Shetland ponies are described by those who love them as small, smart and special.
This weekend, this Scottish breed is being celebrated at the 40th All Shetland Pony Show in Bendigo.
The first show was held in April 1979.
Colin Goldsmith, whose late wife Maureen was also instrumental in starting the show, said at the time Shetland owners really only had the Melbourne Royal Show and agricultural shows at which to show their ponies.
The first show was held in the car park of Pakenham Racecourse, with about 50 ponies.
Mr Goldsmith said there was a condition, however, imposed by David Bourke, from the racing club.
"He gave us the car park and we had to give his grandkids a ride on a Shetland," Mr Goldsmith said.
The show was later held in Lang Lang, Geelong and Werribee, before it was moved to Bendigo.
"People come from far and wide," Mr Goldsmith's daughter Pamela said.
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The event includes saddle classes, led classes, harness classes and a child handler class - and even fancy dress.
For the 40th anniversary, key members of the community and long-term attendees of the show were invited to attend as special guests.
A dinner will also take place on Saturday night.
Shetland Pony Enthusiasts of Victoria vice-president Pam King said there were about 160 entries this year.
She said the show remained popular because Shetlands were a versatile breed with a "big heart".
"They've always been around, and everyone seems to start on a Shetland," she said.
Cecil Thomas, from Clarkefield, came up to Bendigo this year to support his daughter, Carly.
They have attended for 20 years, maybe more.
Generations of the family have been involved with Shetlands: Mr Thomas had them, as did his mother and grandmother before him.
"He loves them," Ms Thomas said.
Ballarat's Lee Purchase has also attended for more than 20 years, coming along with her mother.
She said the show offered an opportunity to see good-sized classes for the breed.
Ms Purchase also said Shetlands were a versatile breed when explaining her affinity for them.
"It's their personalities," she said.
"They're great for kids, and everybody, really."
The All Shetland Pony Show runs Saturday and Sunday at the Prince of Wales Showgrounds, and is free for the public to attend.
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