This year, the annual Scottsdale Classic Quarter Horse Show will add a 10th candle to its birthday cake. This iconic event draws countless tourists every year, and if you love horses, you’ll almost certainly be in attendance. But what about all the “casual horse fans” out there, those people who are essentially cool with horses but who’ve never actually been to a show? Should they go? They should, and here’s why:

  • The Competition. Founded in 2002 by famous horse exhibitors Jerry Kimmel and Ray Roles, the Scottsdale Classic is unlike any other horse show. The seven-day-long competition kicks off on September 27 at WestWorld in the city of Scottsdale, where the world’s best riders and horses (in several different classes) will compete for prizes. This year, over $140,000 in cash awards will be given to the winners.
  • The Parties. The Scottsdale Classic is much more than a competition. It’s a citywide party. The unique and fun atmosphere of the horse show is what brings people back every year, and 2012 promises to be the best year yet. In fact, the Scottsdale Classic is known as “The Fun Show” because of its mix of world-class competition and world-class parties. The party schedule is packed with everything from ice cream socials and Mardi Gras-themed bashes to dog costume contests. If you’re not exactly a professional  rider, don’t worry. You can still win prizes by creating a costume for your stick horse.
  • The Charities. We know what you’re thinking. “A world-class horse show and awesome parties? How could the Scottsdale Classic get any better?” Well, it does. The Scottsdale Classic partners with charities to raise funds and awareness for their causes. This year, the show is partnering with America’s Horse Cares, an Arizona organization that provides funding for therapeutic riding lessons for special-needs children. The show will also raise funds for Vets and Their Pets, a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans and their pets find housing.

For the last decade, at every Classic show, Scottsdale has come alive with the culture and the spirit of the West. The 2012 show is an experience you won’t want to miss. So lace up your riding boots and saddle up your horse (or your stick horse), and head to Scottsdale to help the Scottsdale Classic celebrate its 10th birthday in style.