READY TO RIDE: Gita Thomas (left) riding Calender Girl, and Hayley Saunders riding Nu Nu, during the Australian Reining Breeders Cup.
READY TO RIDE: Gita Thomas (left) riding Calender Girl, and Hayley Saunders riding Nu Nu, during the Australian Reining Breeders Cup. Nicole McDougall

ARBC in full swing at the showgrounds

THE Australian Reining Breeders Cup is underway at the Dalby Showgrounds, with an esteemed field of riders all trying to be crowned champion in their category.

The event traditionally draws over 140 horses to town, along with over 300 supporters.

ARBC organiser Errol Thomas said because of the events loyal sponsors, it always gives the town a good boost.

"Our sponsors are really important to have because they help the event get going,” Mr Thomas said.

"We have some really good local sponsors who put in cash which helps us out with prize money and everything else.

"Because of there support the $20,000 reining derby is the richest in the country.

"It brings a lot of money to the town, there is a motel booked out just across the road, the horse feed is bought here, fuel, food; that's why events like this are important because it generates revenue for the whole town.”

The ARBC is unique because it combines two equine disciplines in the one event, which sparks interest for riders nationwide.

Mr Thomas said the facilities quality allows this to happen.

"This is the only event in Australia that run the challenge and the reining in the one event at the one time.

"The venue here lends itself here as being able to do that; and there is not too many venues around you could host something like this.

"Reining is very particular with its surfaces, and this surface here is known to be one of the best in the state.

"The campdrafting surface is good here as well, so its why we host it in Dalby.

This is the third year of the ARBC, and Mr Thomas said the events prestige is growing with every event because of the prize money on offer and the quality of competition.

"We have seen it grow, we just hope we don't outgrow the venue; because stabling and camping is starting to become a problem because of the numbers.

"We've got a couple from Victoria, people from New South Wales and riders from north Queensland.

"The reining here is worth $20,000 plus added class while the challenge is worth $15,000 plus added class.”

"So we draw competitors from the reining industry and top competitors from the challenge industry to come together here at the one time.”

The event is continuing today, tomorrow and Saturday at the Dalby Showgrounds.


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