With country shows experiencing a downturn of entries in their show classes, the Royal Agricultural (A&P) Society’s Mid-Northern District Council has created an equestrian Accumulator contest to garner more interest.
The points-driven competition is not a new concept – but with 10 shows in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty participating, it’s something very worthwhile entering, says Mid-Northern District Council secretary Doug Lineham.
“There is no entry fee. Competition placings and points awarded at a show are entered into the Accumulator database. Accumulator points are recorded show-by-show against the rider/horse combination as they progress through the showing season,” says Doug.
Points awarded are 8 for first, 6 for second, and 4 for third place. No points are allocated for Supreme Champion, Champion or Reserve Champion.
Doug says each Accumulator entrant’s points are confidential and only disclosed at the final presentation show – this year Morrinsville A&P Show on March 7, 2020.
“Ten of the 13 MNDC shows are participating and have contributed towards an impressive Accumulator prize pool with cash and merchandise on offer from generous sponsors.” First prize is $1500, second is $700 and third is $400, with product prizes up to 10th place.
“First prize is an incentive for every competitor – so come on riders, this is worthwhile competition – try another show you haven’t been to for a change.”
Doug says classes that qualify for the Accumulator are those in the Minimum Show Schedule on the RAS website.
“The combination of rider and horse declared at the first show must remain the same for the duration of the campaign. However, a rider may have more than one horse declared.”
Doug says although the 2019/2020 competition is a trial, it has already proved to be very popular at three shows this season.
“Associations have assured programme organisers that if the response is evident, they will reinstate classes that may not have been well patronised in the past,” says Doug.
It is hoped the equestrian Accumulator can be a template for other specie competitions over time – such as sheep, alpaca, cattle and dog trials, for example. And it’s envisaged when the programme is formally the finale could be held by a different show each season. “So watch this space,” says Doug.