The Albany Equestrian Centre will host a range of events at this year’s Albany Agricultural Show with dressage and junior show-horse competitions as well as off-the-track classes for the first time. The off-the-track event will showcase retired racehorses, which Albany Agricultural Socierty horse section councillor Debbie Panizza says gives horses and their owners an opportunity to learn something new. “We’ve got a few new things that we haven’t offered in previous years,” she said. “Off-the-track is open to any horse that has previously raced as a standard or thoroughbred. “There are a large contingent of classes for them and all the horses need to have is what is called a racehorse passport to say that they have retired from racing. “They have devoted owners and the race club tries to place horses from racing into a new environment to receive training after their racing days to do something different.” The annual Great Southern Horse of the Year competition is also set to be held at the show, where one of five qualifying horses will receive the prestigious title. “It’s always a bit of a draw card,” Ms Panizza said. “We’ve had qualifiers at Esperance, Dinninup and Mt Barker and if you competed in those shows, you’ll have points that you carry over into the finalist event. “We have an event this Sunday, the Albany Horsemen’s Association final event of the year, at the equestrian centre which will also be a qualifier for the Great Southern Horse.” Ms Panizza said horses and equestrian events have long been an important feature of the Albany Agricultural Show. “The show is 100 years old and I’m pretty sure they’ve had horses there for as long as I can remember and I’ve been involved with the show for a good 30 years,” she said.