On the last weekend of July, Christchurch hosted two awards ceremonies.
The first was the Children’s Music Awards.
The second was Horse of the Year.
We all stayed at the same hotel.
There was a full size replica of a horse at reception.
As I arrived, a herd of horsey folk trotted out of the conference room and raced down the stairs towards the groaning buffet tables. None of them looked like drivers (these were harness racing awards, so don’t call them ‘riders’). There were many older men, many protruding stomachs, much back slapping and bonhomie. I thumbed through a Harness Racing magazine, which had been placed conspicuously near the hotel entrance.
It wasn’t hard to spot the children’s musicians. A very neat Christian couple with their well-behaved children waiting patiently in the foyer, a couple of rouseabouts yahooing in the corridor, and a pirate with blackened teeth and peacock feathers in his cap. With a sigh I turned my back on the smorgasbord and joined the thinner group.
There were three awards up for grabs on our side of the fence:
APRA Song of the Year (won by Chanelle Davis)
What Now Video of the Year (won by Raymond McGrath)
Recorded Music NZ Best Children’s Album of the Year (won by fleaBITE for CIRCUS OF FLEAS…thank you very much.)
The Children’s Music awards were tacked on to the end of a kids’ talent quest sponsored by Singapore Airlines (and possibly Taylor Swift). While the underage winners grasped their airline tickets to Singapore, or Dunedin (second place), our lot tucked certificates (or in my case a gold statuette!) under their scrawny armpits, and headed out for pizza.
The next morning, over a continental breakfast, my path crossed with one of the horsey brigade.
“Good morning,” I rasped blearily, sprinkling pumpkin seeds onto my fresh fruit.
“Who won Horse of the Year?”
“Terror To Love,” he replied, and leaned past me to order bacon and eggs.
As I lugged my bag down the corridor on the way out, I nodded my regards to the lobby horse, and trotted out to the waiting airport shuttle.