Miniature horses gather for annual show in Christchurch

Horses of just one shape and size have gathered in Christchurch this Easter weekend.

For the past four days, the New Zealand Miniature Horse Association have held their annual National Show at the Canterbury Agricultural Park.

"You can't beat it mate - everyone's on the same page... Everyone's here for the same reason. Bit of banter in the competition you can't beat it aye," association president Aaron Harrison said. 

From the friendly horses to the feisty ones, there were clumsy ones too. 

"Larry just knocked over two cups of milkshakes on both chairs," one competitor said.

"Chucky is named after the doll... He does have moments of being a little demonic," another added.

It's estimated there are more than 10,000 miniature horses, in New Zealand. The New Zealand Miniature Horse Association is made up of more than 300 registered members.

"What defines a miniature horse, is anything under 38 inches," Harrison explained. 

With competitors stretching from Balclutha to Whangarei - the event even has global appeal.

Sandy Croote and Kim Seipp both travelled from the United States to judge this weekend's show.

"If you take a picture of a miniature horse, and it looks like a full-size horse and it has all the great proportions. You're looking at a really nice horse," Croote said. 

Judging miniature horses is a career that's taken the pair right around the world. 

"I've been to 50 states, and 22 countries," Croote added. 

They believe New Zealand's miniature horses would give those in America a good run for their money. 

The fourth and final day of the event was all about showmanship. 

Showmanship for the horses, not competitors. 

"I'll be following number 27 - she's the one that beat me - I'll try not to trip her up, she's a kid so I better be nice," one woman joked.  

There were plenty of prizes up for grabs, but the event was the big winner today.

"It might be little horses, but the horse and people make up for it in personality," Harrison said.