We had finally made it to Scottsdale, Arizona to visit the 47th Annual
Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. Originally held at the private ranch
of Ann McCormick, this grand tradition of camaraderie and sportsmanship
has blossomed into the largest Arabian Horse show in North America.
The 10-day extravaganza is eagerly anticipated by residents and visitors
alike to experience this one-of-a-kind show and we were here to enjoy
it and enjoy it we did!!
The show is held at Westworld on the outskirts of Scottsdale, nestling
at the foot of the mountains, with clear blue skies and temperatures
we get in the UK for about two weeks of the year. It is a perfect
recipe for relaxation and revelry.
On entering the showground it is difficult to decide what to look
at first. In the trade areas, which are of a very high quality, you
can buy anything from a fur coat to a life size bronze of a horse
and where it is all too easy to melt the credit card.
Having done the trade stands on the way in, it was time to hotfoot
it towards the open arena where all the In-Hand classes take place.
Whilst this is a very prestigious show and an extremely well organised
one, there is a very relaxed feeling about it. The horses, however,
were far less relaxed and have clearly all undergone the same training
process. I found it odd that the judges seemed to be only interested
in judging the horses as they stood before them. Once they were moving
away and trotting out the judges were looking at the next exhibit.
We, of course, saw some very beautiful arabian horses on display during
our visit to the show. My particular favourites, of which there were
many, were all sired by either Padron Psyche, Magnum Psyche, Magic
Dream, or Versace.
Visiting as many of the barns on the showground is a must. These
vary from the very large barns of the big studs such as Ventura Farms,
Om El Arab, Strawberry banks farm, Arabian Expressions to name but
a few, to the smaller studs, all of which are worth a look. Everyone
is very friendly and are very happy to show you their horses, especially
if you might be thinking of buying one. The highlight for me, however,
was to see some of the great horses in person.
During our visit, we were chaperoned by Leanne Reel of the Magic
Dream Partnership whom we have come to know very well, having purchased
R. Magic from her and her husband. It was decided that we would all
attend the Psyche Psylect sale on Wed. evening, having nosed around
the Midwest Training Centre during the day. It was here that I met
Padron Psyche in person, when the only thought that comes to mind
is 'Awesome' and this is really me sharing a very private moment with
this wonderful being?
The sale itself in the evening was full of glitz and glamour and
you could have easily have thought you were attending a London Gala
evening, except for the horses on-stage. So the stage was set for
people to demonstrate their wealth and desire to acquire some very
valuable bloodlines, but the prices were surprisingly varied with
some horses making in excess of $100,000 and others seeming positively
reasonable at only $25,000. I am sure this is the first of many successful
auctions to be staged at Scottsdale.
I had promised my husband Paul that we would not go to the show every
day so we took a couple of days out to be tourists. Our first excursion
was to The Grand Canyon, another "awesome" experience and
one that we have promised ourselves we will return to. Our second
day was spent in Old Scottsdale which is full of native Indian culture.
There are lots of tourist shops, some great sculptures and you can
actually go into a western style bar with swing doors, which of course
we had to try out.
As for the rest of Scottsdale, you see evidence of ranches being
replaced with condominiums and newly fashioned stylish housing, but
it is 'the' place to be, especially if you have an interest in Arabian
horses. I, for one, cannot wait to go back.