The Arizona Reining Horse Association has boosted the added money for its rescheduled Mother’s Day Slide to more than $120,000.
Organizers say it is imperative that participants in the show, which will be the most lucrative Western performance horse competition to take place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, adhere to rules and regulations to keep all competitors safe and healthy during and after the show.
The show, now set for May 24-31, will offer a Derby, ancillary classes and qualifiers for two classes at this summer’s The Run For A Million. It will be held at WestWorld of Scottsdale.
Arizona Reining Horse Association President Mark Blake said the rescheduled show drew a big response from reiners and sponsors. The event, which organizers had originally canceled, was resurrected in recent days when Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced sporting venues would be allowed to open up as the state lifts restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“There was incredible demand from Texas all the way to Washington, we’ve got horses coming in,” he said. “So, we’re really excited about it.”
Although the Mother’s Day Slide typically offers a Novice Derby and 4-Year-Old Stakes, organizers expanded the format for 2020.
This year’s limited-age offerings include a $75,000-added Lucky 21 Open Derby and more than $35,000 added to the Booth Farms Non-Pro Derby, including a $5,000-added Prime Time Non-Pro sponsored by Storybook Stables. The Derby classes are open to horses ages 4 to 7.
It also is hosting Rookie and Non-Pro qualifiers for The Run For A Million.
“We wanted to include as many derby horses as possible, give everyone a run, so we opened it up as a full derby as opposed to a novice derby,” Blake said.
Show Manager Bob Kail said the Arizona Reining Horse Association not only wants to put on a top-quality show, but they also want to keep everybody safe. Information about required social distancing measures and other restrictions related to the coronavirus and COVID-19 will soon be posted on the show’s website or Facebook page.
He said WestWorld of Scottsdale, which is owned by the City of Scottsdale, has been a proactive partner by offering to put up sneeze-guard barriers, make hand sanitizers available, increase cleaning and other measures to help provide the safest possible environment for participants.
“This is the first event [since the pandemic] and our concern is huge about keeping people safe,” Kail said. “And, we can only do that if they participate by going by the rules.”
For more news and information from the Western performance horse industry, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.