by Greg Knowles

Greg Knowles with S Justa Dream (Justafire DGL x Acquaintance), 2001 Scottsdale Champion Mare open and AOTH and JTH, and 1999 Scottsdale Junior Champion Filly, owned by Deborah Holden.

Well, we’re Scottsdale bound but our hopes hit the ground when we find out what Lasma brought. That was the song we used to sing as we all headed out to the Scottsdale All Arabian Horse Show, and if you don’t know who Lasma was, ask an old-timer, they’ll fill you in. The Scottsdale show, known as just “Scottsdale” to most of us, consumes our lives. We spend every waking moment for six months planning, recruiting, and training. Just image how many times in the past six months you have uttered the word “Scottsdale.”

Now most of you are getting ready to load up and head this way. You’re probably watching the weather channel daily and you’re worrying about your babies and how they will haul for the first time. Rainstorms, snowstorms, mountain passes, watering and checking on the ponies every six hours. Please Lord, no flat tires this trip; then the clouds break, and you’re 100 miles from the Valley of the Sun. Oh God, I just hope they get off the van in good shape, not too thin, no shipping fever.

As you pull into the show grounds, you’re probably thinking, I wish I had a friend here in the Valley to bed my stalls before I arrive. I’ve got to get these kids off the rig, safely in their stalls and head out to the Home Depot to get the wood for my set-up. A couple of thousand dollars later, because we have to keep up with the Joneses, we are finally set. Now it’s time to begin to body clip everyone. Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll get to school the horses before the show starts.

When the show starts is when all the uniqueness of Scottsdale finally hits me. Clients arrive, old friends and colleagues are connected again after a long cold winter, and the gate opens.

This will be my 41st consecutive Scottsdale show, 24 of them driving my rig in from the great Northwest, and now 17 of them living here in Scottsdale. I can’t believe it’s already been 17 years. There are many, many great memories through the many years. I fondly remember meeting famous actors, sports figures, and musicians. I remember being in a super competitive class and praying to God, “please, please let me go top ten in this class.” I would make God all kinds of promises. Promises like, “I will eat all my veggies, or I will never lust again.” Then as soon as I go Top Ten I want to renegotiate my deal. I still do that today.

But without a doubt my fondest memories of Scottsdale are the horses, those amazing horses that have shaped the Arabian world — these incredible animals that I have spent my life with. I remember always getting ready to watch the yearling fillies enter the gate, all fancy and puffed up. Every year we would watch and evaluate each and every highly-promoted stallion’s foal crop. Man, those were the days. A lot of us would run over to the cinnamon roll vendor, get a cinnamon roll, a cup a coffee, and head for the ring. Man, that was heaven. Today, maybe I’m not eating a cinnamon roll, but I still can’t wait to run to the ring and get a look all those new babies busting through the gate at Wendell. Man, this is heaven.

As everyone heads this way in the next few weeks, drive safe, and I hope each and everyone of you have a great show. No doubt Scottsdale is the best show on earth.

See you all ringside!