Mother Nature smiled on the WestWorld showgrounds, home to the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show! Gone are the memories of sleet and vendor umbrellas sailing across the rained-soaked Wendell Arena like unmoored tumbleweed. As this week’s sun rose, bringing with it 70s and mild southerly breezes, off went the hats, jackets, gloves and other winter wear, out came the sunglasses, sunscreen, and sandals. Sure, overnight temps dip to the mid-40s and 50s, but this is the desert, folks. There’s nothing but cactus and palm trees to hold the daytime heat.
This year’s show dates are February 13-23. I went up during the first weekend, and the parking was full, the vendor area was abuzz and the lovely mix of fresh shavings and ShowSheen filtered through the barn aisles and warm-up arenas.
Even in Arizona, where we can ride and show pretty much year-round, the Scottsdale Show marks the start of the new show season. Many of us have not seen our horse show family members since the end of last year’s national show – Canadian Nationals, Sport Horse Nationals or US Nationals. Some, who don’t show past regionals, haven’t caught up with their pals anywhere other than on Facebook since last June. This reunion accounts for the shrieks of joy, phones pinging, and some jumping up and down bear hugs of folks that are well old enough to know better. Snippets of conversation between horse people can be mistaken for updates on children. “Wow, he’s growing up nicely.” “How’s she’s coming along? Schooling well?” But listening to the conversations a while longer and something is amiss. “He acts just like his daddy. Good bloodlines.” “Nice cross. Are you going to breed back? I would.” Horse people.
Since 1955 the Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show has set the pace in the Arabian horse world, and 2020 marks its 65th consecutive show. The first show was held in Phoenix at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, owned by the Wrigley family. It was sponsored by Anne and Fowler McCormick, Philip and Helen Wrigley, and Ed and Ruth Tweed. The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show was a first-class show from the very first day.
After the show’s beginnings at the Arizona Biltmore, Mrs. McCormick bought 150 acres in Scottsdale and made it into the horse facility known as Paradise Park which served the needs of the show for many years.
Since the late 1980s, the show has been held at WestWorld in Scottsdale at 16601 North Pima Road. It has grown from 50 horses to nearly 2400 horses bringing top owners, trainers and breeders from around the world competing for a chance at winning. A win at Scottsdale can mean big money in the breeding barns.
Is attending the Scottsdale Show on your bucket list? Planning ahead is key. Maybe you’d like to stay in style on-site? Check out what’s on offer with Going Places RV Rentals. It has high-end RVs that are on the WestWorld showgrounds parked along the polo field. Bricks and mortar more your style? Check out nearby hotels at this link: http://www.scottsdaleshow.com/accommodations
If you have your own RV or living quarters horse trailer and would like to stay on-site, the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona (AHAA) will accept prepaid reservations on a first come first serve basis. The per-space rate is $400 with electricity and water hookups for the duration of the show. Move-in dates are usually 3 to 4 days before the first day of the show, and move-out dates are usually two days after the show ends. To request an RV reservation package please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For Scottsdale Show guests who are not competing (competitors have daily access included with their entries), click here to learn about the various general admissions costs – including which days have free admission.
For more complete information about the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show visit its website.