HSL Group Holdings supplied lighting, trussing and rigging equipment to the 2 main arenas of the 2017 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) for event producer and artistic director Nadia Raibin and her company, The Production Team.
“This is the pinnacle of the horsing calendar so the idea of adding a lighting spectacle and specially selected popular music to displays was originally met with some hesitancy! However, thankfully, 20 years on, it’s now as much a part of the overall visitor expectations and show presentation aesthetic as watching some of the finest horses and riders compete at the highest equestrian levels,” Raibin explained.
Simon Stuart project managed for HSL, commented: “It was a pleasure working with Nadia and her very experienced and talented team! We really wanted to up the game this year and ensure that Mark and Ben had the most versatile and creative tools at their disposal to cover multiple demands”.
A vast 67 metre long by 30 metre wide space filled with lumen-eating special soft fibre material spread across the arena floor, hosted all the main competitions over 5 days. HSL installed hundreds of metres of pre-rigged trusses, which were used for the lighting positions. A 4-metre diameter circular truss was also installed in the middle of the space, just below the house video scoreboard.
The main moving lights were a combination of Philips Vari*Lite 4K beam washes and Robe BMFL Spots distributed along the length of the trusses, with Philips SL Hydrus 350 hybrids rigged onto the circle truss. While nearly 400 1K floods created the base look. Genting trusses were rigged on double-braked 1 tonne Litec EXE-Rise hoists. An additional 4 Robert Juliat Cyrano follow-spots were positioned around the corners of the arena. T
The show was programmed and operated from a ChamSys console with all the dimmer racks and hot racks stored up above in the NEC roof catwalks to keep the space below as clear as possible. The Top Spec Arena 2 was lit with super-wide PAR 64s on 6-lamp bars rigged on individual trusses flown in a U-shape, with a series of 400W MBI floods were supplied for the collecting ring area.
A long truss was hung above the main entranceway, populated with Philips LED Spot 300s projecting Horse of The Year Show custom gobos, combined with SL 350 LED washes providing the event’s signature purple wash. While hazers and smoke machines were used to help ramp up the atmosphere for the theatrical lighting moments, a task that took a little while to master but proved well worth the effort.
Ben Fox added: “The whole HSL experience was excellent! The crew were all great, nice personalities and they worked quickly and efficiently; the kit proved to be perfect for the application and really gave us so many more options and scope to produce imaginative shows that were really appreciated by our audiences”.
Raibin concluded: “I am only ever as good as the people I work with, so choosing the right dedicated professionals for this event is always key. They need to be the best in the business and passionate about what they do. It has been an amazing experience with HSL adding their expertise, flair and dedication to the mix and making the 2017 Horse of the Year Show so memorable The standard and variety of the lighting equipment has been superb and the get in and rigging seamless. Simon and his team are brilliant to work with and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.”