Hastings - Heart of Hawke's Bay

Featured Events

Horse of the Year Parade

Dodge the horse droppings, get your best voice on and get involved in the biggest street celebration in March – the Horse of the Year Parade.

Line the streets of the Hastings city centre on Thursday 20 March to welcome back the Horse of the Year to its home here in Hastings. The Parade will include Sir Mark Todd, Clydesdales, an acknowledgement of the Chinese Year of the Horse, Western riders and more.

The Parade starts at 11.30am and finishes at 12.15pm.

Get there early

Last year thousands of people turned up, standing 3-4 deep in the city centre. Make sure you get a spot early. The Parade is due to start at 11am and will be heading up Heretaunga Street East by 11.15am.

Good viewing spots can be had all along Heretaunga Street, or if you want to miss the crowds the try Lyndon Road by the Hastings Library, Warren Street or Queen Street West.

Respect the road closures

We only close the road as the head and tail of the Parade moves past. We expect each section of road to be closed for no more than five to 10 minutes. Please do not cross the road whilst the Parade is moving- even if you see a gap it is not safe to cross and you will slow down the Parade and could spook the horses.

Please note trains will be running as usual so stay off the train tracks which run through the city centre. A train will be due around 12.30pm.

The only road that is fully closed for the Parade is Russell Street South (by the Women’s Rest), which is closed from 6am-2.30pm.

After the Parade, there will be added congestion around the parking area off Eastbourne Street (behind Paper Plus) and from Eastbourne Street to Russell Street South, as the horses are walked from the Clocktower back to Civic Square. Please avoid this area between 12.30-1pm if at all possible.

Respect the horses

It’s amazing to see such huge animals up close and the animals will love the attention but please be aware that really loud noises and sudden movements may spook them. Stay behind barriers and keep applause and noise to a minimum.

In the event of an emergency stay behind the barriers and follow the instructions of the Parade marshals in hi-vis vests at all times.

What to expect in the parade

The Parade will have three sections, which will feature:

1. Hastings Welcomes Horse of the Year

  • Clydesdales
  • Sir Mark Todd
  • Comedian Te Radar (NRM Horse of the Year volunteer ambassador)
  • The Hastings Blossom Queen

2. Another Great Hawke’s Bay event

3. Chinese Year of the Horse

  • A Chinese flag parade
  • The full delegation of 22 Chinese equestrians here for the showjumping tri-Nations
  • Miniature horses
  • Mounted Games and pleasure riders

After the Parade

Unlike last year, there is no ceremony or demonstration in Civic Square. The Parade will end in the City Mall, by the Clocktower. Sir Mark Todd and other ambassadors will not be able to stay and chat or sign autographs as they need to get back to the NRM Horse of the Year show to take part.

Be a part of the Parade

We are running a competition to ride with Sir Mark Todd in the Parade. You and a friend could win a set in the back of the Clydesdale carriage led by Sir Mark Todd.

Want more Horse of the Year?

If you want more of a horsey fix after the Parade then:

  • Get along to the Hawke’s Bay Show Grounds to check out the NRM Horse of the Year
  • Watch the amazing film War Horse for free at the Hastings War Memorial Library from 2.30pm on Thursday 20 March
  • Check out the Hastings City Night Market on Thursday 20 March which will have a Horse of the Year theme
  • Check out the Hawke’s Bay Alive art exhibition at the Hawke’s Bay Racing centre on Friday 21 March


When: Thu 20 Mar, 11:30 am
Where: Pin Hastings city centre,
Restrictions: All ages
Ticket Information:

Free event

Share this event

Other Events in Hawke's Bay