The Los Angeles Equestrian Center, in Burbank, CA, played host to the annual “Spring Arabian Horse Show” the week of March 21st through the 24th this year. The show was sponsored by the Rancho California Arabian Horse Association and the Arabian Horse Association of the San Joaquin Valley, and was both a Region 1 and Region 2 qualifying show with two judges scoring each class. Competitors from across the state (and beyond) showed up in full force for this important qualifying show, and were met with good weather, comfortable showgrounds, and, above all, great fun.
This year, the Spring Arabian Horse Show ran concurrent with the Region 2 Offsite Sporthorse and Dressage Championships, which meant an entire schedule of classes, from Dressage and Working Western, to Halter and English and Western Rail Classes. Both the Equidome and the outdoor show arenas were utilized in order to accommodate the class load, and though the showgrounds were quite full, everyone managed to find just enough room to prepare, warm-up and get into the ring on time.
It was an important show for this SLOHN writer, as I was looking for qualification for both Regional Shows that I plan to attend this year (Region 1 Championships in Del Mar, CA and Region 2 Championships in Santa Barbara, CA). I was not alone in my quest for qualification; In fact, many classes drew ten or more riders. As is often the case, the Hunter Pleasure classes and Junior to Ride classes were the fullest, but English Pleasure, Western Pleasure, Country Pleasure, Show Hack, Trail, and even Reining drew competitors.
There is nothing like walking down the main alley at an Arabian Horse show and seeing all of the “big barns” displaying their stall curtains, patio furniture, sod, poster sized photographs, decorations, and, most importantly, their rider’s (and horse’s) winnings. It is truly the panache and spectacle that sets these breed shows apart from so many others. But on top of all that, there are always those (like me) who pull in, set up, and bring only one or two horses, which truly shows the range of riders who simply love to compete. The “little guys” always mix well with the “big guys”, and it makes for a great show atmosphere. The only thing that tops the “vibe” of the barns is the quality of horses being shown, and the detail oriented mindset of the exhibitors. Attention to detail in clipping, grooming, shine, tack, wardrobe and a strong performance foundation is what keeps me coming back as an exhibitor and a spectator.
Even though they were scheduled in strange time slots, something truly great happened during my Reining classes at this show. The arenas were dragged, the judges set themselves up in the stands of the famous Equidome…And spectators (trainers, other exhibitors, and just people looking for a fun, family outing) began meandering in to watch! So often, people get so wrapped up in their own show experience that they miss out on seeing what others are doing, but as I ran my first pattern and heard the “hoots and whistles” from the crowd, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Arabian shows truly are a great place for people from all walks of life to come and enjoy beautiful horses and capable riders doing amazing things.
In a word, the 2014 Spring Show in Burbank was a success. Quality horses and riders, multiple vendors, clean and well managed showgrounds, friendly faces, filled classes and a staff that was helpful and kept things moving at a consistent pace, truly made this show a great experience. Way to get it done RCAHA and AHASJV![contentblock id=4]