Quarter Horse Congress: The world's largest single breed horse show....OR, the best place to see lots of quarter horses and go SHOPPING!
After marvelling at all the sights and sounds of Congress for several years, I finally planned a trip for some students/friends to go too. 5 of us packed into a borrowed car (my mom's Acura TSX, which proved to be a lot smaller than I originally thought - think "How many people can fit into a VW Bug?" and you've pretty much got our 6 hour drive back from Columbus).
We took off early in the morning (4:30 to be exact) and this is what we saw:
By 11am we had been welcomed to the heart of it all, in Ohio and were just starting to see what the Ohio Expo Centre and Quarter Horse Congress had to offer us.
Before we actually got to the show arenas, we had to pass through a sea of trucks and brand spankin' new horse trailers just begging for us to do a walk-through. Some had room for up to 6 horses, others had up to 6 flat screen tv's in the living quarters! We even saw one with a small fireplace!
As we entered the show grounds there was a tent full of breeders and their puppies. There were Great Danes, Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, Bull Dogs, Australian Sheep Dogs, and every size, shape and colour in between.
Next we followed a not-overly-detailed map to an arena towards the back of the grounds and found a cutting demonstration.
Stallion Avenue was just getting prepared for the weeks to come. Stallion Avenue is a part of the vendors area designated for some of the Million Dollar Sires in the industry to be promoted. Many stalls were set up with tv's to watch videos of the horses in competition and at their home farm.
The stalls for exhibitors were decorated in farm colours and many hosted small bars or lounges, flowers, pictures, candies etc.
Whizs Chic A Dee
Arcese Quarter Horses
Shawn W Flarida - Springfield, OH
All Juiced Up
Smart Like Juice, Inc
Bryant L Pace - Smithfield, NC
The next day was full of shopping, shopping and more shopping. We stopped briefly to watch the Cinch Freestyle Reining warm-ups in the morning and the Working Hunter Youth classes.
The first exhibitor had a Batman costume complete with batman symbols and large wings attached to the saddle.
One exhibitor played on the loyalty of the fans in their home state of Ohio and dressed as a Buckeye, complete with marching band!
The winner of the freestyle rode with only a leadrope. Click this picture to watch the video, don't forget to turn up the volume and watch through to the very end!