Many little girls dream of owning a pony, joining pony club and competing in the Royal Easter Show.
Eleven-year-old Black Head school girl Elka Petersen is living that dream.
Earlier this week an excited Elka travelled to Sydney to compete in show riding events at her first Sydney Royal Show, the country's largest and arguably premier agricultural exhibition.
While the Sydney Royal is considered by many the elite for riding events, Elka has already achieved much success in the show ring - with promises of more to come.
In late February Elka and her mount, Uhavta Jackpot, was third in the child's large Galloway of the Year show riding event at the prestigious Grand National Saddle Horse and Rider Championships.
Elka and her eight-year-old, 14.3 hand gelding was one of 36 riders in the event, held at the famed Sydney International Equestrian Centre at Horsley Park.
The young equestrian earned her entry into the competition following success at Royal Show Horse Council qualifying events held throughout the country.
In September 2018 Elka was the champion rider at the NSW/ACT Southern Hack Championships, followed in October by the NSW Champion Horse of the Year.
In November Elka travelled to Dubbo where she was judged NSW Country Hack champion.
A natural in the saddle, Elka is primarily self-trained, riding on the beach and around the paddocks of her parents Diamond Beach rural block.
However, she does have a few lessons with Goulburn show rider, Les Friend.
She first hopped on the back of a horse as a six-year-old and learnt to sit in the saddle following mum Kristi Moy around the 40.5ha property.
She brushed up her skills with lessons from Richard and Nicola Paff, who run the Taree Equestrian Centre at Old Bar.
"Mum grew up with horses which brought my love for them," Elka said.
"I like how I can experience different places, meet new people and ride my horse in different places."
Before leaving for Sydney Elka was understandably excited at the prospect of competing in her first Royal.
Elka had to compete and win at a number of qualifying country shows to gain a place at Sydney, including Nabiac, Taree, Muswellbrook, Morriset, Camden Haven, singleton, Grafton, Bellingen and Newcastle.
But, owning a pony, and competing at elite level is more than just riding.
Elka, with help from her mum, daily grooms and washes, keeps the stables clean, and trains 4-5 times a week for up to an hour.
At the same time, she also has to keep up with her school studies.
"When you first get a horse it can be scary because they are unpredictable.
"But, now it is exciting; you get to ride and train them and learn about them."