by Janice McCrea-Wight, AHAA Director
I have been working on the Scottsdale show since 1980, and I believe that 2023 was our best year ever. The staff headed by Taryl O’Shea worked efficiently; a dream team. The weather mostly cooperated and just over 300,000 spectators enjoyed six arenas with competition in every discipline.
We had 2,022 horses entered for an astounding combined total of 11,399 entries. Ranch Riding and Performance Halter were two of the newer classes with huge participation. New to the show this year were the egg and spoon classes – they added an entertainment factor.
AHAA’s mission is to promote the Arabian horse. To that end, the interactive programs for our guests were very well attended. We offered “Meet a Horse” — an opportunity to mount up and take a keepsake photo making over 2,000 lucky attendees smile. The always popular Barn Tours provided a learning experience for over 1,200 visitors, and Hoof Beats USA provided riding lessons and education to 1,050 people in the exhibit hall.
The commercial exhibitors were quite happy this year. It was busy all the time in there.
The most successful Arabian Futurity program in the world, the Scottsdale Signature Stallion Auction raised future prize money totaling $314,214 from the 158 stallions offered.