Lismore a hard hack to follow
HACK Championships are a lot like the "beauty pageants of the horse world."
At least according to sisters Ashley and Tyler Harris who have been travelling down from Brisbane every year for more than a decade to compete in the Northern NSW Hack Championships in Lismore.
"You've got dressage, eventing, show-jumping and then you've got the show horse," Ashley said.
"I always think they're like the super models of the show world.
"They wear make-up, and they've got to work the right way and look the right shape and we all wear these ridiculous outfits."
The sisters will be two of about 120 riders, bringing more than 300 horses, from all over the country, to compete in the various events at the Lismore showground to qualify for the prestigious Grand National Show at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre.
Brunswick champion Belle Edwards, 14, will be one to watch in the Child's Show Hunter Pony.
Last year, Belle won the child's hunter pony, qualifying for the Grand National hack.
Belle said it was a big competition with riders from all over, but she wasn't nervous.
"I just love riding out there where every detail counts," she said.
Tyler Harris said hack was an extremely time consuming passion, with a daily routine that involves getting up early to let the horses out into the paddocks, doing stables, waters and feeds and un-rugging and then working the horses in the evening, putting them back in the stables, rugging and feeding them.
She said it could easily take six hours to prepare a horse for the show ring when you include bathing, plaiting of mains, putting in false tails and applying make-up.
Show secretaries Dianne McMahon and Libby Went said they were thrilled with the turnout of competitors in this year's championships.
"It would be one of the biggest (hack events) in New South Wales," Ms Went said.
"Everybody strive to qualify to go to Grand National held at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre."
The competition in Lismore runs from May 19-22.