STAWELL - Rebecca Maddocks knows she and her pony Flynne have the winning formula that will see them compete in the prestigious Garryowen at the Melbourne Show on September 25.
Maddocks has put a stop to her dental career to spend all of her time training for the event that pits only the best of the best up against one another.
The 33 year old said there were tears of joy as she made phone calls to her trainer, friends and family when she was informed of her selection.
"I'm extremely privileged and excited. Opening the acceptance letter and knowing we officially got in made it all a reality," she said.
"I believe riding in an event of this calibre is such an accomplishment and we have already achieved so much.
"I'm just a small town girl from Stawell making a big dream come true."
Ms Maddock's horse, a 13 year old riding pony thoroughbred named Coniston Dark Secret is the other, very important half of the partnership.
"Absolutely, you have to have a connection Flynne aka Coniston Dark Secret is like my best mate," she said.
"We have done the miles together and spent a lot of time building a strong bond, you can't buy that or expect it.
"His job is to look after me while I'm riding and as a rider you have to trust the horse you're on. It is just like a human relationship, it takes time and work.
"Communication is the key to success in more things than horse riding, it's important I'm asking him for the right thing and he knows what I'm asking."
Maddocks first became involved with horses at age eight at a riding school in Stawell.
She said it was important to compete at the Stawell and Ararat Agriculture shows and that without continued support the events couldn't exist.
"We make an effort to compete year after year and there are a lot of people behind the scenes who don't get the pat on the back they deserve," she said.
"Being apart of these clubs has created some life long friendships, kept a lot of us out of trouble and I can never remember being bored in such a great town."
The Garryowen is the most prestigious turnout event in Australia and is open to lady riders, or equestriennes, 18 years and over.
A traditional and strict judging criteria has been maintained around presentation, equipment, clothing, saddlery horse and rider to determine the best horse and rider combination.
The turnout classes that will be presented this year are almost identical to those seen a century ago, such as the hand-picked riding jacket and woollen breeches, both essential in achieving the highest score possible.
The scale of points is conformation and soundness (50 points) manners and paces (40 points) riding ability (50 points) general appearance (20 points) saddlery (20 points) costume (20 points).
The combination with the highest score wins. In the event of equality, a measure of scale of each of the individual categories is used to determine a clear winner.
Ms Maddocks said she was extremely excited about being involved and that winning isn't everything.
"We've always had a philosophy that it's not the colour of the ribbon(s) it's about having a huge smile and enjoying it," she said.
"Most of all it is about doing the best you can and being proud of what you can achieve, learn from your mistakes and be the best person you can."
Ms Maddocks said show riding has taken a great time commitment, not just for herself but others around her.
"My mum has driven to endless horse shows holding lights in the dark while I'm plaiting etc. just so we can get out there and give it our all," she said.
The official rider draw to determine the rider order will be held two days before the event with six placings up for grabs on the day.