COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The All-American Quarter Horse Congress is back in Columbus for the 55th year.
Tuesday is the first day of this month-long event.
This year will be the largest horse show the congress has ever produced with 21,000 entries and 200 trade show exhibitors.
Throughout the month, there will be hundreds of different competitions for riders of all skill levels ranging from the 9-and-under group to age 50-plus.
Riders are in Columbus from all over the United States as well as seven other countries to fight for one of the prestigious trophies and cash prizes.
Scott Myers, the CEO of Ohio’s Quarter Horse Association, said throughout the month, a bunch of other special activities will be happening at the congress.
“We have a PBR event which is a professional bull riding event and that happens on Friday the 7th, so that’s a great event for people to come to,” he said. “We have our freestyle reining event which is a spectacular presentation that’s the following night on the 8th. We also recognize our heroes on horses. So those folks in the military that are using our horses as part of their therapy to build their lives back.”
Organizers said they are expecting around 650,000 people to attend this year’s event and will be giving away more than $3 million in prize money.
Shawn Flarida will be competing this year. He said he has been showing horses at the Quarter Horse Congress since he was 8 years old and now, he has won more than $7 million in horse shows.
Flarida said being from Ohio makes the event super special and he is most looking forward to this year’s competition.
“It’s such a large event,” he said. “So many people come and attend this event. I believe it is the largest single horse breed horse show there is. With it being where I live, it makes it really special and the competition is really, really good. There are horse trainers that come from all over the world.”
The Quarter Horse Congress will be happening at the Ohio Expo Center through Oct. 23. For more information, click here.