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Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show at Westworld


Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show

Yearling Being Judged at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show

©Elizabeth R. Rose

About the Arabian Horse Show:

In 1955 the Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show started what has become a Scottsdale tradition. The event originally was held at the Biltmore Hotel. The event has grown from 50 horses to nearly 2000 horses bringing top owners, trainers and breeders from around the world competing for a chance at winning. A win at Scottsdale can mean big money in the breeding barns. For the public the Scottsdale event means a great opportunity to gain appreciation of this beautiful breed of horses and spend a day in the culture of the "horsey set."


The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show takes place each February. It runs for a full week, including both weekends, with the last weekend being the most exciting. For this year's schedule, see the event website.

Getting to Westworld:

Westworld is located just off the Loop 101 in Scottsdale. More information and directions to Westworld.

How to Enjoy the Show:

Be sure and take an orientation Barn Tour. They are usually offered at noon (but check the schedule). If you don't get there in time for a barn tour, make sure you at least walk past some of the barns. The decor (really!) is impressive.

Also make sure you have a Westworld Map as the arenas where you will be looking for events are spread throughout the complex. Needless to say, wear your boots or walking shoes.


Shopping at a horse show? Yes! It's a great place to see and purchase tack, western wear, english riding garb and horse-themed clothing. If you are not a horse-person, don't despair, there are plenty of fun and funky purses, jackets, jewelry.... and the list goes on. Be sure and take time to find the vendors which can be located in several buildings.

For Children:

Kids will love the horses. The'll enjoy seeing children practice and compete on their own Arabian horses, and can take part in some special events. There are usually Barn Tours and "Meet a Horse" opportunities. When I was there, the children were gathered around big tables painting their own horse figurines, which they then took home with them.


Tickets are available at the gate at WestWorld. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and children 12 and under are admitted free. Free family night is Friday, February 20th, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.

Free Family Night:

New for the 2009 show, the Free Family Night will be on the final Friday of the show. Families will be admitted free to the show on Friday, February 20th at 6:00 pm, giving everyone a chance to experience the beauty of the Arabians.

About the Arabian Horse:

Arabians are, indeed, from Arabia. They are smaller than most horses and have beautiful arched necks and gentle eyes. They are beautiful, versitile, animals. More information on Arabians.

Enjoying the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show:

Although I knew the last weekend of the event was the most exciting due to the finals, it didn't fit in to my schedule. Instead I went the first weekend and had a wonderful experience.

The crowds were down and so I could sit closer to the action. I especially enjoyed seeing the yearling fillies paraded around the arena in the halter class. They were experiencing their first judging. I then walked over and saw some initial dressage competition, noticed that there were some equitation clinics going on and ended by watching the trail horses work out.

What was interesting, was to see the range of uses for the little Arabian horses... from trail riding to English dressage, these versitile and beautiful horses strutted their stuff.

Depending on the day and time you are there, you will enjoy Halter classes, hunter-jumper, dressage, western trail and more. For those competing, this is very serious business. But for the spectator, the experience is pure joy. The horses are beautiful so be sure and bring your camera.

I was also impressed by the evidence of horses as business. Huge displays of Arabian stallions at stud drew horse owners in to consider this expensive proposition. Breeding farms set up outdoor living rooms in front of their barns to entice potential customers to settle in for some serious conversation.

There is something for everyone at the show. It's an ideal family outing. It's a glitzy, glamorous show as horse shows go. I'd call it the Barrett-Jackson of horse shows!

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