Scottsdale calls itself "the West's most Western town," and the city has plenty of cowboy credential to back up its claim. It has one of the West's longest-running Western parades, Parada del Sol. And the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, now entering its 60th year, draws thousands of horse admirers to the city every spring.
Now, there is one more reason for equine-lovers to visit Scottsdale. The Arizona Quarter Horse Association is adding a new horse show to its annual line-up: the Arizona Fall Championship Show, which will be held Sept. 24 to Sept. 28, 2014, at Scottsdale's WestWorld Event Center.
The new Arizona Fall Championship will be held in Scottsdale — Photo courtesy of Arizona Quarter Association
Admission is free to the horse show and competition, which will bring together some of the best professional and amateur riders in the country. Spectators will get to watch, as riders show off Western Pleasure riding, a competition style that evaluates the horse and rider on manners, gait cadence and speed. The horse should appear to be a "pleasure" to ride, hence its name.
Another major class of competition will be trail riding, where an individual rider and horse have to navigate through a series of obstacles. Typically, riders must pass through a small gate, walk across a fake bridge and trot or lope on command.
In addition to the equine athletics on display, there will also be plenty of vendors on hand selling souvenirs and Western-style apparel. Event goers can shop for Western boots, cowboy-inspired home goods and even RVs. There will also be several food vendors on hand, so attendees don't have to leave the venue for lunch.
The competitors will be showing in front of two judges in the first round and then four judges in the second championship round. There will be more than 10 major competition categories, with exhibitors eligible to win from $1,000 to $2,500 in prize money.
In the end, one exhibitor will be named overall show champion and presented with the special championship award, an embroidered leather bomber jacket.
Many of the exhibition shows will be held at the WestWorld's climate-controlled equidome and warm-up paddock. So, even if early fall in the desert brings warm temperatures, spectators will remain comfortable while watching the competition and shopping.
If you plan on visiting Scottsdale for the Arizona Fall Championship Show, the Arizona Quarter Horse Association has arranged for special rates at local hotels. Contact the association at (623) 869-8037 for more information about the horse show, vendors and special hotel rates.