From frog conservation and school cross-country events to dog shows and dressage, the Albury-Wodonga Equestrian Centre has developed into a community hub that is about much more than horses.
The association, which has been in operation for 22 years, was recognised for this community connection when it was awarded Community Group of the Year 2020 by Albury Council recently.
AWEC president Donna Michael said the award was "outstanding recognition" of the association's increasing community involvement and highlighted that it was not just a venue for horse pursuits.
The facility has long been recognised for its equestrian activities including nationally recognised horse trials, polocrosse, dressage, showjumping, campdrafting, cutting, tent-pegging, mounted games, interschool and pony club events.
It came into existence in 1997 after a group of volunteers banded together to develop a parcel of land in Thurgoona that had been put aside for equestrian pursuits by the Albury Wodonga Development Corporation and that volunteer led effort continues to this day.
More recently, AWEC has offered its grounds to support cross-country runs, secret cinema events, dog shows, therapies for people with disabilities and is an important conservation area for the endangered Sloanes Froglet and a refuge for squirrel gliders.
The centre also became an evacuation centre during the bushfires in January.
AWEC co-ordinator Barb Chenoweth said the facility had grown into a unique not-for-profit community venue.
"The communal effort and vision to benefit not just the equestrian community but the wider community as well has underpinned its continued existence," she said.
Ms Chenoweth also said AWEC made a significant contribution to the region's economy thanks to its staging of regular large events.
The Albury-Wodonga Economy Visitor Trends Report 2016 estimated $8m dollars was contributed to the local economy by the national polocrosse championships.
But at its heart one of the most important functions of the association, which has more than 300 members, "is the opportunity for social interaction", according to Ms Chenoweth.
"Events and training days allow people from a range of areas and backgrounds to mix, socialise and create friendships," she said.
"The impact of equine activities on emotional wellbeing is just starting to be understood ... and (in addition to being with fellow riders) is a powerful antidote to dealing with the stress of modern day life."