“Catch the excitement!”

10 things you may not know about the Shelbyville Horse Show

The slogan for the Shelbyville Horse Show really rings true. Held Aug. 1-4 at the Shelby County Fairgrounds this year, the show draws spectators from every walk of like, horse and non-horse people alike.

“This makes the show extremely unique,” says Charlie Kramer, Kentucky and travel expert who founded Kentucky Backroad Tours. “Horse shows in communities the size of Shelbyville rarely bring the numbers that this horse show does.”

Adds Alex Gravett, owner and trainer at Simpsonville’s Kismet Farm: “The No. 1 thing to do at the Shelbyville Horse Show is to actually SEE a horse!” Seems obvious, but like the Kentucky Derby, there are so many things going on that some come and hardly even watch the show.

Here our list of things you may not know about the Shelbyville Horse Show and American Saddlebred horses:

-The Shelbyville Horse Show was built to do two things: show Saddlebred horses to a lot of non Saddlebred people and create community support and excitement for the show – and this show more than achieves these goals every year.

-Saddlebred horses are bred to show and they pick up on the excitement of the crowd and react to it; it affects the level of their performance. SO cheer loudly!

-The American Saddlebred was originally known as the Kentucky Saddle Horse.

-You can take a trip through the barn and meet a trainer who isn’t busy.

-Saddle Horses are Five-Gaited works at the Walk, Trot, and Canter as well as the Slow-Gait and the Rack.

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-Riders as young as three and four years old can start showing in the Leadline Division where they are lead around by an adult. Academy classes are another great way for riders to begin their show careers. (Academy is for riders who have never worn a full riding suit/habit and must show lesson/school horses.) Most riders starting in Leadline or Academy take regular weekly riding lessons at a show barn – like Kismet.

-The show program will tell you about the classes of horses, but you can also learn a lot about a Saddlebred and its capabilities by looking at the motion of its feet and the high arch of its head and active ears.

-The Shelbyville Horse Show organist has been playing for 25 years!

-Dress to your comfort and for the weather. You’ll see people dressed to the nines and others dressed in jeans.

-The best way to enjoy the show is pick your favorite horse – one your eye is drawn to for whatever reason – and cheer for it!