The 2023 Nutrien Classic Sale kicked it into high gear with multiple horses auctioning for prices in the six-figures.
The highest-value horse so far, Ducktacular, sold for $400,000 on day one in the hall of the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC).
"We've never had an opening day like this before," Operations manager Mike Rowland said.
By morning tea time on day two, the Classic had grossed over $5.2 million in sales, with multiple horses breaking the $300,000 mark.
"It's been wonderful to see, locally, a number of our performance horse businesses that are taking part and making this sale what it is," Mr Rowland said.
For many horse trainers and businesses the value of performance horses is closely linked to the popularity of equestrian sports and Campdrafting in particular has been on the rise.
"Nutrien have really allowed us to be able to make a living having this lifestyle ... this sale really boosts the horse industry right up and it allows guys like myself to do this," Horse trainer and campdrafter Robert Leach said.
Mr Leach galloped to victory in dramatic fashion during the Classic Campdraft final on February 2, lassoing just one more point than his two joint-second place competitors and herding the $50,000 grand prize his way.
"I didn't try to force anything and just let my horse do his job. He's been really solid," he said.
For the equestrian industry, a rising tide lifts all boats, as smaller businesses now have a market to grow into.
Cutting, for example, feeds into Campdrafting as the first stage of the sport involves riders "cutting out" one cow from a herd of cattle.
That's good news for Trent Smith, who's family has been training and raising cutting horses for generations.
"The Campdrafting scene is really starting to see the benefits from our cutting training, so we're getting a lot of work. A lot of our horses we sell is driven from the Campdraft arena. Because the horses are getting so good and the competition is getting so strong, they need better and better trained horses," Mr Smith said.
According to both Mr Smith and Mr Rowland, the equine industry is beginning to enter a feedback loop of growth, as more interest in horsing competitions is driving demand for more horsing events, which creates a need for more horses, which creates jobs for horse trainers, who provide more horses to improve the quality of competitions, which in turn drives even more interest into those competitions and sales events like the Classic.
"The future, from our perspective, can only continue to grow," Mr Rowland said.
"If the momentum it's got now keeps going, then we'll be in a good spot," Mr Smith said.
The classic sale enters its final days this weekend, closing on Sunday February 5.