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Hawke's Bay's Horse of the Year a chance for Olympic equestrian hopefuls to impress

With the Tokyo Games just five months away, New Zealand's most prestigious equestrian event, Hawke's Bay's Horse of the Year has its own Olympic flavour.

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Blyth Tait and Jock Paget are among those who’ll compete in the Hawke’s Bay Horse of the Year. Source: 1 NEWS

Eventing greats Blyth Tait and Jock Paget have been confirmed to compete on the country's biggest equestrian stage.

They'll set out to test Clarke Johnstone and other Kiwi Olympic hopefuls in their build up to the games.

"They’re always so competitive, they just want to do the best they can, they won’t be there to make up the numbers, that’s for sure, they’ll be pushing us every step of the way,” Rio Olympian Johnstone said.

It's crucial to perform with the Horse of the Year another chance to impress Olympic selectors.

“I have to beat these guys, if I’m not beating these guys here they’re not going to select me to go over there (Tokyo) so you can’t always beat the experience these guys have so to be a young gun you just have to be better,” Olympic hopeful Maddy Crowe said.

There are four spots available in New Zealand's eventing team with the final selection to be announced in June.