SOME of the country's best riders are set to flock to Tamworth for the 12-day National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Buffalo Ranch Futurity at the AELEC.
Running from May 29 to June 9, the 46th annual event will see more than 500 competitors battle it out for their share of $700,000 in prize money.
NCHA general manger Tim Heath said this year's event at the AELEC would have something for everybody.
"As well as the futurity, there will be the reintroduction of our campdraft competition and our new pinnacle cutting competition," Heath said.
"The pinnacle cutting competition will really showcase the best of the best and will be a winner-take-all spectacle.
"Celebrities such as elite jockey Hugh Bowman and dressage champion Brett Parbery will also feature in the celebrity cutting event.
"As well as that, there is a working dog challenge and plenty of stalls around the arena right through the 12 days."
Heath said the event would have a major economic impact for the Tamworth region.
"While there is 500 competitors taking part, there are so many support members and helpers that come along as well," he said.
"Another thing we are doing this year is we are offering free entry to the first eight days of the competition.
"Hopefully in those eight days we can entice people to come along to the last four days.
"I'm sure Tamworth will be a buzz of activity during the event's 12 days and hopefully the whole community sees the benefits of this event."
Heath said the event's prize pool was the most lucrative in the sport, outside of horse racing.
"Some of the best horses and riders will be here and it should be one of our best events yet," he said.
"This event wouldn't be possible without the generous support of our local cattle producers, who are supplying the cattle for this year's event.
"We are in such a tough drought at the moment but we have been really lucky to have plenty of cattle for this year's event, to the point we have been able to reintroduce the campdraft event this year.
"The whole event is set to be a great spectacle and we can't wait to see everyone there."