Whether a veteran or first time exhibitor, everyone will have something to celebrate at the Tenth Annual Scottsdale Classic September 27th through October 3rd. Held at the WestWorld equestrian facilities in Arizona, the prestigious Futurity and Quarter Horse Show continues to expand on its reputation for fun with classic style.
Any new Quarter Horse show has to work hard to secure its niche on trainers’ crowded calendars. Planning the right dates, lining up sponsors, ensuring that the facilities and staff meet exhibitor’s expectation, and most of all, convincing top competitors from all over the country to come, are just a few of the daunting challenges. But in 2002, good friends and avid Quarter Horse competitors Jerry Kimmel and Ray Roles believed they could create a new show that would exceed everyone’s expectations. They would produce the kind of show they would love to compete in: exhibitor friendly, terrific schedule, positive atmosphere, well run, and most of all, FUN. Classic Chairman Jerry Kimmel said, “I always liked WestWorld, and Scottsdale. There was a big need for an AQHA show at that time of year for people in the Western states. It all came together and made sense”.
The pair sought input from top AQHA trainers, and the biggest players in the reining world jumped on board right away with full support. They hired Barbara Dietz as the event coordinator, and the first Scottsdale Classic debuted with an impressively large number of class entries. Very quickly, Jerry and Ray’s idea took on a life of its own, blossoming into one of the biggest and highly regarded AQHA shows.
Fast-forward ten years, and yes, it does seem like it has gone by fast. The Classic will celebrate its milestone 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 dual-approved NSBA classes, a full slate of NRHA ancillary classes, as well as a large selection of futurities, maturities and derbies.
From its inception, The Classic has been a big draw for reiners, offering not only AQHA reining, but NRHA classes and big money futurities as well. This year the stakes are raised yet again, 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. An exciting addition to the schedule this year will be an Arabian/Half Arabian Futurity.
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.
Horses and riders will enjoy the ongoing upgrades to the WestWorld facilities. Already regarded as a premier equestrian center, WestWorld will be undergoing a 3-year, $42 million expansion. The Equidome will be enclosed and climate controlled, and there will be the addition of more stalls, exhibition space and new buildings. The Classic hosted the unveiling of plans for the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center at last year’s show. Recently, the City of Scottsdale approved an even grander expansion proposal that is slated to begin in April. It is expected that the south side of the Equidome will be enclosed by the start of the Classic. WestWorld General Manager Brian Dygert is working closely with the Classic to ensure there will be no negative impact on the show due to construction
The show wouldn’t be “Classic” without the parties, and you can bet that “celebration” will be the theme of all of this year’s soirees Thanks to our generous and committed sponsors, everyone is invited to enjoy free great food and catch up with friends while watching some great action in the arena.
More fun is in the works, and details can always be found at www.thescottsdaleclassic.com. Jerry Kimmel is rightfully proud of the success of the idea he and Ray had all those years ago. It is the kind of show in which he would want to compete. That is why he 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.