'Best place to come': Praise for Kingaroy-first event
THE annual Australian Miniature Horse and Pony Registry's state show has been staged in the South Burnett for the first time.
Held across the long weekend at the Kingaroy Showgrounds, the event attracted more than 120 horses in 160 categories.
Wondai-based competitor Madison Wecker, 16, was among the talent to grace the show ring.
With more than four years of competing under her belt, she said there was one thing that surprised her when she made the switch to miniature horses.
"I travel around the area to different shows and also to places like Hervey Bay," Wecker said.
"It's a lot more competitive than I thought and there is plenty of strong competition out there.
"So far I've won a lot of reserve spots and a couple of championships."
As Wecker said she would continue to pursue a career with horses, there was one person she credited for her love of competing.
"It's something I can do with my grandma," she aid.
"I have learned a lot from her and hope to get a decent job working with miniature horses."
AMR delegate for Queensland, Michael Bowen, has more than 16 years' experience in the world of horse competitions.
He said he was pleased the show, previously held at Bundaberg, had been moved to the South Burnett this year.
"We have had a lot of positive responses after the weekend," Bowen said.
"AMR hosts the ag show here in May so we knew how good the venue was in Kingaroy.
"We also had a hat judge, Heather Dow, who did a fantastic job of running the state show."
Bowen said one the biggest misunderstandings of the sport was the differences between the animals. He said people didn't realise that ponies and small horses weren't the same thing.
Horse teaching instructor Sue Doherty from Mystic Park said she was pleased the AMR held the state show at Kingaroy after having travelled to the region for more than 15 years.
"It's the best place to come because of the showgrounds and how it is presented," Doherty said.
"It has a very family friendly environment.
"We can park our caravan right near where we are competing for easy access."