Saturday night was the biggest night at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, finals night. Westworld was more crowded than I'd ever seen it before. We stood in line to purchase tickets and the couple in front of us were giving out buy one-get one admission coupons. Score!!!
The night before, we had seen these life sized bronze statues but I didn't get photos. They are really neat, aren't they?
The lantern on this statue gets lit up after dark. Very cool!
The first class of the night is the Joker's Wild Jumping class. Each jump is assigned points ranging from 80 to 120. The rider has a specific time to set her own course, running and jumping all over the course, to score the most points. These jumpers are very quick and agile, able to jump with very little approach and sometimes not even a straight approach.
There is no age limit on the riders, as you can see from the little girl in the next photo. The young ones are fearless but also reckless. This one had a couple of refusals and almost got unseated because she failed to set her horse up to properly jump the obstacles. It's an exciting class and one that is well suited for the athletic Arabians and crossbreeds that were in the class.
This horse and rider won the class in spite of the high-headedness of her mount. She planned her ride carefully, jumping as many jumps as she could in the time allowed.
A special presentation of roses went to the dark chestnut stallion in this photo. His name is Echo Magnifficoo and he earned the triple crown in Halter in 1992- Scottsdale, Canadian Nationals, and US Nationals. Now, he is 24 years old, living in Washington state. and a leading sire of Arabian horses.
Look at all the Grand Champion rose garlands waiting to be awarded this night.
Next, was the Country Driving class. Although it's not a very clear photo, look at the extension and lift of that foreleg!
Some of the classes were huge, like the Western Pleasure class.
I imagine Yalla! will have a coat color very similar to the last horse on the right, or the one next to him.
We had much a better view of the arena this time. Rather than being on the very end, we were were in the middle, next to the video equipment. The wheelchair areas were filled up and we had nowhere else to go. I figured that if the video equipment could be parked there, so could we. My mother was using her transport wheelchair and I pulled it in right behind the premium reserved box seats. I, however, had to stand for an hour or so, until finally, I found the right person who could bring me a fold-up chair. I asked one security guy who said it wasn't his problem. Another one told me 'good luck' in finding a chair. I went to the front information booth and they couldn't help me either. Finally, a gentleman was escorting a couple of show patrons to their box seats in front of us and I asked him for a portable chair. He brought one to me right away. I guess it really does pay to know the right people. It was funny because everyone thought I was an official the way I was standing there. Everyone kept asking me where their reserved seats were located. The premium box seats in front of us, and all around the stadium next to the rail, were bought up by show patrons/stables when they enrolled their horses in the show. Exhibitors, trainers, and friends of the boxholders, would come and go in those seats, but the general public was not allowed down there. That didn't stop people from trying to sit there. During the entire show, people were getting booted out of those premium seats. The bleacher seats were available for anyone with regular general admission and, on the far side of the arena, there were chair-back bleacher seats for an additional admission charge. Whenever anyone asked me where their seats were, I showed them across the arena to those reserved seats and they walked off in dismay.
I admired this lovely gray horse with it's extremely long and white tail.
One of the competitors came out to watch the show after her class, still carrying her horse's bridle. I included this photo to show the typical western spade bit.This is not a harsh bit when the horse is well trained to carry it properly. This, and the extremely weighted reins are the reasons why the western horses travel with their heads vertically.
This was a half Arabian class judging by the size of the first horse on the left.
I know, hard to read, but they were handing out flyers to promote this mare in the upcoming Liberty Horse Class. Click to enlarge and you can read it better.
And here she is! She performed okay, but not exceptionally.
I really liked this big, handsome fella.
In the $5000 Arabian Freestyle Liberty class, a pair of handlers come into the arena with the horse in hand (halter). They turn him loose, sans halter, and have two minutes to chase him around the arena to show off his action to music. Then the music stops and they have two minutes to catch him.
The horses this year were only so-so. Some wouldn't leave the gate area and none of them really had a stand out trot or gallop. I think my Annie could show off as well as they did. In the past, this class has been very exciting for the crowd, whooping and hollering as the horse races past, head high and tail flagged or showing off a floating trot that takes ones breath away with it's beauty and then stopping and wheeling to go the other direction.This class should be Beauty and Spirit in Motion, the epitome of the Arabian Horse.
Here's another photo of the horse I liked. In this photo, they were receiving a Top Ten award.
I liked the way this dog was smelling the giant ice cream cone. Was it real?
All the hunter horses have braided tails and tight little knot braids in their manes, nowadays.
Another Native Costume class! This sheikh had an authentic saddle. Nice!
Here are more lovely costumed ladies and horses.
This picture was on the placard advertisement in front of us.
I guess fur is fashionable again. The desert nights get chilly and many of the judges wore fur coats and stoles this night.
The last event of the show is Park Horse. The horses do a very animated trot called the Park Trot and the crowds go crazy, whooping and clapping for more action and speed. I couldn't get any decent action shots this time so here is a partial class line-up.
I really liked the custom design on this lady's shirt.
Another Scottsdale Arabian Show has come to an end, for us. Sunday morning, they had halter classes, working cow horse classes, and others, that I would love to have seen, but we had to get on the road and head for home.
Come back for my trip home. The adventure isn't over yet.