OKLAHOMA CITY -- The American Quarter Horse Association has reached an agreement with the City of Oklahoma City and State Fair Park officials to keep the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City through the year 2014. This is a two-year extension to their current contract.
"The exhibitors who qualify for the Built Ford Tough Youth World are the very best in the world," said Don Treadway, AQHA Executive Vice President. "Their accomplishments demand that we have the show in a facility that can properly showcase their talent. With the improvements made to State Fair Park, it is truly a world-class facility for a world-class event."
The AQHYA World Championship Show is the world's largest single-breed championship show for youth. It annually attracts more than 900 youth and more than 1,200 horses vying for one of 30 championship titles in 28 classes. In 2006, AQHA Corporate Partner Ford became title sponsor of the eight-day event, which pumps more than $10 million directly into the host city's economy. The Built Ford Tough Youth World annually attracts nearly 32,000 visitors who come to watch the competition, shop the trade show and take part in events surrounding the show.
"The improvements to the State Fair Park equine facilities have been very well received by the international horse community," said Oklahoma State Fair, Inc. President & CEO Tim O'Toole. "The decision by AQHA to remain at State Fair Park is validation that the commitment made by the citizens of Oklahoma City was a very worthwhile investment. The economic benefits of this show will significantly impact the entire area."
"This announcement is continued recognition that our citizens' decisions to dedicate tax dollars to the continued improvement of horse facilities here were wise investments," said Roy Williams, President and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. "Those investments, and the longstanding partnership between the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Oklahoma State Fair, Inc. and Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau to attract and service these events are key to not only this announcement but our future success."
In 2005, a $75 million equine renovation project at State Fair Park was started that has transformed the property into the home for world-class equine facilities. These improvements, along with the professional State Fair Park staff can be credited with the reason AQHA has decided to remain in Oklahoma City.
The 2011 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show will take place August 5-13 at State Fair Park.