Horse show season is gearing up at State Fair Park, and projects are in the works to improve equine facilities there.
"We're excited about our horse show's just getting ready to get started," said Tim O'Toole, president and CEO of the Oklahoma State Fair. "They're a huge part of what we do."
Three projects improving horse facilities are in the works, O'Toole said. The first two are mechanical, air conditioning and heating upgrades in the Cox Pavilion and the performance arena. The third project is overhauling a former maintenance facility into a new equine services building.
The park's equine facilities are some of the best in the world, fair spokesman Scott Munz said, and the city's hotel tax allows officials to maintain and improve the barns and arenas.
Oklahoma City horse shows have an economic impact of more than $125 million a year, according to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
Two horse shows are happening this weekend.
The 23rd annual Oklahoma Centennial Horse Show runs through Sunday. Show hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The show features American Saddlebred, Morgan, roadster horses, roadster ponies, hackney and harness ponies and Shetland ponies. Admission is free. Activities are in Barn 3 and the Super Barn. Go to www.okcentennial.com for more information.
The Oklahoma Appaloosa Horse Club's Spring Fling is today and Sunday. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. today and 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Activities are in Barns 7 and 8. For more information, go to www.okaphc.com. The group will return to the fairgrounds May 21-22 for the Run for the Roses show.
Other upcoming horse events at Fair Park include the Better Barrel Races World Show, which runs from April 28-May 1, the Central 4D Barrel Race on May 7-8, Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association's Redbud Spectacular Horse Show on June 1-12, Non-Pro Cutting Horse Event on June 15-21 and the National Reining Horse Derby, which will be June 27-July 2.