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The 57th Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show
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February 20th, 2012

Read this article in Oasis Magazine

15330_mediumThe Arabian Horse Association of Arizona (AHAA) proudly presents the 57th Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. Called a "Signature Event" by the city of Scottsdale, the show will take place from February 16-26 at Scottsdale's WestWorld. General admission is $10 but kids under 12 get in free. Ticket information can be found at

With more than 2,500 of the best Arabian and half-Arabian horses in the world, more than $1,000,000 in prizes, 700 classes, and 300 vendors and trade booths, the event is the largest of its kind in the world.

This incredible event comes from humble origins. In 1953, horse lover Ed Tweed visited the stable of the first person to bring a purebred Arabian horse to the area. Tweed so fell in love with the Pearl Grey Clyde Arabians that he decided to bring all Arabian horse owners in Arizona together. Thus began the Arabian Horse Association.

Two years later, the newly founded nonprofit held its first Arabian Horse Show at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. The volunteer organized event gathered 50 horses and just more than a dozen exhibitors from Arizona and neighboring states. Due to the success of this inaugural show Arabian horse owner Ann McCormick bought the 150-acre Paradise Park to serve as show grounds in future years.

By the mid-1980s, the show had outgrown Paradise Park and moved to the much larger WestWorld. Today, exhibitors come from all 50 states and countries all over the world.

The Arabian Horse Association raises thousands of dollars for local charities with this show. It has raised funds for charitable organizations for fifty years and hopes to do so for fifty more. Club members estimate that more than 100 charities have benefited from the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show over the years.

The AHAA has chosen to support the March of Dimes, the Horseman's Distress Fund, the Phoenix Crisis Nursery and Cox Communication Charities this year. Charities supported in previous years include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Hospice of the Valley and the Phoenix Children's Hospital.

This year's 11-day spectacle will include competitions in six, continuously busy arenas, more than 300 vendors offering everything from jewelry, clothing and artwork to boots saddles and gifts, expansively decorated barn displays, and behind-the-scene tours of the stabling areas.

A high-end food court will be available with offerings of gourmet crepes, grilled salmon, decadent desserts and much more. Household and gift products available from vendors are expected to be a major attraction this year, as well.

Guests are welcome to explore the stabling areas. Volunteer guides are available to take visitors on a tour of the barns, and you can sign up for a personally guided tour of the show at the main entrance. A schedule of the tours can be found on the web site at

Every year, the first Saturday of the show is set aside as "Kid's Day". This day includes an ice-cream social, "paint a pottery pony", "take your picture on an Arabian Horse" and other kid-friendly events. Youth classes, including the Youth Lead Line Class, will be held this Saturday, February 18 at 12:30pm. This must-see event features children as young as three dressed up in traditional riding clothes as they take their ponies through their paces for the judge.

Also available are educational seminars held on the grounds. These seminars will cover everything from how the Scottsdale Police Department trains its horses to training tricks used by professional horse trainers.

Every possible horse competition will be held at the Scottsdale Show. Western and English riding, jumping and halter showing are all available for your enjoyment.

Every day of the show Arab and half-Arab Mounted Native Costume classes will be held. Riders and horses will dress in traditional desert array and gallop around the arena.

The Gamblers Choice Award will be held on Saturday the 25th at 6pm. In this class, Arabs and half-Arabs will race around the arena and jump obstacles for points. The horse with the most points and the fewest number of penalties is declared the champion.

In the evening of the same day, the finals for the $5,000 Arabian Freestyle Liberty Class will be held. Gorgeous Arabs will be loosed in the arena sans saddle and bridle to be admired and judged. Classes will be held Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday afternoon before finals on the 25th.

The Scottsdale Supreme Halter Championship will take place Sunday morning on the 26th. This competition judges Arabs based on beauty. It will determine which Arabian halter horse holds the title of 2012 Scottsdale Champion.

"This is the most exciting time of the show," said Jay Allen, AHAA president, about the Championship Weekend. "All of our show people and their beautiful horses have competed for the right to show and a chance to be declared Scottsdale Champion."

Young horses will compete for $130,000 in prize money at the Arabian & Half-Arabian Reigning Futurity. Signature Stallion offspring classes will be offered in halter and performances. In these classes, certain horses are eligible to compete for more than $613,000. Furthermore, the Arabian English Pleasure Futurity Classic will debut this year. Arabian horses and trainers will compete in an individual pattern class. The top 14 cumulative scores will then compete for the $100,000 prize.

The last weekend of the show kicks of with Family Friday. Admission is free for everyone after 6pm on the 24th.

Don't miss this year's Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. Help the AHAA raise funds for local charities and enjoy this presentation of some of the most beautiful horses in the world.

For additional information on Oasis Magazine please contact:
Catherine McKenna