The Scottsdale Classic Celebrates 10 Years
Photos courtesy Scottsdale Classic – Western Pleasure Futurity
The Scottsdale Classic Futurity and Quarter Horse Show quickly established itself as one of the premier events on the national schedule of AQHA, NSBA and NRHA events.
The Classic will celebrate its milestone 10th anniversary with more of what everyone loves, and several new events that keep the show current with the needs of the industry. There will be six full AQHA shows with numerous dual-approved NSBA classes, a Special Event Trail & Western Riding day, a full slate of NRHA ancillary classes, as well as a large selection of futurities, maturities and derbies. Whether a veteran, a first time exhibitor, or a spectator, everyone will enjoy the show and activities held September 27th through October 3rd at the WestWorld equestrian facilities in Arizona.
The ongoing upgrades to the WestWorld facilities were on everyone’s mind leading up to the Classic, and once here, it appears unanimous: everyone is impressed, and excited about the changes. Already regarded as a premier equestrian center, WestWorld will be undergoing a 3-year, $42 million expansion. WestWorld General Manager Brian Dygert has worked closely with The Classic throughout the year to ensure there will be no negative impact on the show due to construction. The Equidome was ready for classes, and the enormous, attached warm-up paddock was opened for use on the second day. Impressive new lighting in the now fully enclosed arena makes it as bright as day. Vendors are enjoying their prime new locations around the ring.
The Classic never stops innovating to improve the exhibitor experience. This year, several new awards and events have been added to the line-up. In conjunction with AQHA, Novice competitors can ride for the Road Warrior Trophy. To be eligible for the Road Warrior trophy in the West, the exhibitor must have competed in Novice classes at The Scottsdale Classic. Then the exhibitor must compete at the SmartPak West Novice Championship in Las Vegas. The Road Warrior trophy in the West will be presented during the awards ceremony on October 7 at the Novice Championship.
Speed is the key on Saturday September 29 when the dirt will be flying in the barrels, poles and stakes races. This is the first time speed classes have been offered at the Classic. There will be Open, Amateur and Youth divisions, with 10th Anniversary Circuit awards for every class.
From its inception, The Classic has been a big draw for reiners, offering both NRHA and AQHA classes along with big money futurities. New this year, The Classic is expanding its NRHA offerings to include competitions for Arabian and Half-Arabian horses. There will be a NRHA 4-5 year old Open and Non-Pro Reining Futurity, and NRHA Arab/Half-Arab Open, Non-Pro and Youth classes.
The stakes are high in the returning favorite NRHA Reining Futurities, notably with the Mister Nicadual $60,000 added 3 year old Open Reining Futurity, and the Dun Gotta Gun $17,000 added 3 year old Non Pro Reining Futurity. There will also be an Open and Non-Pro Derby.
The Scottsdale Classic has the reputation for having the highest paying futurities in the West with both awards and money. Western Pleasure exhibitors will jog their way to a sizable payday in the $5,000 2 year old Futurity, the $7,500 3 year old Futurity, $2,000 3 year old Non Pro Futurity or Western Pleasure Maturity. Hunter Under Saddle riders can expect to collect cash and prizes for besting the competition in the $1,500 3 year old Futurity. There will also be awards for NSBA Stallion Incentive Fund participants in the $1,000 added Two Year Old Open, a $500 added Three Year Old Non-Pro and $1,000 added Three Year Old Hunter Under Saddle.
The show wouldn’t be “Classic” without its parties and special events, and “celebration” will be the theme of all of this year’s soirees. The Cleve Wells Gang sponsored the opening, 10th Anniversary Party on September 27, and The Equine Chronicle kept the festivities alive with a Mardi Gras Party on the 28th. Also on the 28th, there was a live auction benefiting Rein in Cancer, and celebrating the memory of AQHA and NRHA luminary, Kathy Swan. Kathy passed away last June after a long battle with breast cancer. The auction raised $6,210 with a dazzling array of items sparking some good natured, but fierce bidding. Items including custom boots, a Greeley Hat, Santana Touring Jacket, Kathy Swan’s Saddle and even a pony. September 29th features the Reining Futurity Party sponsored by Rancho Oso Rio and Fappani Performance Horses, along with the always popular 3 Cowgirls and an Outlaw Silent Auction benefiting America’s Horse Cares. This year’s silent auction will offer Western memorabilia and collectables. The fun continues with the SmartPak Costume Dog and Handler Contest on September 30, and lastly, who doesn’t want to cool off with the Sweet Things Ice Cream Social held on October 2. Party details and schedules are available on www.thescottsdaleclassic.com.
The Scottsdale Classic chairman and co-founder Jerry Kimmel is rightfully proud of the success of the horse show he and his good friend Ray Roles started ten years ago. He set out to produce the kind of show in which he would want to compete. It has become that and so much more. That is why Jerry personally extends an invitation to exhibitors, their friends and family, the vendors, sponsors and spectators to join him this year to celebrate in Classic Style.