John Thompson is one of the nation’s top dressage stars. While born in New Zealand, he has spent much of his life in Australia, returning to his homeland to follow his heart just a few years ago.

He’s now engaged to fellow dressage rider Holly Leach and the two run the very successful JHT Equine in Gordonton, near Hamilton.

Thompson and JHT Antonello were the reserve combination at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and are current holders of the New Zealand Grand Prix record.

Read more: Blog Two: John Thompson

Perfect weather and thousands of people enjoyed the opening day of EQUITANA Auckland.

From top competition to world class superstars, the extraordinary talent of The Way of the Horse competitors, the fun of the Couples Challenge and more.

Former world number one eventer Andrew Nicholson entranced a captive audience with a masterclass through the levels, while Australian showjumping star Rod Brown reinforced gave a glimpse of his very successful training methods.

Read more: Day One Wrap: Thousands Flock to EQUITANA Auckland’s Opening Day

There’s a little extra incentive on the line for four combinations competing in the EQUITANA Auckland open dressage and showjumping classes.

Organisers have created a Bledisloe Cup of sorts, with Australian dressage riders Brett Parbery aboard Raukura Satoni MH and Rozzie Ryan aboard Adonie, alongside showjumpers Gabi Kuna on Flaire and Kate Hinschen on CD Visage taking on their Kiwi equivalents John Thompson with JHT Antonello, Rio Olympian Julie Brougham on Vom Feinsten, Samantha Morrison on Biarritz and Rio Olympic eventer Clarke Johnstone aboard his showjumper Quainton Labyrinth.

Read more: Trans Tasman Pride on the Line

Fast, furious and plenty of barracking marked the start of the U17 World Mounted Games Team Championship today at EQUITANA Auckland.

It’s a coup for the Kiwi contingent to host the Worlds, which have attracted eight teams from Scotland, the United States, Australia, Wales, England, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand.

Today, riders were getting used to their borrowed mounts and battling for first bragging rights in heats one and two. Just the New Zealand team are on their own ponies, with the rest borrowed from around the country.

Read more: U17 Worlds Off to Cracking Start

'America's Most Trusted Horseman' John Lyons is on his way to EQUITANA Auckland!
All the way from the USA , Lyons will be doing education sessions, western demos, signing sessions plus heaps more across the four days and is an equine star not to be missed!

See here as he shares his Top 10 Training Tips with us ahead of hus highly anticipcated sessions as Horsemanship Star Presenter.

Read more: 10 Top Training Tips with John Lyons

WHAT: EQUITANA Auckland Street Parade and Launch

WHEN: Tuesday, November 21

WHERE: Departing Forte Street 12.30pm and arriving at Aotea Square at 1pm. From 1pm until 2pm there will be a teaser performance for EQUITANA Auckland’s Evening Programs featuring our Stars.

WHY: Have a sneak peek at some of the star presenters, performers and competitors taking part in the inaugural EQUITANA Auckland.

Read more: Save the date! EQUITANA Auckland is launching in Queen St!
Page 2 of 5