Championship Horse Show

Alabama State Horse Show


Magnificent Horses

Beautiful horses; photo by Jan Glas on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).

Alabama State Championship Horse Show

Alabama recognized the Alabama State Championship Horse Show (sponsored by the Alabama Open Horseman's Association) as the official state horse show in 1988. The horse show is usually held at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery over Labor Day weekend. The first state-wide horse show was held in Montgomery over a two- day period in 1988 with 994 entries. By 2002 the Alabama State Championship Horse Show had grown to a three-day event with over 2,000 entries, and is now the second largest horse show east of the Mississippi river. Alabama also recognizes an official state horse: the racking horse.

Show Divisions

Winners receive awards such as trophy saddles, belt buckles, and plaques. No horse and rider can win more than one saddle per show, per division. Divisions include:


Equipment may be english or western. Height of the pony may not be over 54 inches, and the age of the child must be under thirteen. No stallions allowed. Ponies work at three gaits to show their ability and are judged on conformation and grooming.


Rider must be eight years old or younger. The rider and horse/pony is lead by someone 15 years or older. No stallions allowed.

Western Pleasure Classes

It's mandatory to wear appropriate western attire, including western hat and cowboy boots. Horses are shown at a walk, trot, extended trot, and lope and are judged on the performance and conformation of the horse.

Quote from Alabama Open Horseman's Association regarding the judging of pleasure classes at the state horse show:

"A good pleasure horse has a stride of reasonable length in keeping with his conformation. He has enough cushion to pastern to give the rider a pleasant, smooth ride. He carries his head in a natural position, not high and over - flexed at the poll or low with the nose out. The horse should be relaxed but alert and ready to respond to the rider's commands without excessive cueing. When asked to extend the jog, he moves out with the same smooth way of going."

English Classes

English pleasure - English huntseat - junior English pleasure (all must comply with American Quarter Horse Association rules).

Gaited Classes

Horses are shown at a show walk, slow rack and fast rack (both English and western attire).

Timed Events

Barrel race, pole bending, arena race, and stake race.