At one time there used to be 40,000 members in the Arabian Horse Association (2009 numbers) so needless to say this is big business and Brandon is fortunate to have the National Arabian Horse & Half Arabian Championships at the Keystone Centre.
When you talk through the halls at the Keystone you really understand the complex planning and details that go behind the scenes to make sure an event happen. So today we had a chance to speak to their Director of Marketing Julian McPeak.
BDNMB – People assume when you live in Brandon that you live eat and sleep AG and horse business, however I am a total novice with something like this, can you give our readers an idea what kind of money it costs for these people to participate at this show?
Julian – It varies some people own their own trucks – they train their horses and own their horses they would have to spend $8000 – $10,000 (they call these people the DOERS) Then the other group of people have professional year round trainers – they pay for their horse to come – and pay for drivers, etc. and that could get as high as $20,000.
BDNMB – This is the 6th year for Brandon so where is the next stop and what are some of the pro’s and con’s of Brandon?
Julian – We host shows in Ok City – Tulsa – Raleigh but mainly we look for cities that have ag communities. We have specific needs and facilities. It has to be clean and safe for our horses and and we need two covered arenas and also arenas to work the horses. The exhibitors would like restaurants near by which the Keystone Centre has. It is unique because everything is indoors and we really like the staff they help us so much.
BDNMB – What kind of feedback do you get about Brandon …. I have been to all those cities you mentioned and they are much larger and have more to offer people?
Julian – Overall everyone is happy our people are happy when locals flock in the doors and see the horses and shows. These people come to show horses and not for a holiday. We do like the community support. In bigger cities we don’t really see that.
Of note we spoke to the owner of Brown’s Social House, Blake Trotter, and he mentioned that this event was by far one of best. He said that they have had dozens of people tell his staff that they did appreciate the support that Brown’s gave their fans and participants.