When the All-American Quarter Horse Congress comes to Columbus (Oct. 4-27 at the Ohio Expo Center) you might think you're in the Old West. It's the world's largest single-breed horse show, and more than 17,000 horses and 650,000 people attend annually. With such a huge event, over such a long period of time, we thought we'd help you figure out the best ways to experience this amazing show.
1. Plan the events you want to see before you come. Roping, reining, cutting, jumping - there are lots of different competitions and age groups to see. Get the schedule here.
2. It's a three-week long event. There's way more than you can see and do in one day. So spend the night. Click here to see available rooms. If you're coming with your equine buddy, click here to see RV and camping options.
3. This is the time to break out your cowboy boots. If you don't have a pair, there are lots of vendors at the Congress who can help you find some great ones in any shade you can imagine. Hats, too. And tack. And art. Basically, if it's related even slightly to horses, you can find it here. Find a list of vendors here.
4. Catch the Professional Bull Riders Invitational event on Oct. 11. It's sure to be an exciting show as the riders will be competing in one of their final chances to qualify for the national finals in Las Vegas. Can they ride for more than 8 seconds? You've got to be there to find out - and afterward, you can even get a chance to meet the riders.
5. Come welcome the Congress back to Columbus on Oct. 9 with a parade that starts at Columbus Commons and ends at City Hall! Wear your best western attire, and cheer on the riders - the parade kicks off at 11:30 a.m.