BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Matt Krohn lets one of his Arabian horses stretch its legs in the outdoor arena at the Keystone Centre on Thursday afternoon. Krohn, who works as a groomer along with his horse-training brother and father, travelled from Taylor, Texas, for next week’s Canadian National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show.
Brandon families looking for an outing next week need to look no further than the Canadian National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show — and the best part, admission is free.
"It is free, admission is 100 per cent free," said show commissioner Dave Daugherty. "People can walk about the stalls and get an up close look at the horses and the decorations. The exhibitors really go all out on their stall fronts, some of them look like barns and western type saloon fronts. It’s an adventure to walk through those stalls and see what is going on."
The show, which will feature about 700 horses in 185 classes, will run Aug. 13-18 at the Keystone Centre. This year is the second year the show has taken place in the Wheat City and the first year of the three-year agreement between the Arabian Horse Association and the Keystone Centre.
This year marks the 55th anniversary of the show and Daugherty estimates the show will feature exhibitors as young as six years old all the way up to 80.
The Arabian horse, which is considered one of the oldest breeds in the world, was originally developed in the desert and Daugherty used a biblical reference when describing the horse’s origins.
"The Arabian horse has one less rib than any other breed of horse," Daugherty said. "They say that the man has one less rib and that the woman was created from the man’s rib, well, that is our belief that the Arabian breed is the original breed because all other breeds were created from that rib."
New this year at the Canadian Nationals is the yearling halter classes, allowing purebred and half-Arabian colts and fillies to compete for the very first time for prize money that will equal at least $40,000.
The show will also feature a shopping expo in the UCT Pavillion, providing horse enthusiasts and show goers ample opportunity for shopping in equine-related and inspired clothing, tack, aret and jewelery.
The show, which runs from about 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, attracts exhibitors from all over the world, and Daugherty said it’s important that the show be open to everyone who wants to come see the breed.
"People need to come out and see the beautiful horses," Daugherty said. "They are the cream of the Arabian and half-Arabian breed — the best of the best and we encourage the whole city to come down and watch."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 10, 2012