The New Zealand National Horse and Pony Show, which ended at the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds yesterday, built on the province's reputation for successful hosting of equestrian events.
Numbers were up significantly on last year, with 320 competitors registered and the addition of some new categories for 2013, including pinto and welsh.
"It's all showing, which is pretty horses doing dressage," NZ National Horse and Pony Show president Shawn Hawkins said. "The horses are judged on their looks and then of course there is rider ability.
"The appeal is that it's a national title. It's right up there with Horse of the Year for these competitors because it's their show. They are not showing along with other [disciplines]. When they compete at A&P; shows they have got a ferris wheel on one side and showjumpers to the other.
"This is all about keeping the horses calm so it can be quite difficult in those conditions. They don't have to worry about that here."
People came from far and wide to attend the show, which began on Thursday and catered to a very diverse age group, with riders starting from just 4 years old.
"They are from above Auckland right down to Wellington," Mr Hawkins said. "Some come from the South Island and this year we have two judges from Australia."
The event, which has been running for 15 years, moved from Dannevirke to the much larger Hastings venue last year, something which left room for expansion of the show in future.
"We hope to add to it, we have so much more space here. Being able to add more classes would be great."
Mr Hawkins said the quality of the horses and the riders' abilities had improved greatly over the years and was proving to be a drawcard for competitors.