Upgrade To Expo Center Key To Keeping Horse Show In Tulsa

Saturday, October 23rd 2010, 5:32 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The largest horse show of the year continues at the Tulsa fairgrounds this weekend. The Arabian and Half-Arabian Championships began Friday and is expected to bring millions of dollars to the city.

The Tulsa County Fairgrounds is horse central this week. It's the 44th annual national championships Arabian or Half-Arabian horses.

Travis Braden is a regular at the Arabian championships. He likes his chances this year with C.A. Sky High.

"Agreeable, trainable and he just does what I ask him to do without a lot of work," said Braden.

More than 1600 horses are in town for the event. When you consider that each horse brings at least three humans that adds up to a $33-million impact on our economy, according to the chamber of commerce.

The event is the main reason for the makeover at the fairgrounds. Officials said upgrading the facilities was important for bringing in and keeping the championship in Tulsa.

While not all competitors are impressed with the facilities.

"They're not quite as up to par as what we've been to before but, they're good," said Competitor Jennifer Herron.

Others enjoy coming here.

"I like everything about Tulsa. I like the facility. This is a good facility, the ground's good, we have no problems here," Braden said.

This was to be the last year of a three year contract the Arabian Association has with Tulsa, but they just signed a two year extension. Event organizers say that's just one more sign of how much they like it here.

"I think the reason you're seeing that is Tulsa has done everything we've asked them to do. They've really stepped up to the plate and helped us out," said Bill Hughes of the Arabian Horse Association

Now Hughes wants to get more spectators out here; he says there's something for everyone, whether you're horse lover or not.

"There's western here, there's English classes there, there's going to be halter up on the other arena and a great shopping area," Hughes said.

The show continues until next Thursday and all events are free except for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening in the Pavilion where they do charge for admission.