2019 Sun Circuit Schedule and Event Highlights Announced
With a winning combination of predictably great weather, exceptional facilities and a schedule that offers something for everyone, the 2019 Sun Circuit is poised for another record bashing run March 2-10 at WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona. The show features many returning favorites along with an exciting debut event.
Sun Circuit offers a full slate of rail, trail, halter, versatility, ranch, cattle, over fences and performance classes. Extensive leveled offerings ensure exhibitors are well matched in all divisions. 2019 is seeing the addition of 3 slates of NRCHA/AzRCHA classes as well as APHA pointed classes in the Showmanship, Horsemanship and Equitation for the first time ever. There are also plenty of NSBA and NRHA classes with opportunities for color and all-breed exhibitors. As always, a plethora of saddles, trophies and other awards will await the champions. Though Sun Circuit draws huge numbers of entries, the expansive WestWorld facilities easily accommodate everyone. As many as 7 arenas have classes in a day, and an additional half dozen are always available for warm-up. The complete schedule and list of judges is available on line at suncircuit.com.
A great deal of buzz is circulating throughout the show world over the new National Championship that will be held at the 2019 Sun Circuit. This tournament style competition is for Amateur, Select and Youth AQHA, NSBA and APHA exhibitors in Showmanship, Equitation and Horsemanship. The top 64 exhibitors in each division, as ranked by the National Championship Ranking Committee in December, will be eligible to compete in the tournament. They will show concurrently with the corresponding regularly scheduled Sun Circuit classes. After the fist class,
the high scoring ‘Sensational Sixteen’ will be recognized. Following the second go, the “Exceptional Eight” will be announced. Round three of the tournament welcomes The Exceptional Eight back to the arena to show to third set of Judges. At the conclusion of that class, the “Final 4” will be named and proceed to a head-to-head match in the Championship Round. Embroidered black leather jackets will be awarded at center arena with much fanfare and Champions earn the bragging rights as the “the best of the best”. The Tournament promises to be a fun and exciting addition to the Sun Circuit schedule.
NSBA exhibitors have plenty to celebrate too when the Rider’s Cup returns for the second year on March 5 and 6. The NSBA Rider’s Cup is an annual event that awards money to NSBA non pro members and their professional trainers in Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle, Trail, Western Riding, Showmanship, Western Horsemanship, and Hunt Seat Equitation events. Additionally, beautiful silver trophy cups are awarded to the champions. In order to be eligible, professional riders must be sold through the NSBA Trainer Sale program in the given competition year, then the owner makes a nomination under the name of a sold trainer. More information can be found at nsba.com.
Cattle classes offer lucrative awards as well. The popular Sun Circuit Rope Horse Futurity will be back again for 4, 5 and 6 year old horses on March 2nd. This American Rope Horse Futurity Association (ARHFA) event draws a large number of exceptional ropers and their young, talented mounts. The Cinch Non Pro Roping Futurity, with $5,000 added, will be held on the 5th. For edge-of-your-seat action, The $20,000 Added Smart Boons Fence Challenge is always a crowd pleasing spectacle of equine athleticism featuring the top cow horses in the nation. It will be held on Friday, March 8th. Watch for details to come on the Farnam Golden Cowboy award that combines Cutting, Cow Horse, and Steer Stopping.
Sun Circuit keeps the fun going all week with parties, entertainment, events and give aways. Exhibitors don’t always have to place first in a class to be a winner. Everyone, at every level and discipline, has a shot at winning something. An estimated $50,000 in gift certificates, vendor products, boots, hats, jewelry, electronics and TVs will be handed out by the infamous Prize Patrol. The most talked about give aways involve the fun challenges that test exhibitor skills not often seen at a horse show: wine races, mimosa jump-offs, bareback mounting and of course Arizona’s very own herd of wild bouncy horses will be back.
A proven formula for success along with the dedication to constantly improve ensures Sun Circuit remains one of those shows everyone loves. Exhibitors are encouraged to book hotels early as Scottsdale is a very popular travel destination in March. SunCircuit.com has an extensive list of hotels along with forms and all the details about the show. Be sure to enter by January 1st to avoid late fees.