HISTORY OF THE NATIONALS

2017 marks 32 Years of The Nationals

Mac Greaves / Show Horse Pioneer

Everyone has a Mac story. Larger than life, a huge personality, strong willed, Mac was one of the original EFA committee members in Victoria. At a young age he was an administrator, EFA State Chairman, EFA Federal Vice Chair and Ring Master at Royal Melbourne Show for eleven years in its glory days. He also helped create and coordinate the Melbourne Three Day Event. He was a great show horse judge and one who achieved recognition for the show horse exhibitors as a vital and fully recognised part of the Equestrian Federation.

One of the original members of the Victorian Show Horse Committee, Chris Hartigan said “The Hack World owes more to Mac Greaves than many of the current competitors can ever imagine. When it was first suggested that a hack sub Committee be formed and a set of rules implemented, the hacking fraternity were almost laughed out of town. Showing competitors to be put on equal footing with Olympic disciplines was not considered to be a serious issue or suggestion.

Mac orchestrated the first hack meeting where the Victorian hack committee was formed. As Chairman of the committee, he helped format rules and regulations and fought tooth and nail arguing our case when the rest of the EFA Committee, Victoria and Federal, were more interested in Olympic disciplines. He was a good sparring partner and many issues were bounced around the committee room table in those early days. But I am absolutely positive that it all came out right in the end to the benefit of the showing fraternity,” Chris said.

Mac was always looking ahead to better the sport. He had the idea for a National Show Horse competition, so approached Fred Biesbroek for sponsorship, invited the then current New Zealand champion hack, Rembrant, owned by Kevin Cholmondeley-Smith to compete in a truly Australasian event, and the ‘Nationals’ were born. The first event was held over two days at the Royal Melbourne showgrounds and was a wonderful spectacle.

The ‘Nationals’ became an annual event, rotating through the states. After some years a decision was made to hold the event in a more central location to ease the burden of travel for the more isolated states. Since 1994 the home of the event has been WPNEC in Victoria. The event has grown over this time with many classes being added and the only time the event has not run was in 2007 due to the equine Influenza outbreak in the northern states.

As Mac was an ideas man we are confident that he would be delighted to see what the event has become especially considering the event is now called the Australasian Show Horse and Rider Championships – it really is the event he had hoped it would be, encompassing the very best from Australia and New Zealand.