In 1955, 50 horses and their handlers gathered on the grounds of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel for the first Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. Over the next 58 years, the event moved twice?first to Paradise Park, then to WestWorld?and grew to nearly 2,500 participants. Today, the 450 members of the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona, which was incorporated the same year as the horse show, help to oversee the annual flagship event. Many of the members also serve as competition judges, work to foster youth participation in the equestrian arts, and raise awareness about which tiny hats look best on thoroughbreds.
The annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show draws competitors from local Arizona farms and across the country. The showcase gathers thousands of horse enthusiasts for seminars, competitions, galas, international cuisine, and more than 300 vendors. Though the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona holds the show as its main event, it also oversees the Arabian Breeder Finals, a halter and breeding showcase; the annual qualifying America Cup Championship; and yearly endurance rides and stallion auctions.