Annual Arabian Horse Show
February is one of my most favorite months. The air is clear and crisp in Arizona, the temps are in the mid-70s for a few days, and we’re left with gorgeous days under cloudless blue skies. Arizona plays host to a vast number of local events that are encouraged to get us outside to enjoy the beautiful days. One of these is the Arabian Horse Show.
I’ve had Arabian horses for most of my life (although I’m currently horse-less for a variety of reasons). I miss having horses around me; the musky scent of sun-warmed leather that fills a tack room, the bouquet of fresh-cut hay that reminds of all the good things in life, the spicy odor of horses that fills your heart. So I have to get my horse fix elsewhere and that is usually at the Arabian Horse Show in Scottsdale, where I can soak in all things horse-related for ten fun-filled days.
The Annual Arabian Horse Show has occurred every year since 1955, with the first event taking place on the ground of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. My, how things have changed! It has grown from 50 horses to nearly 2400 horses in the years since. A win at this show means big money for the champions!
If you haven’t been, we want to tell you about some reasons to attend that most folks won’t know. Whether you have horses or just adore watching them, this is an event you shouldn’t miss.
From authentic Arabian dresses to bronze and glass sculptures, the exhibitor area is a place you don’t want to miss. The expo caters to hundreds of trade booths, including jewelry, clothing, gifts, and more horse-related paraphernalia than you could dream of.
If you’ve never seen the barn of an Arabian horse operation, you are missing something amazing. Most humans will never even imagine living as well as these horses, and as a person who once worked in the most prestigious of all stables, I can tell you that my dream home is less complex than these barns.
Behind the Scenes Barn Tours-Tours will be at 10am and 2pm on specified days. Check the schedule and meet at the East End of Entry Tent. Meet the horses and owners, walk the barns, and see for yourself what amazing lives these animals experience.
You’ll see dozens of demonstrations at this show, including how to never lose your horse to how to drive your horse on a team. They cover everything from conformation to native costumes. Here is a list of events, but just to give you an idea of the diversity, we’ve listed a few of the draws this year:
- eyeD™ Iris Scan Technology for Horses
- Four Natural Aids to Train – Robert Leary
- Essential Elements of Horsemanship-Lee Smith
- Mounted Patrol-Scottsdale Police Mounted Unit (SPMU)- West Brown
- Sport Horse Basics-Philipp Kast
This is one of my favorite events. Dozens of riders show off their beautiful handmade costumes and elaborate bridles and tack. These are the more historically committed fans of the breed, and they spend countless hours creating the flowing costumes designed to emphasize the grace of the Arabian horse. The Mounted Native Costume classes are peppered through the final week of the show; and the championships are 8 a.m. Feb. 19 in the Equidome.
Dressage is a competitive equestrian sport and is often referred to as “the highest expression of horse training.” The horse and rider use a small “arena” to execute a series of movements that is closer to a dance than a “move”. These delicate movements require the highest level of training and a connection with the animal that makes the rider and horse look like “one” body. Check the Schedule of Events for a full listing.
Celebrities at Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show
You’ll see plenty of star power at the event. While they rarely announce their arrival, it’s not uncommon to find yourself standing next to a Oscar-winning celebrity at one of the booths. Occasionally, they will make a statement that they’ll be around, but it’s best to just keep your eyes open. Remember, be courteous if you do happen to run into one. It’s easier to talk horses to them, and that’s what they prefer as well.