The North American Riders Group (NARG) released their second annual report of the top 25 horse shows held in North America. NARG represents riders and owners in North America and is composed of top horsemen from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The goal of NARG is to improve the sport of show jumping in North America so that show jumping competitions held here will be considered world class competitions and draw competitors from around the world.
The Kentucky Horse Park holds the prestigious distinction of being the only North American venue that has three of its 2011 annual competitions ranked in the top 25 horse shows by NARG.
The top ranked of the three was The Alltech National Horse Show which debuted at the Kentucky Horse Park in October of 2011. It was ranked the top show in America and third over all. More than 560 horses and 350 riders from nine countries attended this show in 2011. This year's Alltech National Horse Show will be on October 31-November 4, 2012, in the Alltech Arena.
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show series of hunter jumper shows held back to back in May ranked 13 on the NARG report and have been held at the KHP for 20 years. These shows utilize the park's Rolex Stadium, Covered Arena, Hunter Jumper Complex, and other facilities. The Kentucky Spring Horse Show will be held this year on May 9-13, 2012 and the Kentucky Spring Classic will be held May 16-20, 2012.
The third competition held at the KHP that ranked in the top 25 is the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC). This competition ranked 14 on the NARG report. The NAJYRC competition is the highest level of competition for qualified young riders in North America to compete in the FEI disciplines of Show Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, and Reining in a challenging Nations Cup format. The next NAJYRC will be held on July 18-22, 2012 and will use the Alltech Arena, Rolex Stadium, Covered Arena, Hunter Jumper Complex, and the Walnut Ring and other facilities.
To be ranked in the top 25 horse shows in North America by NARG the events must have the proper mix of fabulous footing, courses, ceremony, stabling, hospitality, healthy food, convenient accommodations, strong marketing, be managed by knowledgeable and friendly staff. The KHP excels in all of the above so it is no surprise that they had three top ranked horse shows in the top 25. After all they did pull off the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games with flying colors and also host other world class shows such as the Rolex Three Day Event and The Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup.
The Kentucky Horse Park is located at Exit 120 on Interstate 75, just north of Lexington, Kentucky.
Photo: Photo courtesy of The Kentucky Horse Park