By Craig Day, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Horse owners from all over the U.S. and several foreign countries are in Tulsa for the Pinto World Championship Horse Show.
Horses and their owners are competing in a number of events. But the real winner is Tulsa's economy.
This Pinto horse championship is huge. It's been around for a long time, and will be coming to Tulsa for a while longer.
They come with their horses from every single state and this year, Canada, Germany, Mexico and Australia.
Camie Schoonover and her girls are here at the Pinto Championships from Utah.
"It's just a great, fun family activity for everyone to get together and show their horse," Schoonver said.
They're among hundreds upon hundreds of horse owners who will compete in a wide range of events during the 12-day competition at the Tulsa Fairgrounds.
When they aren't competing, all these visitors are spending money, and a lot of it.
"All the local restaurants," Schoonover said. "Wal-Mart is a great friend of ours."
"Each year annually this event brings $6.6 million to Tulsa," said Amy Huntley, VP Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Over the Pinto Horse Associations 21-year run in Tulsa, the visitors and convention bureau says it adds up to a $132 million economic impact on Tulsa's economy.
And those dollars will keep coming our way. The Pinto Horse Association signed on for another five year commitment to Tulsa. One plus is Tulsa County's huge investment in facilities; another is our geographic location in the central U.S.
"That's what we like about Tulsa," said Darrell Bilke, Pinto Horse Association. "It's in the middle part of the world so the person coming from Connecticut doesn't have any farther to drive than someone coming from L.A."
Just about everyone agrees, it's a partnership and Tulsa tradition they're glad to see will continue for a while longer.
"It's always been a great facility and the people are really nice here," Schoonover said.
Events run all day long and well into the night. The championship runs through June 20th at the Tulsa fairgrounds.