The 59th annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show stomped off this weekend at WestWorld with behind the scenes looks, shopping opportunities and riding competitions.
Fridays through Mondays feature free barn tours. The tour allows visitors to see some of the show horses in their stalls. Little kids will be especially excited when the horses come to the stall doors to greet them. Visitors will also get to see one of the horses up close and personal, as one of the show’s employees tells them about the show. The tour on Feb. 15 featured a 14-year-old Arabian gelding — a castrated horse — named Remington.
Spectators got to pet Remington as they learned about the preparation he goes through for the show. For example, his owners place Vaseline around his eyes and mouth to make them shine, and leave a patch of hair on his back untrimmed as cushioning for his saddle. The tour is educational, especially for those with limited knowledge about horses, and is one of the best chances to get close to the horses.
The other best chance is at the “Meet an Arabian Horse” event, which allows visitors to get their picture taken while sitting on an Arabian horse. The horses are dressed in native costumes similar to the ones worn in some of the competitions, and those getting their pictures taken can also dress up.
After receiving their pictures, spectators got a voucher for a discount on another horse experience — whether it is riding, lessons or something else — courtesy of TimeToRide.com.
The horse show also features a large shopping expo. Most of the stalls sell horse-related items, such as extravagant riding costumes, custom saddles and horse feeds. However, those who prefer watching to riding can also find great works of art and merchandise for the show.
The main attraction, of course, is the array of competitions that take place every day. The competitions range in age levels and experience. A group of 2- to 7-year-olds took a walk around the arena, showing off their horse and their cutest outfits, before each receiving a blue ribbon.
There were multiple groups of 15- to 18-year-olds trying to make it to the championship round of their class. Each class featured a different style of riding and clothing, from the sequins and bolo ties in the Western divisions to the elegant pantsuits and bowler hats of the Country English groups to the traditional floor-length skirts of Ladies Side Saddle.
The Native Costume class is, by far, the most popular and highly-anticipated competition. Riders and horse alike arrive in the arena decked out in colorful, flowing outfits emulating those worn in the horse’s homelands of the Middle East. The jingling of their jewelry and the pounding of the hooves can still be heard over the growing roar of the crowd.
The horse show features so many different events and experiences that no one will have trouble finding something interesting to do there.
The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show will run through Feb. 23.
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