Equestria – Bringing Christmas Entertainment to All
Delivering on its promise of becoming a new South African festive season tradition, Equestria returns to Johannesburg for the second time in December, with a stellar cast of majestic horses, Shetland ponies, dynamic dogs and a few extra surprises lined up to make this year’s show the most special Christmas show in Africa.
Equestria 2006 – taking place from Friday, 8th to Sunday, 10th of December at the Coca-Cola Dome at Northgate – has all the makings of a spectacular Christmas show, with exciting displays, entertaining animal acts and an array of speed and showjumping events of international standard.
25 of the country’s top riders and their horses will once again compete for the Equestria Indoor Showjumping Championship title, exposing horse-lovers and the general public to the thrills and beauty of horse-riding and showjumping.
The Equestria cast have collaborated to create an extra-special pantomime, featuring dazzling horse and dog displays, stunning costumes and a heart-warming script that is sure to make spectators smile and the children wanting to join in the fun.
For the children, highlights of this year’s event include an animal petting zoo; pony rides and photo opportunities with Santa himself.
Not to be missed at this year’s show is the South African Shetland Pony Grand National, in which 18 Shetland ponies will compete for the title of the Grand Champion.
Equestria will also launch its new CSI initiative, “Kids raising funds for kids”. A SMS betting system will give the public the opportunity of betting on each Shetland Pony race and winning tickets will be placed in a draw.
Equestria also plays host to the South African Pony Club Indoor Mounted Games for the first time. The Pony Club is an international voluntary youth organisation. Teams from Limpopo, Kwazulu Natal and Western Cape will be seen fighting it out to win the coveted Inter-Provincial Indoor Mounted Games Championship.
All three of the provincial coaches and some of the riders have taken part in one or more World Championships in Canada and in the USA.
Just confirmed for the first time in South Africa – The Endurance Riding Association of South Africa will run an endurance ride out of The Coca-Cola Dome. The process of vetting and monitoring the horses will take place before the performance on the Friday evening. The race will be set off at interval on Saturday and Sunday matinee. The race will finish after each performance and spectators may stay to witness the vet check.
Equestria was born in 2005 when Elizabeth Mohr, well-known in equestrian circles, introduced this totally new concept in family entertainment to South Africans. Mohr says: “Bringing Equestria to reality in 2005 was just the start of creating the greatest Christmas show in Africa. Equestria gives South Africans a taste of this magic and provides families with an enticing and decidedly different entertainment alternative for the holidays. No other Christmas show combines the talents of people and animals in this way. We are delighted to once again be able to bring Equestria to Johannesburg and we are confident that with all it has to offer, this year’s show will be an enormous success.”
In addition to the non-stop live entertainment, Equestria also boasts a retail exhibition, offering the local equestrian industry and related industries a rare opportunity to showcase its clubs, companies and products in a 1600-metre hall. The exhibition is open daily throughout the three-day show.
The live performances kick-off at 18h00 on Friday, 8th of December. There are two evening performances on Saturday, 9th and Sunday, 10th of December at 17h30, with the matinee performances on Saturday, 9th and Sunday, 10th commencing at 11:00.