Show ponies take spotlight

Gippsland Horse Expo organiser Grace Belton with some of her ponies. photograph michelle slater
Gippsland Horse Expo organiser Grace Belton with some of her ponies. photograph michelle slater

The Gippsland equestrian community is being invited to the Mirboo North Shire Hall in October to look at all things horsey at the Gippsland Horse Expo.

The biennial event is being held for the second time where more than 2000 horse-lovers are expected to descend on the town to celebrate their passion for their four-hoofed friends.

Event organiser Grace Belton started the expo to support local small business and lift their profile within the horse industry.

"There was nothing of this type around. I wanted to allow small equine businesses to get out there. I love helping people and I love horses, so I put the two together," Ms Belton said.

"It will let people know about these local services, those people who want Australian-made, they can support Gippsland and keep it local. People love to spend money on their horses."

The expo will feature equine services and products including nutritionists, therapists, rug makers, saddlers, breeders, trainers, pony clubs and even equine artists and photographers.

Ms Belton said there would be niche products to spoil that special pony that cannot be found in the larger ag stores.

The Mirboo North mum said the expo was a not-for-profit event that she organises by herself and she has published a magazine featuring stallholders to give attendees a taste of what is to come.

Ms Belton said the funds raised from the magazine would go back into running the expo and it was being distributed at Gippsland equine-related businesses and shopfronts.

"I'm excited as I'd never done this before and there are stallholders still booking in. Last year people came from Tasmania and they said it was a beautiful town," Ms Belton said.

"This year we have more than doubled the amount of stalls and most of these are return stallholders who said they had met new clients."

The Gippsland Horse Expo will be held at the Mirboo North Shire Hall on Saturday, October 12 from 10am to 4pm.

For more information, visit gippslandhorseexpo.com.

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