(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) The Arabian Horse Celebration & Shopping Expo, which welcomed more than 300 horses and 20,000 visitors in 2012, will be back at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center this September 18-21 for a four-day extravaganza of fun and horsemanship. A highlight of Arabian breed activities, it is open to the public and admission is free.
Last year's Celebration drew accolades from its attendees as one of the most innovative new events on the show calendar. Horses came not only from North America, but from other countries as well, with international visitors among the spectators. Half of the entry fees were paid out in prize money, and many contenders crowned at the 2012 Celebration went on to top awards at the breed's U.S. National Show in October.
In addition to its standout competition, the event also offers an array of seminars and demonstrations, geared to furthering the education of horse enthusiasts as well as introducing newcomers to the management, care and enjoyment of horses. Scheduled for Thursday and Friday mornings, when no show classes are held, these events take place in both Freedom Hall and the North Wing.
Also a crowd favorite is the show's Stallion Row, which featured 18 of the Arabian breed's top sires in 2012 and is expected to be even larger this year. Presented each day to breeders and spectators, the stallions are accompanied by representatives who offer information and consultation for each horse.
Another attraction at the Celebration is its shopping expo, which offers everything from equine care supplies to artwork, luxury items and jewelry. More than 50 commercial vendors were on hand in 2012, and preliminary reports indicate that the area, which surrounds the Celebration Food Court in the North Wing, will be even larger this year.
In addition to its other features, the Arabian Horse Celebration Event promotes the Arabian breed by offering special tours and activities for youth groups. Set up for various age levels, this "introduction to horses" got high marks in 2012 from the boys and girls who attended, creating widespread anticipation for the 2013 edition. The program is available by appointment Wednesday through Friday, and on Saturday at set times with no appointment necessary.
Each year, the Celebration earmarks its profits to support worthy charities, and in 2013 the choice is one of Louisville's favorites: the Home of the Innocents, a 130-year-old organization which offers short- and long-term care for abused, abandoned and neglected youth. The Home also works with medically fragile children, and provides support for autistic youngsters.
The non-profit Arabian Horse Celebration team is made up of owners, breeders, trainers, amateurs, professionals and lovers of Arabian horses. For more information on the organization and the event, visit www.arabiancelebration.com.