LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- If you’re looking for a fun event to take the family to this weekend, look no further.
Head on over to the Arkansas State Fair Grounds for the 54th Annual Arkansas State Championship Horse Show.
“Horse people are the only people there is, the rest of these people are just filling up space,” said long time event goer Jim Mills.
“You meet people from all over the state,” Caitlyn Beck said.
She’s also been attending the horse show for years.
“Competitors come from 12 associations across the state. They show all summer long to get qualified for this show,” Neal Kring, with Arkansas Children’s Hospital Public Relations, said.
It’s all for the love of horses.
“It's a family thing,” said Beck.
With about 2,000 entries and 36 events over 4 day, riders get to try their luck in the Barton Coliseum.
“This is Jewel, she's my baby. I've had her seven years this year. She comes from a reject, they said she'd never be a barrel horse. She won in 2015 and she won Poles in 2011,” said Beck loving on her show horse.
She has been riding since she was in diapers.
"I did my first World Championship Show when I was five and it just escalated from there,” she added.
It’s all healthy competition. Mills participated in the very first show back in 1953. He thinks it’s changed over the years.
“It got bigger but now it's getting a little smaller. I think a lot of that is due to all of the electronic gadgets kids have,” said Mills.
The horse show aims to get more people involved, out of the house and away from the television.
“For several years, we've been affiliated with Arkansas Children's Hospital. We donate our net proceeds to them and are really proud to do that,” Kring said.
Last year the event raised about $6,000 for Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Ticket sales play a large part in helping to raise those funds.
“Yesterday's number were up about 10-15 percent. Our schedule changes so I'm not sure if that was it or if we're getting people from the outside to come check it out. I hope that's the case,” said Kring.
The show usually sells about 10,000 tickets during the four day event. It started yesterday and will continue until Monday, beginning every day at 8 a.m. and ending whenever the horses say it's time to go home. Tickets are $8 for adults, kids six and under are free.
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