All American Quarter Horse Congress now in session
The All American Quarter Horse Congress — the world's largest single-breed horse show — has returned to the Ohio State Fairgrounds.
Why it matters: Event organizers say it brings more than 650,000 people to the area and generates over $400 million for the local economy.
- There are more than 25,000 entries in the Congress' competitions.
Details: The American quarter horse gets its name from their ability to run the quarter mile faster than any other breed. They're considered versatile for being able to do well in shows, on farms or at the racetrack.
- The Congress is held here in part because Ohio is home to 33% of the country's horses.
What's happening: The main outside drag is reminiscent of the Ohio State Fair, with food stands selling roast beef sundaes and lemon shake-ups.
- The trade show has over 200 vendors — you can come home with cowboy boots or a new RV.
State of play: Darcy Woods of Ontario, Canada, is the 2021 Congress Queen.
- Her duties include attending the whole event, handing out awards and representing the Congress at other shows around the country throughout the year.
What's more: Michaela Barber from Findlay, Ohio, tells Axios she and her 12-year-old horse, Dallas, have grown up together both in life and in the show ring.
- Dallas competed in yesterday's Youth Equestrian Development Association (YEDA) show bill.
- The competition has a twist: Riders are randomly assigned to the horse with which they compete.
💭 Mary Jane's thought bubble: I was enthralled by the dedication, poise and talent of the riders and their horses, especially the younger ones.
- The highlight of my time there Wednesday was walking past an upbeat horse trotting along with his rider on their way to the roping competition. The horse threw his nose in the air every few feet, letting out a thrilled neigh. His excitement was contagious.
If you go: The 55th annual Congress runs through Oct. 23 at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. 717 E. 17th Ave. Free!
- Parking is $25 daily, except Monday-Wednesday, when it's $15. $75 for the entire Congress.
- Special events, like professional bull riding, require tickets.
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