Competition For Horse Shows Spurs Oklahoma City Into Action

Saturday, October 14th 2006, 6:58 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Located in the middle of the United States and at the confluence of three major interstate highways, Oklahoma City long has been an inviting home to equine events.

Some in the horse-show industry refer to the city as the "Horse Show Capital of the World."

With 15 major events scheduled at State Fair Park during the next year, even as buildings there undergo major renovations, the city is working to live up to that title and fend off competition for top shows.

The Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show, being held this week, is one of the largest shows that use the fairgrounds.

State Fair officials say equine shows have an annual economic impact of $182-million on the Oklahoma City economy and were responsible for 3,600 jobs.

Revenue from a 3-and-one-half cent increase in the hotel-motel tax, approved in 2004, is helping finance the upgrade of equine facilities at State Fair Park.

When the upgrades are finished next year, the fair will have about 3,200 horse stalls available.