This year, the thundering of hooves sounds again at Westworld of Scottsdale as the 58th Annual Arabian Horse Show and Shopping Expo put on by the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona (AHAA) returns. For over half a century, the show has delighted horse lovers of all ages. There is something for everyone at this Expo. The dirt arena in the main barn showcases the Arabian equines and their riders from all over the world. From English dressage to Western style riding in sparkly outfits, the expo showcases just about everything horses can do from trick riding and jumping, to the sheer discipline when the horse is allowed to run free and then bows it’s head to return to it’s master at a mere call.
The hot blooded horses are equaled in majesty only by their noble strength. Arabian horses have long been praised for their beauty and majesty having been chosen by pharaohs in Egypt to pull their chariots. Here, there is a chariot pulling show as well as western calf roping. Prestigious award ribbons are also handed out. More than just an honor to place on the barn wall, the show has gained so much notoriety that a win here translates to big profits for one’s horse in the breeding barn. There are also smaller arenas where you can watch the horses warm up, cool down, and perform smaller shows. Be sure to dress comfortably but nicely for this event as you will be walking around outside part of the time. The main performance arena often gets crowded while everyone tries to get a view of the events, so the best option is to purchase a VIP ticket which guarantees you a seat to get up close views of the four legged creatures.
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As educational as it is fun, barn tours are given, and the chance to meet an Arabian horse up close while learning about what makes it so special is offered. Children’s activities are also available where they can play games or paint their own ceramic horse to take home. An unique feature of this expo is that some events are streamed live on the website iequine.com This allows families of the foreign competitors that could not make it to the event to watch some of the more important competitions.
At the expo, during down times, there is so much more to see. You’ll see why the show boasts that you must come more than one day. Vendors from all over are there on display. You can find anything you need from fine jewelry and fur coats, to saddles and riding tack. If you’re over 21, you can enjoy a beer or glass of wine as you peruse the shops. Many snacks and simple meals are also available. Don’t forget your other four legged friends while you’re out. The Arabian Horse Show is dog friendly, and you are allowed to bring your pooch on a leash, or of course in your bag if it’s a very small breed.
So whether your first love is dogs or horses, English or Western, chariots, jumps, or Arabian costume, you will be satisfied here. Even if you’re not an animal lover you can hang out and shop in the tent which can fill a whole day in itself. More than one day at the show is definitely in order to see it all. The shows change every day so you’re sure to be delighted every time.