The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show kicked off February 16 and runs through February 26. If you have yet to go or to put this fantastic event on your calendar between now and the 26th, I encourage you to do so! Hosted at the expansive Westworld in Scottsdale, this show is a stunning spectacle. Not only are the Arabian horses majestic, but the riders, equestrians, trainers and other humans that interact with them are spectacular in their own right.

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Keep in mind, Westworld — for those of you who’ve never been — is massive, and admittedly, I only perused a relatively small portion of it. There are several arenas showcasing varying competitions and championships. I was able to experience a collection of “Royal Arabian” exhibitions taking place in the Wendell Arena. Here, I was delighted with various English and Western competitions of varying competitor age groups — some of which are dressage (defined as the art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility and balance). 

Staff writer Erin Thorburn buys her first pair of western boots at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show.

These arena competitions, championships and exhibitions are exhilarating. The competitors and exhibitors commanding these regal creatures are dressed to the nines. I don’t know if I was dazzled due to my limited knowledge of horse shows, but even my friend Karen — a horse owner and far more educated horseperson — was enthralled. Each type of arena display comes with its own unique attire and style.

While in attendance we saw ages 14 and under, ages 15 to 18 and other adolescent groups participate in “Arabian Country Pleasure Driving,” “Country English Pleasure,” and “Hunter  Pleasure Novice Horse,” among many others. But, the real crown jewel for our viewing adventure: the “Arabian Mounted Native Costume.” This, my dear reader, is a feast for your eyes, and an experience not to be missed. When these ornate competitors and their horses enter the arena, the energy of the

crowd goes from zero to 60 and you’ll see why if/when you see it yourself.


The exhibit hall is packed — and I mean to the gills — with shopping options. From Western wear and hand-crafted jewelry to hair extensions and luxury/custom home decor — they have just about anything and everything you can think of to purchase. You’ll want to bring some “fun money” trust me!


If you find yourself hungrier than a horse, you have nothing to worry about! There are tons of options. Chick-fil-A and Quizno’s are in residence, in addition to some unique vendor eateries like the Potato Hut, where you can get bacon, sour cream and cheese or broccoli and cheese topped potatoes. And next to it is the Teriyaki Rice Bowl (Both Cardinali Family Concessions), where I vociferously recommend the tri-tip salad. 

There is much more to see and do at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. Of note to parents: An entire area is dedicated to younger children, where they can ride a mechanical horse, paint their own horse and participate in other training/interactions with real Arabian Horses. Plus, kids 12 and under have free admission. To purchase tickets, click here.