Arabian horses are known to divide critics, with many firmly in either the love them or hate them camps. Oliver Walker, 4, was unsure which side of the fence he stood on when he and mum Deanne Walker got up close to one at the GV Arabian Horse Club Muster and Championships at Tatura Park at the weekend.
Horses well-known for their feisty temperament and all-round appeal battled it out in Tatura at the weekend at a long-running regional muster.
Tatura Park was overrun by fourlegged visitors for the GV Arabian Horse ClubMuster and Championships.
Competition was held across two days, with awards presented on Sunday.
Show organiser Amy Blades had a busy two days watching as riders competed in front of circling judges.
She said Arabian horses were much-loved for their versatility.
‘‘They’re such a versatile breed,’’ she said.
‘‘They’re not only show horses, you can take them out in dressage, jumping, endurance.’’
But Ms Blades stressed not everyone was so enamoured with the breed, adding it was common for many to either ‘‘love them or hate them’’.
The organiser firmly placed herself in the former category.
‘‘A lot of people love the breed, others don’t,’’ she said.
‘‘Their owners love them to bits.’’
After an exhausting weekend, Ms Blades was pleased with the event.
She said efforts were beingmade to ensure the general public went along to enjoy the event as spectators.
‘‘We’re trying to get people to come and watch,’’ she said.
‘‘Our overall plan is next year we would like to put an open ring on, like with your ag shows.’’
Sydney-based show judge Robyn Rogers said she was pleased with the standard set over the weekend at what she graded a ‘‘really good show.’’
‘‘There’s been some really good quality horses,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s awesome for us judges. ‘‘The competitors have all been awesome.’’
Ms Rogers said competition horses at the show were typically judged on quality, type and confirmation, as well as appearance.
‘‘Everything about the horse is judged, it’s not just how pretty they look,’’ she said.
‘‘You follow a standard of excellence, that’s what we go by.’’
She said understanding they were animals, and mistakes were always going to be made, was important.
‘‘They are horses, they have their own brain,’’ she said.
Ms Rogers said the unique features of an Arabian horse included their temperament and fine skin and, more generally, the way they carried themselves.
She said wet weather was a factor at the weekend, with some horses bothered by the slippery surface.
Ms Rogers looks forward to more interest being shown in Arabian horse competition in the future.
‘‘We would like to see a lot more people getting involved,’’ she said.
Competition: Casey Gill is judged with Jackson Star at the GV Arabian Horse Club Muster and Championships.