Shelbyville Horse Show is all about high-stepping horses and fanciful hats

Want to see the “peacock of the horse world” in action? Head to the Shelbyville Horse Show, a 4-day event showcasing the beautiful and athletic American Saddlebred horse. Scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Aug. 2 to 5, this premier horse event held at the Shelby County Fairgrounds, is for anyone who enjoys socializing and seeing or showing off a fanciful topper.

“What makes this show so unique is the involvement of a cross section of the entire community,” said Charles Kramer, avid horse enthusiast and founder of Kentucky Backroad Tours. “It is truly a huge social event wrapped around a horse show. It is a show for horse enthusiasts and for people who really just want to have a great time.”

And it is a great time. Part of this is due to the array of colorful, whimsical and stylish hats, because just like at the Kentucky Derby, hats are a headliner at the Shelbyville Horse Show.

“Women wear lightweight derby-style hats and fascinators as it can be very warm,” said Dori Eversole Lewis. “Some wear a more chic casual hat, perhaps with horses painted on them or other designs and embellishments.”

Shelbyville’s Polka Dotted Pineapple, an upscale consignment boutique owned by Lewis and known for its new and consigned designer and name brand fashions offered at affordable prices, sponsors a hat contest each year at the show.

“Anyone who wears a hat or a fascinator is eligible to enter the drawing on Friday night (Aug. 4) until 8 p.m. and also on Saturday night (Aug. 5) in the same time frame,” said Lewis.

In fact, several winners are drawn on Friday and each receives a VIP ticket for the horse show on Saturday night.

“We then draw several from those who register on Saturday and, from these winners, we draw ‘Ms. Shelbyville Horse Show,’” explained Lewis. “The winner receives $1,000 worth of prizes from local Shelbyville merchants.”

Also adding to the good times is great food. Simpsonville’s famous food truck, Will’s Grill, will be onsite with its mouth-watering Southern-style barbecue, including brisket, pulled pork, ribs and chicken, and sides like hearty potato salad, country-style green beans, mac ’n cheese, brandy brown sugar peaches and baked beans that are pure smoky deliciousness.

But back to the Shelbyville Horse Show. The excitement begins at 7 p.m. each night. The Horseman’s Club opens at 6 p.m. nightly; tickets are $45. Main Gate tickets are $5 per night or $15/pin admittance all four nights. A schedule of events may be found here: For more information or tickets, call 502-633-7123.