History of the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show-The Largest Horse Show on the Earth!
The Arabian Horse Show will celebrate its 67th anniversary on February 17, 2022. The West-World Premier would be a utopia for thousands of horse owners, equestrians, and spectators. It would be a reunion of the Arabian, Western, and American royal breeds of horses. Here’s Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show
The world’s largest horse show has a glorious history of inception and transformation. Over the last decades, the epic horse show has been pompous with many changes. Today we will go back to the past to know the history of the horse festival.
History of A.H.A.A.
Arabian Horse Association of Arizona and the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show History
In August 1952, some Arabian horse owners met at the Hotel Westward to form a group. They agreed to launch a group and named it The Arabian Horse Association of Arizona (AHAA). Their main purpose was to promote and educate the breeds of the royal Arabian horse.
They formed the group as a non-profit association of Arizona. Edwin J. Tweed became the first president of the group, and Hal Clay was the vice-president. Bob Aste, Bill Nelson, Tom Chauncey, Anne McCormick, Helen Collins, and Bill Mahoney contributed a lot to run the association.
And they planned to host an exhibition for the Arabian horses at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel Area. Luckily P.K Wrigley, the owner of the Arizona Biltmore, joined the group and agreed to arrange such an interesting exhibition.
However, just a few days before the exhibition, they surprisingly decided to arrange a competitive horse show. They made a judges’ panel and invited the horse owners of different areas to attend the show. Fifty horses from twelve farms participated in the first competition and kicked a new leap in the Arabian horse show.
In 1956, the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona (AHAA) arranged another show at the Biltmore Arena. And it was the last event presided by Edwin J. Tweed. And in 1957, they moved the show from Biltmore Area to the newly-built McCormick Ranch Arena. And it was the first show presided by Hal Clay.
They arranged another show of the Arabian horse in the beautiful landscape of McCormick Ranch Arena in 1958. It was an exciting experience for the spectators to enjoy the African daises on the dessert.
In 1959, the American Horse Association of Arizona (AHAA) shifted the sow to Paradise Park. And they continued there till 1968 in this different arena with new excitement. This venue turned into a haven for the thousands of horse lovers.
And they arranged their next two shows of 1970 and 1971 in the Kemper Marley Property. Howard Heaton and AI Mecham headed these shows, respectively. In 1971, the show backed again in the McCormick Ranch Arena led by Luis Merlino. And the eight consecutive shows took place in this location till 1978.
Bill Littleton, the president of AHAA, shifted the show from McCormick Ranch to Paradise Park II in 1979. And it was the destination for the Arabian horse show till 1988. In this decade, Mickey Hegg contributed a lot to promote the show worldwide.
History in the meantime
In the meantime, people started the discussion to move the show to Scottsdale, Arizona. With modern accommodations and lifestyle, Scottsdale was being synonymous with the all Arabian horse show. And in 1989, Bud Adams finally decided to transfer the show to Scottsdale.
But the issue of venue comes into the spotlight for the world’s famous horse show. Before moving to Scottsdale, the Arabian horse show achieved huge popularity worldwide. Therefore, the AHAA felt the necessity of a spacious ground with modern amenities.
The organizing association finally signed an agreement with the authority of West-World Premier of Scottsdale, Arizona. With 386-acres of unlimited space, this venue attracted the organizers with immense possibilities of successful shows.
With 3000000 Sq. Ft climate-controlled event space, the West-World hosted the Arabian Horse Show in 1989. The 11 equestrian arenas allow the AHAA to kick off one more class of the show simultaneously.
With 16000 Sq. Ft of banquet and hospitality space, the West-World is a comfortable zone for the audiences. The horse owners, masters, drivers, and all participants enjoy staying and performing here. And therefore, the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona (AHAA) has done a long-term deal with the venue authority.
From 1991 to 1998
From 1991 to 1998, Ed Grandon presided over the group and played a significant role in arranging the show in the West-World ground. And till 2021, this world premiere offered the audiences all stunning horse shows. The upcoming event is also scheduled in the world-renowned landscape.
The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is one of the biggest horse breed shows in the world. In 2015, the new version “Super Bowl of the Arabian World” celebrated its diamond jubilee of the 60th birth anniversary. In the diamond jubilee, the horse show featured more than 2250 horses from 1300 farms.
And the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show offered $1million prize money for the winners for the first time in the show’s history. The diamond jubilee of the earth’s epic show proved its immense popularity worldwide. See More History…
History in 2015
In 2015, more than 320000 spectators attended the West-World in the eleven days of the event. And an additional amount of 450000 audiences enjoyed the show on TV channels worldwide. In the 60 years of celebration, the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona (AHAA) filed a deal for the next 20 years to arrange the show in the West-World.
The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is playing a pivotal role in boosting the city’s overall economic growth. According to the yearly financial report of Scottsdale, this particular horse show contributed about $52 million to the city’s economic graph. However, the event has contributed a lot to raise charitable funds for the Cox Charities and the March of Dimes.
With 50 horses during inception, now the Arabia horse show is an event of more than 2250 horses. Hopefully, more than 130 horse farms will participate in the upcoming event. From a few ordinary divisions to now, the show is of multiple classes with quality breeds. And the horse show has truly turned into an ideal place for promoting and educating Arabian breeds. So, the pioneers’ dream is successful that dreamed almost 66 years back!
Location and Presidents Through the Years!
Location Years President
Casa Blanca Inn 1952 & 1953 Ed Tweed
Arizona Biltmore 1954 Ed Tweed
Casa Blanca Inn 1955 Ed Tweed
Arizona Biltmore 1956 Ed Tweed
McCormick Ranch 1957 & 1958 Hal Clay
Also know as Paradise Park 1959 & 1960 Dr. Eugene E. LaCroix 1961 Ed Tweed 1962 &1963 Guy Stillman 1964 & 1965 Walter Ross 1966 & 1967 William Mahoney, Jr 1968 Howard Heaton
Kemper Marley Property 1969 Howard Heaton 1970 Al Mecham
McCormick Ranch 1971 Luis Merlino 1972 Bill Nelson 1973 Rex Allison 1974 & 1975 Marc Cosenza 1976 & 1977 Bill M. Owens 1978 Bill Littleton
Paradise Park II 1979 Bill Littleton 1980 Dr. Eugene E. LaCroix 1981 Horace Gregory 1982 Dr. Joseph Hawkins 1983 – 1988 Mickey Hegg
WestWorld 1989 Bud Adams 1990 Ed Grandon 1991 – 1998 Ed Grandon 1999 & 2000 Michele Johnson 2001 & 2002 Mark Owens 2003 – 2005 Janice McCrea-Wight 2006 – 2009 Bill Flood 2010 – 2013 Jay Allen 2014 Janice McCrea-Wight 2015 – 2018 Jay Allen 2019 – 2022 Mary Lou Houge
1952,1953 & 1955: Casa Blanca Inn – North of Camelback Road
1954& 1956: Arizona Biltmore – 24th & Camelback
1957& 1966: McCormick Ranch, also known as Paradise Park – Pima south of Shea
1969 &1970: Kemper Marley Property – Northeast corner of East Bell & Tatum Road
1971 – 1978: McCormick Ranch, under Kaiser-Aetna ownership – Pima south of Shea
1979– 1988: Paradise Park II – Bell Road & 64th Street on Arizona State Land
1989–Present: WestWorld Leased by the City of Scottsdale – Pima & Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd.