What's New for Sun Circuit

The Arizona Quarter Horse Association Sun Country Circuit announces new changes for 2013.

By Arizona Quarter Horse Association Sun Country Circuit
The American Quarter Horse Journal
October 10, 2012

A shot of the outdoor covered arena at the 2012 Arizona Sun Country Circuit AQHA horse show in Scottsdale, Arizona.

A shot of the outdoor covered arena at the 2012 Arizona Sun Country Circuit AQHA horse show in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Expect exciting changes at the 2013 Arizona Sun Country Circuit at WestWorld in Scottsdale, January 26 - February 3. For one, the new, completely-enclosed Equidome affords the longstanding show the opportunity to offer more special events.

The Arizona Cowboy Mounted Shooters will host a top-level event in the new equestrian center February 1.

“The new Equidome and enclosed warm-up paddock will contain any noise from this highly entertaining event,” said Doug Huls, event producer. “The proximity of the Equidome to a new haul-in area will afford the mounted shooters an area of their own to prepare. We expect a seamless transition to including the special events we added in 2013.”

The ACMS will also host a special class for four of Sun Circuit’s top 2012 exhibitors. They will be given the opportunity to work with a mounted shooting mentor and then compete against one another in their own mounted shooting class.

The $2,500-added Abbott Fine Properties Huntfield Derby is another new event. The Huntfield AQHA Derby Series – created in 2012 – has become very popular among hunter exhibitors. The Derby will be held in the Markel Insurance Arena in the new Equidome. In addition, hunter exhibitors will again be treated to their own arena for all AQHA classes and plenty of warm-up time with jumps available on all off days.

A $2,500-added 4D barrel race has been added February 2 in the Equidome, produced by S&S Barnes Productions. Barrel racers will have access to the new haul-in area as well as the warm-up paddock and Markel Insurance arena.

The AQHA show will incorporate AQHA’s new leveling program, with several classes to include the Intermediate (for exhibitors) and Progressive levels (for horses).

The 2012 special events are back again, including something for every discipline:
•    $10,000-added open and $2,500-added non-pro Smart Boons Fence Work Challenges
•    $5,000-added open and $2,500-added Self Shine Non-Pro Reining Stakes
•    $5,000-added open and $2,500 non-pro Cinch Timed Event Challenge Roping
•    $5,000-added open and $2,500 limited Ulcerguard  Green Hunter Under Saddle Stakes
•    $5,000-added open and $2,500 limited Western Pleasure Stakes

The Sun Circuit free clinic series features such leading trainers and AQHA Professional Horsemen as: Bob Avila, Brad Barkemeyer, Al Dunning, Andreah Fappani, Gil Galyean, Bob Kail, Ryan Kail, Tim Kimura, Leslie Lange, Shadd Parkinson, and Bruce Vickery. Prominent Arizona veterinarians Dr. G.R. Longworth, Dr. Ross Rich and Dr. Otto Stanislaw will lecture on horse health and soundness.

The Sun Circuit hosts several exhibitor parties and free food events: Welcome Party hosted by the Johns, Tobins and Searles families; Stehney-Smith Show Horses Lunch Party; and Machine Made Lunch Party. The Sweet Things Ice Cream Social and Sweethearts n’ Denim Dinner Party and youth fund-raiser sponsored by the Salamone Family have been huge hits among exhibitors.

Free parking, free admission, more than 100 vendors to shop and a new completely climate-controlled facility give spectators and exhibitors much to look forward to in 2013. Scottsdale-area hotels and the WestWorld RV lot offer many affordable lodging opportunities.

The circuit is consistently one of the largest AQHA shows nationwide, and one of the longest-running. In 2012, Mark Harrell Horse Shows reported more than 15,000 AQHA entries, all divisions combined, with more than 21,000 entries including affiliate classes (National Reining Horse Association, National Snaffle Bit Association, etc.)

The Arizona Sun Country Circuit at WestWorld is marked by American Quarter Horse Foundation Historical Marker No. 18, honoring the significance of the show in American Quarter Horse history.

For more information visit www.SunCircuit.com.