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Woodhill Sands - Our Story

The Woodhill Sands Equestrian Centre (Woodhill Sands) is a competition and training facility for amateur sport and recreational riding, situated on 10.5 hectares of land on SH16 between Kumeu and Helensville. 

 

Riding and equestrian sports are a significant recreational activity within Rodney and as the demand for land and land values in Rodney increase, training and competition facilities for horse riders are at risk. For this reason, the riding community knew that community ownership of Woodhill Sands was essential for its long term use as an equestrian facility

 

The property, initially developed under private ownership was listed for sale in 2014.  A dedicated group from the equestrian sport community started to engage with Council to secure financial support for the purchase of the venue.

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In 2016, the Woodhill Sands Trust was formed to support this process. It is registered under The Charitable Trusts Act and worked in collaboration with equestrian sport and the local community to secure the venue that now belongs to the sport.


The equestrian community undertook extensive fundraising, collecting $560k for the required deposit, allowing the Trust to complete the purchase. This occurred in October 2017 with a 20-year mortgage from ASB Bank backed by Auckland Council as guarantor.


With Woodhill Sands now owned by the sport, the journey has begun to transform Woodhill Sands into Auckland’s principal home of equestrian sport and premier amateur equestrian competition venue.


The Trust holds the values of kaitiakitanga to act as guardians and show care and the wise management of the venue to ensure its ongoing access for the riding community into the future.


Woodhill Sands is the principal equestrian training and competition venue in Rodney but also serves the wider Auckland region and across Northland and Waikato bringing competitors and their supporters into the area from far and wide.  Woodhill Sands is the most used competition and training facility in New Zealand. 

 

Woodhill Sands is the only venue with a 100% natural, all-weather surface (sand based).  This provides an economic solution for arena surfaces to enable year round competition and training activity.  Indeed, participation extends for a full 12 months across multiple disciplines most weekends.   Elsewhere, winter competition on this scale are limited due to unsuitable ground conditions.  As a result, Woodhill Sands is a key venue for horse riders to train and compete all year round.

Woodhill Sands caters to all levels of equestrian sport from youth and grass roots recreational riders to competitive riders at a national championship level.


Woodhill Sands community partners include Show Jumping Waitemata; Show Hunter Waitemata; Dressage Waitemata, NZ Pony Club, Auckland Equestrian Sport Incorporated (Eventing), Waitemata Riding Club, with further groups participating at the venue on an ad-hoc basis (e.g. Waitemata Hunt and the Kumeu District Western Riding Club).


To find out more about Woodhill Sands and our events, please follow our Facebook pages, Woodhill Sands and Woodhill Sands Trust.


The team at Woodhill Sands are excited about the future and look forward to sharing it with riders, supporters and spectators for many years to come. We hope to see you there soon.

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