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Over 3,000 entries in sanctioned Quarter Horse events will set the stage just ahead of the Black Hills Stock Show.
Courtesy Photo
Over 3,000 entries in sanctioned Quarter Horse events will set the stage just ahead of the Black Hills Stock Show.

Sanctioned Quarter Horse events ahead of Black Hills Stock Show attracts thousands

F.Ganje - January 9, 2020

RAPID CITY, SD – Horse related events held just prior to the Black Hills Stock Show continue to expand. What started out as hundreds of entries in various events now numbers well into the thousands as performance Quarter Horse owners, trainers and riders pack the fairgrounds for 14 days of competitions.

Dean Johnson, Vale, SD, an American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)  director and long-time volunteer in coordinating events says the versatility ranch horse cutting, reining and the Winter Classic AQHA Show, all held in Rapid City on the Central States Fairgrounds, has become a must-stop on official circuits.

It’s a busy time and exciting because we bring such a  large number of people in from all over the U.S.,” says Johnson. “ I got involved when the  Winter Classic had around 800 entries and now we are somewhere north of 3,000 entries.  I look for it only to grow even more as time goes on.”

Beginning with the Thar’s Team Sorting  January 17 – 19, the events move into the Black Hills Stock Show AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse Competition, January 20 – 21; the South Dakota Cutting Horse Association (SDCHA) Show, January 22 – 24; the National Reining Cow Horse Association (NRCHA)  All-Around Show; and the Winter Classic AQHA Show  January 25 – 30.

According to Johnson, all  the events compliment each another.  “A lot of people are competing in multiple classes on the same horse,” explains Johnson.  “It’s a very high level of performance and high dollar.  You’re getting a complete picture of what the Quarter Horse is truly capable of.”

It’s seems a natural fit considering what Johnson calls a “deep history” with the breed in South Dakota. 

“For the first time in the history of the AQHA and in the last three years,” says Johnson “there are three AQHA Hall of Fame recipients from South Dakota.  In addition, the number of national directors who call South Dakota home (based on the number of registered Quarter Horses in any particular state) is at a record high.  He adds, “We also have some of the largest number of 50 year breeders in the state. There’s a tremendous about of history in the state regarding the production and use of Quarter Horses.”

Enough can’t be said about the sanctioned status of these events.  According to Johnson, official sanctioning plays a major role  in tracking a horses accomplishments.  “It’s all recorded on a life-time basis of the horse. Points and money totals separate the performing horse from the every day horse.”  He adds, “Now, you can’t ever underestimate what an ‘every-day’ Quarter Horse can do. This whole ranching region relies on the Quarter Horse in day-to-day operations. But competing in sanctioned events like these gives an official picture of the horse’s accomplishments.  It keeps a report card on what trainers and exhibitors are doing with different horses.  Sanctioning brings a lot of unique exhibitors and also brings a higher level of horses.”

All events noted above are open and free to the public.  See a complete schedule at Black Hills Stock Show


Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785