Arizona Western Go-Sees

By far one of the most prominent horse events in February is the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show & Shopping Expo, beginning February 14 and running through to February 24. It’s held at the beautiful WestWorld facility and whether Arabians are your breed of choice or not, this show is a must-see if you’re in the area.

This year, the 58th edition of the show will host more than 640 colorful classes, which will collectively pay out over $1 million dollars in prizes. Check back to my post in 2011 for a few photos and words about the show. From the tradeshow, to the stall fronts, to the many classes, It truly is an amazing show.

One of the highlights of the show and a significant draw for western riders is the lucrative reining division. Watch for a Canadian representation in the Reining Futurity Classic, which offers a full and part-bred division and pays out $150,000. In addition there is a Non-Pro Derby and a Limited Futurity division.

 

Currently ongoing and through to Feb. 3 is the Arizona Sun Circuit, a fantastic Quarter Horse circuit which we featured in our Getaways section of the Jan/Feb issue of the magazine, and I believe a number of Canadians are competing at as well. There’s a number of excellent free clinics over the course of this show, definitely worth the entry gate admission.

Still in January, western lore aficionados can meander down to Mesa, Arizona and take in the massive High Noon Western Americana Collectors Weekend, Jan. 26-27. Covering all genres from antiques to cowboy chic, I’m guessing there will be interesting collections of both saddles and spurs, amongst other treasures.

Fan of horsemanship and cow sorting? Trainer Paul Dietz is hosting a horsemanship clinic Jan. 26 and a cow working clinic Jan. 27 at his Desert Hills facility. Team sorting practice is every Sunday afternoon.

Looking for something new to do with your horse for 2013. Western Dressage is taking off at Carefree Dressage in north Scottsdale.

Finally, we’ve been driving by these tents on our sojourns into Scottsdale. If you happened to miss Cavalia when it was in Canada, I imagine experiencing it in the desert would be equally magnificent. It’s running from now through to the end of Jan.

MORE HORSE EVENTS IN THE PHOENIX AREA:

There’s a Blue Ribbon Horse Show Feb. 10 at the Arizona Horse Lovers Park. 

If you

haven’t experienced the town of Wickenburg, their annual Gold Rush Days, Feb. 8-10, might be a good time to take a drive there. The town celebrates it’s ranching and gold-mining heritage with a parade, rodeo, dance, arts and of course, a staple of Arizona’s Wild West – gunfighter’s shootouts.

If you are hankering for some desert riding, hook up with the Arizona Fox Trotter Gaited National Trail Ride, Feb. 28 to March 3. Held at the historic Boyd Ranch, near Wickenburg, this ranch is nestled in the gorgeous Sonoran Desert. The trails are said to pass magnificent saguaro cactus’s and historic sites from the 1800s along the Hassayampa River. I don’t believe it is a full 5 day ride, but rather day rides with hitching rails for horses, and showers and restrooms for riders. Saturday features a dance., contact Clare Ross at (928) 925-6595 or clareross@mindspring.com

Dunn’s Arena, at Litchfield Park is a roper’s and sorter’s paradise with weekly events in both sports, as well as barrel racing. Check out the link for a full calendar of events.

The Scottsdale Saddle Club, Arizona’s oldest and one of its most active saddle clubs, has a Western Show on Feb. 17, more details at the site.

Cowboy mounted shooting offers up a vibrant culture in Arizona. Head down to the Ed Hooper arena in Casa Grande on Feb. 25-26 for what’s headlined as “not your Gramma’s shoot!” –  The Gunfight in Arizona.

In Germany, I happened to have a chance to attend a medieval jousting festival. Held on ancient castle grounds, it was a completely unexpected and fascinating side trip, learning and experiencing this vibrant equine sub-culture, which exists surrounding the Middle Ages and the sport of jousting.

Arizona also has it’s own Renaissance Festival. It runs every Saturday and Sunday from Feb. 9 to March 31, held near Apache Junction.

Finally, this year’s Carefree Indian Market and Cultural Festival, Jan. 25-27, features a rich display of native American art, music and dance.