ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Youth National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show (Youth Nationals) will celebrate its 17th year in Albuquerque, N.M., at EXPO New Mexico, Saturday, July 25 through August 1. The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) of Aurora, Colo., produces the weeklong event that features top-level horse show competition, a shopping expo. The annual Youth Convention and brings an estimated $10.2 million to Albuquerque.

“We are very pleased to have the Arabian Youth Nationals here on the grounds every year for horse lovers and the public to enjoy,” said EXPO New Mexico General Manager Craig Swagerty, “and we’re proud to partner each year with the Albuquerque Convention and Visitor’s Bureau partners on this event – it’s good for us, good for the City and good for the horse folks. We’ve got more than 1,000 gorgeous Arabians and an incredible variety of competitive and other events here for the next week, and admission is free.”

This year’s horse show will feature 1,000-plus horses from across the United States and Canada, competing in more than 120 classes in a wide variety of disciplines. Exhibitors up to 18 years of age compete for prizes such as saddles, plaques, ribbons and trophies. Competition starts Saturday July 25, and runs through Saturday, August 1. Classes run from 7:30 a.m. through 10 p.m. almost every day and are divided into morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Finals is Saturday, August 1, and features competitors going head to head in mounted native costume, western pleasure, hunter pleasure, country English pleasure and the crowd favorite-park. Admission to all performances is free.

“EXPO New Mexico, and the equestrian community in Albuquerque all across New Mexico have been a pleasure to work with over the years,” said Chuck Mangan, Arabian Youth Nationals Committee Chairman. “We’ve got a strong fan base here, and the recent work that EXPO has done to improve its equestrian facilities is phenomenal, and the EXPO staff are always among the best we work with anywhere in the country. We really couldn’t be more pleased.”

EXPO New Mexico in 2008 completed a $1.2 million capital improvement project on its Palomino Barns, among the first buildings erected on the grounds in the mid-1930s. The project included the removal and replacement of all the old woodwork and roofs inside the three barns, including the shutters. The entire structure has been brought up to current construction codes while the traditional look and character of the barns has been carefully preserved. The new barns are expected to give the Fairgrounds another 70 to 90 years of service.

In addition to the convention and horse show, Youth Nationals features a shopping expo that offers everything the equine lover could want – tack, jewelry, art and more, and a variety of other must-see activities, including the annual freestyle reining class, a dog costume contest and race, a Guitar Hero tournament, the Stick Horse Workshop and Contest and the Flying Pigs Fundraiser – all guarantee a good laugh.

On a more serious note, the Arabian Horse Hippology contest is held Thursday, July 30 and offers all participants, including adults, the opportunity to test their equine knowledge about horse anatomy, nutrition, physiology and tack.

As it has for many years, the Arabian Youth Nationals benefits the Children’s Cancer Fund of New Mexico.
About the Arabian Youth NationalsThe Arabian horse industry's largest event for youth, the Youth National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show, moves into Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque, July 25-August 1, 2009. The eight-day event combines top-level equine competition in a variety of disciplines with daily youth activities, a shopping expo and much more.

Nearly 1,000 horses from across the U.S. and Canada will compete each day from 7:30 a.m. to about 10 p.m. in everything from English pleasure to working cow. Highlights of the week will include two clinics put on by the Arabian Professional and Amateur Horseman's Association (APAHA) on July 25, a Total Arabian Interactive and Learning (T.A.I.L.) experience for youth and families in the community on July 31, and the show's semi-final and final classes from Thursday, July 30, through Saturday August 1.

The Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA) makes up about 10 percent of AHA's membership and hosts a myriad of youth-oriented activities throughout the week including a Guitar-Hero tournament, the Stick Horse Workshop and Contest, a Flying Pigs Fundraiser and some educational opportunities with the Hippology Contest (which tests horse knowledge) and a novice horse judging contest.

AHA, a 35,000-member association based in Aurora, Colo., produces Youth Nationals. AHA corporate partners include Bank of America, Cacties, The Hat Lady, Markel Insurance Company, PowerRV Inc. and UniteHealthcare. Youth Activity sponsors include Long Meadow Arabians & Exxpectation, Hesten Park & the Hoffman Family, Jim & Chirsty Egan & Results, AHA Region 1, Region 10, Region 10 Youth, Bennett Fine Jewelry, Flatiron Springs and Charlotte's Saddlery.

Admission to all performances is free and open to the public. For more information about the public T.A.I.L. program, contact Hilary Nixon at

Quick Facts
Produced by: Arabian Horse Association (AHA), 10805 E. Bethany Drive, Aurora, Colo. 80014. or

Dates: July 25 - August 1, 2009

Location: Expo New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Admission: All sessions free for the duration of the show.

Schedule: Three sessions per day (With the exception of the first Saturday and Wednesday-there are only morning and afternoon sessions): 7:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Two to three arenas run simultaneously. (See detailed schedule attached.)

Number of classes: 130

Number of entries: 3,126 entries in 2008. Exhibitors must qualify at regional championships and AHA-recognized shows to compete. The age of competitors ranges from 2 (lead-line) to 18.

Number of horses: 1,024 horses in 2008 from the United States and Canada

Largest Class: Arabian Hunter JTR (Junior to Ride) Pleasure 14-17, with 98 competitors in 2008

New Classes: Class 6: Arabian Mare Breeding JOTH 17 & Under Championship. Class 31: Arabian Gelding In-Hand JOTH 17 & Under Championship. Class 598: Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian Mounted Native Costume JOTR 17 & Under Championship.

Divisions: Country English, dressage, driving, English, equitation, halter, horsemanship, hunter, native costume, park, reining, saddle seat, show hack, showmanship, sidesaddle, trail, western, and working cow

Youth Membership: Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA), approximately 3,500 members and approximately 10 percent of AHA membership

Estimated Economic Impact to Albuquerque: $10.2 million

Other Attractions: Hippology Contest (tests horse knowledge), Stall Decorating Contest, Dog Costume Class, APAHA (Amateur, Professional Arabian Horse Association) Clinics. Guitar Hero Tournament, T.A.I.L. (Total Arabian Interactive & Learning) Program. Parade of Regions. AHYA Annual Convention featuring guest speaker, Novice Youth Horse Judging Contest and Clinic, Specialty classes (native costume, lead-line, etc.), Stick Horse Workshop and Contest for children 6-years-old and younger. Shopping Expo with booths offering tack, equestrian gifts, clothing, jewelry, etc.