The fifth annual ArabHorse Farm Tour was a roaring success. The beauty of the horses, the energy of the presentations, the elegance of the parties - all met with rave reviews and outstanding attendance at every farm. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the 2011 Farm Tour was the audience mix. In addition to the Arabian crowd, many of whom traveled across the country for the event, numerous people not presently involved in horses were seen at Tour presentations. These folks were asking questions, getting closer looks at the horses and simply having a great time enjoying Tour farm hospitality.
Riyan of Riyan Marketing and Public Relations noted, "The ArabHorse media program developed over the past five years has turned the annual Farm Tour into a recognized Scottsdale community event. Newspaper and magazine articles, as well as television coverage, have definitely attracted new people." One couple traveled to Scottsdale for the second year in a row specifically for the Farm Tour. They read about the Tour s in the paper last year and had so much fun, despite uncertain weather, that they returned this year. A part-time Scottsdale resident from Colorado who saw the newspaper article on the Tour for the first time this year reports that she plans to attend future Tour events as well.
This writer observed a Scottsdale couple, non-horse owners, and their daughter attending a Tour event with their horse-owner friends. Their little girl and several other children closely followed the program checking names of the horses during the presentation. The children were ecstatic being so close to our beautiful Arabians. The little girl's joy was contagious and her parents were soon questioning their friends about entering the Arabian horse business. Farms participating in the Tour should not be surprised by inquiries from newcomers just like this family who were motivated by their Tour experience to get involved in owning and showing horses.
The weather was unbelievably beautiful during the Tour and no doubt helped boost attendance but rain or shine, people are committed to attending and interested in learning about Arabians. At Arabian Expressions, the crowd was asked for a show of hands from those planning to attend the Scottsdale Show. Half gave an enthusiastic yes and the other half gave the impression that they fully intended to get more information about the Show because they knew they would be missing a great event if they did not attend. Clearly the causal and relaxed format of the ArabHorse Farm Tour introduces new people to the business in an manner that encourages their interest and participation well beyond the Tour Finale.
Last year ArabHorse made a decision to help animals in need by a adding a charity benefit to the Farm Tour and participating farms, auction donors and guests rose to the occasion, raising some $28,000 for Healing Hearts Animal Rescue and Refuge. As a result of that success ArabHorse committed to a three year partnership with the non-profit organization. We are very happy to say that this year's Tour raised some $31,000 to support their
rescue efforts for farm and companion animals. Maricopa County suffers under the burden of the second highest animal overpopulation in the nation. In an effort to reduce this statistic, Healing Hearts operates a mobile veterinary services unit offering low-cost spay and neutering services. Healing Hearts attempts to find "forever homes" for animals but provides life-time care for all animals accepted in their program. Operating costs just for the hay to feed the livestock at their two facilities exceeds $7,000 every two months. Thanks to the generous support of the Arabian community and guests, the ArabHorse Farm Tour fundraiser allowed the organization to accept an additional 13 animals in their program, including cows, pigs, mini donkeys and horses that would otherwise have been put down.