California Riding Magazine • November, 2009

Festival Of Horses
Arizona event has it all and then some.

Dec. 11-13 is the date for the Arizona Festival of Horses at WestWorld in Scottsdale. The fair and exposition will feature world-class clinicians, breed and stallion demonstrations, lectures and demos on horse related topics, a trade show in time for Christmas shopping, riding clinics with top clinicians and the first ever Draft Horse Competition. In addition, Equi-Dance features two dynamic shows of action-packed equine entertainment.

Horse and driver skills will be tested in the Draft Horse event. Sure crowd pleasers are the big six- and eight-horse hitches with their beautiful Percherons and other draft breeds adorned in shiny harnesses pulling beautiful wagons.

The Mule and Donkey Competition will showcase these versatile animals competing in classes usually reserved for horses. A special twist will be the Pack Scramble, in which several mules are turned out in an arena and cowboys must catch, saddle and run a course for first place.

The Breed Showcase is one of the most popular events at the Festival. Each showcase has a hospitality area and stalls for the public to come after each arena presentation to see the horses and talk to the owners. Many of these horse and riders are in native costume and ride to music. All presentations talk about the history of their breed.

The up and coming sport of Horse Soccer is part of the Festival. The Rancho de LaDama Soccer Team will be hosting a soccer match at the Festival of Horses. Attendees will pick a team to cheer for while the horses kick the ball trying to make a goal. Information on getting into this new and exciting sport will be available.

The Great American Trail Competition returns by popular demand. A challenging trail course in this event provides an interesting feature for participants and spectators alike.

The Equi-Dance is a fantastic equine entertainment for horse lovers of all ages. Excitement, thrills, comedy, family fun and a few surprises are all on the docket. Special attractions include Al Ragusin and his dancing horse and the Golden West Cowgirls. The Arizona Mini Mystiques will present a drill to music and the Mounted Patrol Formation Drill is not to be missed.

The equine trade show offers commercial booths selling a wide selection of western art, jewelry, clothing, equipment, gifts and countless products and services for horse fans. Consider it one-stop Christmas shopping.

Event hours for the Arizona Festival of Horses are Fri. Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12-13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One admission ticket provides access to all daytime events including clinics, breed demonstrations, lectures, the trade show and more. Daily admission is $15 for adults; $7 for children 13-17 and kids 12 and under get in free. Weekend and combination discount passes are also available. Equi-Dance is presented on Saturday night at 6 p.m. or Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Adult tickets are $10, children 13-17 years $5, 12 and under are free. Attendees of the Arizona Festival of Horses are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance for easy entry. At the event, cash only will be accepted for tickets.

Press release provided by the Arizona Festival of Horses. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to www.festivalofhorses.com or
call 602-354-4675.