World Grand Championship Horse Show - 1997 The World's Grand Championship Horse Show is the biggest competition in the world for the American Saddlebred horse. It is held every summer during the Kentucky State Fair, running for 2 weeks. We went to the show on the last Friday night, August 22nd, and caught 3 varied classes worth $2500-$3000 each. I always like to tour the barn area to check out the extravagantly decorated tack rooms before heading into the arena.

The first class we saw was the Amateur Harness Pony $2500 championship. This little guy sure knows that he won!

Next was the $3000 Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship. The large number of entries made the group look like race horses coming down the stretch. I also liked the image of the horses standing without tack, looking like a row of Breyer horse models.

A workout to decide the champion from the top 2 horses was very exciting. The young riders proved to be great show-women, getting the crowd fired up with every pass down the long side. Legendary horsewoman Jean McClean Davis presented the trophy to the winner.

The $2500 Amateur Roadster to Bike Championship was a great way to get the adrenaline pumped, with horses and bikes careening around the short sides of the arena at break-neck speeds. I held my breath every time the announcer told the drivers to let their horses GO!

We were not there to get a picture, but the last class of the last Saturday night of the show - the $75,000 World's Five Gaited Grand Championship - was won by South Africa-bred "Zovoorbij" (ZOO-vor-bidge). "Zovoorbij" is ridden by veteran Redd Crabtree, and is owned by Tom and Ann DuPree of DuPree Farms. Tom DuPree is Chairman and CEO of Apple South, Inc., parent company of Applebee's and Don Pablo's restaurants. You might look for photos of "Zovoorbij" next time you eat at one of those places!


This page, and all contents, are Copyright 1997 by Horsesales, Inc., Louisville, KY, USA (home of the World's Greatest Horse Race - the Kentucky Derby).