, and will have a line-up of horses warming up the crowd tomorrow night. It’s a unique venue for an equestrian spectacle – Dunedin’s covered Forsyth Barr Stadium preparing to host a line-up of top show jumpers, in a series of competitions to thrill the crowd. Show jumper Mathew Gilmour is looking forward to it. “Well hopefully they’ll see some talented horses jumping some impressive jumps, and some good riding.” Some spent the afternoon testing out the venue while it was still empty, practising a ride which is new to all competitors. “Never in a stadium like this, it’s pretty special no matter where you are in the world to be indoors riding on a grass surface,” jumper Samantha McIntosh says.[…]While they’ll entertain the crowd for the afternoon, it’s classic Brit-pop group The Hollies who’ll be headlining the evening’s entertainment. New Zealand is their first stop in their 50th Anniversary Tour, the band continuing onto Napier, Hamilton, and Auckland over the next few days.
      Read more + Video

  6. Phil

    Well Kevin, having competed in puissance and having worked at World equestrian events, you’ll know that the surface for the puissance event is a bespoke prepared surface and does not include a compacted football playing surface. You will also know that horses who compete in the 2+m event are horses specifically prepared for that event and that event alone. The Whitakers do not typically bring their regular jumping horses into the puissance event ring at Olympia. It’s not an event for a general purpose horse, nor is it an event for a general purpose rider. It’s certainly not an event for a general purpose surface.

  7. Peter

    I saw the TV One News clip on the ‘Horses and Hollies’ Show at Dunedin’s ‘rugby stadium’. (Not Forsyth Barr Stadium) The short bit on the Hollies was ‘interesting’. Awful, tinny sound, once again, that dissipated into the ether. I’d feel ripped off listening to this if I was a Hollies fan. Better to stay at home and put an old CD on your own sound system.

    • ### TVNZ News 6:29PM Sat February 02, 2013
      Source: ONE Sport
      Dunedin’s equestrian extravaganza (1:49)
      Nearly 7,000 people turned up for the International Showjumping action at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium…

  8. Anonymous

    Nearly? That’s like… um… saying 60,000 people visit ODT Online each week, based on January to July 2010 data from Google Analytics and then calling them “customers” when promoting an advertising feature. Nice try but a little sad really. Probably a little embarrassing too.

  9. Mike

    So another stadium sell out crowd then …..

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    A “usually reliable source”, placed where information updates are frequent, told me at about 8pm last night that only about 6000 tickets had been sold.

  11. Anonymous

    … the photos in Monday’s paper will probably suggest otherwise. Whether it’s 500 or 7000 they are usually selective and give the impression of a full seating. The ticket count will be middle to end (usually at the end if it’s rugby related). Burden will say it was a success in some form or another regardless of how much it cost the ratepayer. And Cull will concur. I wonder how much all that promotion cost the event organisers though? That bit will hurt, certainly behind the scenes if they’re polite enough not to comment. Many ads and marketing material, across multiple mediums, event costs including a real nifty looking red truck they had parked up at a cafe in Roslyn. Probably makes paying for those two guards to guard a wall rather daft now (assuming the Ratepayer didn’t pay for that). Event success or otherwise, it will come down to the expectations of the event organisers and how they pass along that knowledge to their colleagues in the business. No amount of Dave Cull Ratepayer Funded Millions is going to help if people don’t want to go to his damned stadium.

    You can force ratepayers to fund it but you can’t make them like it.

  12. Anonymous

    [Hi Allied Press! Hi Spooks! Who’s going to play the double bluff?]

  13. Peter

    How many left the Horses before the Hollies? I can’t imagine everyone staying for up to seven/eight hours to listen to/view both acts.Some fudged numbers here that will never see independent scrutiny. The game of make believe continues.
    I loved the upclose photos in today’s ODT. No pan shots.

  14. Peter

    You have to wonder if ‘horsey people’ and ‘hollies people’ are of a similar ilk in terms of personal interests/tastes. Who would know. Sounds like a good research topic for a PhD!

  15. The bombast of the venue operators is crass and unprofessional – their venue has major acoustic problems and still they can’t work out which seats should be offered for HONEST ticket sales. Burden would suit some tar and feathers.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 5 Feb 2013
    Stadium confidence despite sound criticism
    By Rosie Manins
    About 6500 people bought tickets to Ride the Rhythm, which involved an equestrian display and competition followed by the Hollies concert on Friday. The Otago Daily Times was contacted by a few ticket holders disappointed with what they said was poor sound quality.

    One letter writer said he and his friends left the concert after four songs because the acoustics were ”abhorrent”. ”It was our first and last visit to this venue for a music concert,” the Ashburton resident said.

    Another ticket holder said she also left early because she could not make out the words to some songs. But Ride the Rhythm manager Andrew Hansen and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden were pleased with the sound quality and excited about staging further concerts at the stadium.
    Read more

    • ODT page 29 today, letters in regards to Ride The Rhythm at the stadium, and stadium acoustics. One of these written by Lindsay Brown of Roslyn, full of praise. One by Bill O’Brien of Mosgiel not happy with the sound quality. Top letter (?) from Anne Charlesworth of Dunedin, who couldn’t hear the showjumping commentator but otherwise enjoyed her seat in the [BS!] VIP area, thanks to ODT. Ahem.

  16. And, how many is “a few” ticket holders !?

  17. Anonymous

    10? Oh wait, that’s a different event.

    Check out the keywords in this ODT love story:

    Other music fans were pleased to see another big act performing at the stadium. […] ”I can’t wait. We went to Elton [John] and the Hollies. We had good seats both times and had no problems at all with the sound. It’s a lovely stadium. You can go in all weathers, so it doesn’t matter if it rains or snows.”

    That reminded me of the election where the paper found a person prepared to say they wished there were six Andrew Noones on council.

  18. Hype O'Thermia

    The people who had a bad experience don’t criticise those who had a good experience for saying they had a good experience.
    The good news is that for some people the sound was good, to fairly good. This may indicate that further work on the sound system has resulted in improvement, or that people who had a bad experience before are not going again or are not booking in the same area. I expect eventually there will be public knowledge of which parts are OK and which to avoid, which should result in a reduction in complaints.

  19. Oh, and I’m pretty sure DCC does not own the Outram rodeo grounds.

  20. ### ODT Online Wed, 6 Mar 2013
    Rodeo ban idea progresses
    By Debbie Porteous
    The discussion on whether rodeos should continue to be allowed to be held on Dunedin City Council land is likely to be taken to the next level.

    Carl Scott, from animal rights group Safe, appealed to councillors last month to institute a ban.

    At this week’s public forum Cr Jinty MacTavish raised the issue again, suggesting the arguments in favour of banning the holding of rodeos on council land should be brought to the community development committee. The call to add it to the agenda gained general support, but also a warning from Waikouaiti Coast/Chalmers ward councillor Andrew Noone, who said in the area he represented the idea of banning rodeos on council land would likely be met with strong opposition.
    Read more

    • ### ODT Online Tue, 23 Apr 2013
      Rodeo issue still being tossed round
      By Debbie Porteous
      Dunedin city councillors may yet seek advice about whether they should continue to allow rodeos to be performed on council reserves. The issue was initially raised by Carl Scott from animal rights group Safe, who appealed to councillors at a public forum in February to follow the Auckland council’s lead and ban rodeos from all council-owned land and facilities. His request followed a rodeo at Forsyth Barr Stadium, which Safe had urged people to boycott because, it said, rodeos were ”barbaric spectacles” that were cruel to animals.
      Read more

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