Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show Offers Activities for All Ages



As horse shows around the country search for ways to attract more spectators and interest from the general public, one show seems to be ahead of the game. The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, a 62-year-old institution in the American Arabian Horse community, is expanding its offerings for visitors, especially the younger ones.

The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is held in multiple arenas at West World of Scottsdale in Arizona and this year takes place from February 16-26. Daily admission to the show is $10, but kids under 12 get in free. Additionally, veterans and members of the military and their families are invited to Military Appreciation Day on Tuesday, February 21, at no charge with military ID.

Once visitors arrive at the venue, they can get an introduction to the Arabian breed by participating in barn tours. These tours run at scheduled times from February 17-25 and provide visitors with a history of the show, an overview of the unique characteristics of Arabian horses, and information about training, caring for and showing this breed.

Arabian Halter


Horse-loving kids and their families will also have the chance to get up close to a horse with the Meet-an-Arabian event. Participating children can have their photo taken on the ambassador Arabian horse. Check the schedule of special events to find availability.

Other kid-friendly events include: paint-a-pony, where kids can paint and take home a ceramic horse; pony rides and a petting zoo that includes a mini donkey and alpacas, among others; and dog training demonstrations. A popular annual event, the free ice cream social, takes place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 18.

For horse lovers of all ages, there’s even more to do at Scottsdale. Clinics, training demos, seminars and even equine art classes are among the daily offerings. More than 300 vendors populate the show’s expo, plus 50 food vendors to offer something for every taste.

Of course, there’s also a horse show going on behind all this. Arabians and half-Arabians at Scottsdale compete in just about every equestrian discipline that can be held in a show ring, from dressage and reining to hunter/jumper and saddle seat, along with Arabian-specific classes like native costume and liberty. The competition arenas will be available for free online live streaming at

Leslie Potter is a writer and photographer based in Lexington, Kentucky.


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