THERE were an abundance of horses and well-dressed riders at the Bemboka Showground on Sunday.
The Bemboka Show Society’s Winter Dressage Day had 60 entries, however unfortunately a few pulled out due to the frosty weather over Brown Mountain.
The day caters for all age groups, the youngest seven and the oldest a grandmother with riders usually coming from between Moruya, Mallacoota and Berridale to take part.
“I introduced this day in the Bega Valley as I thought people here have the talent, but have to travel whenever they want to take part in official events,” horse conveyor for Bemboka Show Pip Collins said.
She said there was previously no official dressage event in the Bega Valley, and riders would have to go to place such as Canberra to take part in one.
On the day, riders were from beginner to grade 3 levels.
Those there for the official competing could be graded, however many came out for the more social side of practicing and riding.
Riders and their horses have been competing at the Bemboka Showgrounds for the past three-and-a-half years.
Both Ms Collins and treasurer for Far South Coast Dressage Association Anne-Marie Moxey moved to the South Coast a few years ago, and said competing down here is much friendlier compared to in cities.
“It’s a nice and relaxed atmosphere here, it’s more laid back and people just ride nicely,” Ms Moxey said.
“There’s more intensity and ugliness in Sydney.”
Ms Collins said health and safety is very important to the show committee, due to such dangers as the recent threat of the Hendra virus.
“Biosecurity is really important now,” Ms Collins said.
“As organisers we have to be really on the ball and not allow horses in that could spread a problem.”
On August 17, a Dressage Challenge will be held at Cobargo Showgrounds.
The challenge incorporates many different activities that people and their horses do on the land, and is also a social occasion to get dressed up.