Laura Daly has sought out the very best of expertise and information to ensure the surfaces at EQUITANA Auckland are second to none. Each of the three-event arenas that Harrison Lane, the company she co-owns with Scott Munro, are doing is, in for a massive makeover. They’ll be trucking in around 115 truck and trailer loads of sand along with three containers of imported fibre to create the arenas and will have a dedicated team of eight working on it 24/7 to prepare for the event.
The Harrison Lane director has been testing the footing on her own arena and is happy with the new and exciting developments over the past 18 months and she can’t wait to see it all in place at EQUITANA Auckland.
“To have a premier equine event in the centre of Auckland is no mean feat,” says Laura. “We started the partnership in 2017 and have worked as a team. The knowledge and experience we both gained at the inaugural event has meant our preparation for this year has been ticking along in the background for the last two years.”
Laura is keen to see Auckland as a regular destination for the world class event. “EQUITANA is a household name and they are experts in putting on top level equestrian events worldwide. We want to share this success to ensure Auckland continues to be on their calendar. Harrison Lane and EQUITANA both have very similar values, honesty, integrity and a desire to constantly strive to be the best of the best in our given industries.”
This year the Hansen Products Indoor Arena will have an AstroTurf underlay topped by a new mix of black sand and fibre, with a stringent arena grooming in place. “The black sand has a much higher density and holds ten times its own weight in water,” says Laura. They are using a different fibre mix and have improved the process of the mixing of the sand and fibre. “We have worked hard to improve a lot of areas in our arena footing construction and have invested heavily as a company into ensuring it is a success.”
Harrison Lane works closely with Stable 88, the New Zealand distributor for the GGT Fibre product, and the German manufacturer to make sure the surface fits local conditions.
The new blend has become the norm for Harrison Lane arenas. “The (German) company is very good and supply fibre worldwide but we have worked to perfect the techniques here.”
Previously they used a washed silica sand but this time there will be no washing because the small clay content gives a better binding property. “The compaction properties of this sand are quite different to what we have done before.”
It comes with benefits for her clients who are close to Auckland with a slight price advantage on the black sand and reduced cartage costs. In the past 18 months, Harrison Lane has bought its own earthmoving equipment and now have a team specifically dedicated to earthworks and building arenas.
It’s been a solid two years of sustained growth for the company, with plenty of challenges along the way. Harrison Lane offers complete end to end project management for rural properties – taking care of any project right from putting in the driveway to the finishing touches on arenas, landscaping, riding tracks, barns, stables and country homes of all sizes. The company has doubled in size since 2017.
Three years ago Harrison Lane joined the Master Builders Association and have just recently collected a gold award for their first entry into the prestigious annual competition and also winning the regional lifestyle award for sustainability. The company is jointly owned by Laura and Scott – he takes care of the project management and construction programmes while she oversees the administration, sales and marketing.
// EQUITANA Auckland 21-24 November 2019