World's largest single-breed horse show returns to Columbus
The All American Quarter Horse Congress, the world's largest single-breed horse show, returns to the Ohio Expo Center today.
- The American quarter horse breed excels at sprinting short distances. The name comes from its ability to run a quarter of a mile faster than any other horse breed.
Why it matters: The annual Congress usually brings about 650,000 people to the Columbus area over the course of the month-long event and generates more than $400 million for the local economy, according to organizers.
What's happening: This year's event might have one of the biggest turnouts yet after COVID-19 canceled the 2020 festivities, spokesperson Taylor Staus tells Axios.
- More than 5,000 horses and their riders will compete in contests such as reining, roping and cutting (isolating livestock such as cattle).
- Nearly $3 million will be given away in cash and prizes, including trucks, trailers, trophy saddles, sterling silver buckles and coveted Don Bell bronze trophies.
- A trade show involving more than 200 vendors begins Friday.
If you go: The 54th annual Congress runs through Oct. 24 at the Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave., on the state fairgrounds.
- Admission is free, with just a few special events, such as professional bull riding, requiring tickets.
- Parking is $25 per day or $75 for the entire Congress, but Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are discounted to $15.
- Masks are not required. The event is on state property, not in Columbus city limits.
Alissa's thought bubble: One of my first assignments as a Columbus reporter was attending a parade to celebrate the Congress' 50th anniversary. Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and other elected officials rode horses down High Street in denim jackets, cowboy boots and 10-gallon hats. It was quite the spectacle.