Kimberly Webb of Willow Vale, Gold Coast participating in the Northern NSW Hack Championship, Lismore showground.
Kimberly Webb of Willow Vale, Gold Coast participating in the Northern NSW Hack Championship, Lismore showground. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Lismore stables hack big numbers

THE stables at the Lismore Showground were stretched to capacity at the weekend by the arrival of more than 300 horses for the Elite Northern NSW Hack Championships.

The four-day event doubled as a qualifier for the Grand Nationals 2017. The top two finishers in each class at Lismore qualified for the national championships to be held at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre next year.

Northern NSW Show Horses Association president Shellie Smythe said the Grand Nationals is for the "best of the best show horses across Australia".

Ms Smythe said the opportunity to secure qualification for the event guaranteed the Northern NSW Hack Championships' popularity.

"We have been stretched to capacity, we are struggling to house all the horses," she said.

Ms Smythe said while there are numerous other hack shows staged around the region there is "nothing of this calibre".

The event, which wrapped up yesterday, attracted riders from throughout NSW while others travelled from Queensland and Victoria to compete.

Ms Smythe said the championships had also attracted an international audience with viewers able to watch the event live on the internet thanks to the Australian Equine Network.

"We know people in India are watching," Ms Smythe said.

While riders and their horses were kept busy with competition, spectators were well catered for with a full social program.


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