We Ask the Industry: How was Moving the Select World to Fort Worth?
In 2012, GoHorseShow wrote an article asking Select Amateurs where they felt would be the ideal venue for the AQHA Select World Championship Show. After we interviewed several exhibitors and posted an oline poll, it was clear that the vast majority of our readers were in favor of moving the show away from Amarillo, TX. The end result of the poll was that over 95 percent wanted to move the show to a different venue.
AQHA listened and in 2018, it was announced for the first time that the AQHA Select World Show was going to be held in Fort Worth, Texas this year. The majority of the competitors we talked to seemed happy with this decision.
Since the event just wrapped up in Fort Worth, we wanted to know if these opinions remained the same after the show. We asked several Select Amateurs who competed for the first time at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum and Facility, what they thought about the change of venue and city.
Please vote in our poll below and let us know whether you liked the move.
Anne Wilson – There are good and bad things. Bad: weather in Fort Worth is much hotter, especially at night. We were lucky to have below-average temperatures on some days. I also miss having classes spread over nine days instead of five. I could not attend parties or have dinner with friends since we always needed to practice or the show finished late. Lastly, the arena in Amarillo is larger. Now, the positives. The barns are much nicer-wider aisles, air-conditioned bathrooms. More places to practice and longe-and those areas are much nicer. Better selection of hotels and restaurants nearby. More vendors and vets. More spectators. Lastly, my drive home to Dallas is only 45 minutes.
Dan Yeager – I think this was a smart move for AQHA. I believe that entries went up as well as sponsorship dollars. The facilities are outstanding. There is a definite World Show feel while in Fort Worth. The weather was very hot a few days, but overall I think most people enjoyed the facility. I think AQHA needs to add at least one day to the schedule. It was very tight. The Selects like to have dinners in the evening. I know I didn’t have time to socialize outside the daily show. Also, I noticed the stands had a lot more spectators. I think there are kinks to work out, but I thought it was a great first year.
Kathy Tobin – Yes, I do like the change to Fort Worth. The stalls and facilities put Amarillo’s to shame. I feel so much better for the safety of our horses. I think it feels more like a World Show here. Amarillo seemed like just another show. There are more vendors it seems, food vendors at the show are so much better too. We can’t do anything about the weather, and I feel we can get to and from the arenas much drier — great restaurants close by and hotels close to suit most budgets. The RV area looks closer to the show facilities. All in all, I love the new change.
Sharon Ohler – I went to Amarillo last year with a friend but did not show and I am attending this year’s show as an exhibitor. For the most part, the Fort Worth location is a vast improvement–consistent, excellent footing throughout both warm-up and show arenas, grounds are located in a growing and prosperous area of town close to quality hotels, dining, fuel, shopping. Loved the tunnel system to get from arena to arena and avoiding long trips above ground on the concrete. Loved the easy to negotiate RV area and felt safe on the grounds at all times. The videos emailed within hours of the class were also a nice exhibitor perk. Dislikes…the communication system from AQHA regarding check-ins for horses and RV’s (three signs pointing three different directions for horse check-in when we arrived), the multi-purpose barn stalls in my area were insanely hot, and a request to repair/replace a fan in my stall area was not fulfilled. Scheduling issues will likely resolve with time in this new location (hard to host well-attended receptions with a large number of participants still showing). Missed the great “unload help” we had in Amarillo. Maps showing the location of offices, vendors, arenas, and the tunnel system would have been an excellent addition to exhibitor info.
Gary Holme – I support the move to Fort Worth. It’s a great facility. It has an excellent show, pens, and barns. There are a lot of options for restaurants and things to do off the show grounds. I’ve noticed more non-horse show spectators, which is fantastic. On two occasions, people have asked me what the event was and how is it judged. I think that’s great for the industry. Bottom line it feels more like a World Show, and I give it an A+.
Leena Volmer – I think moving the Select World to Fort Worth was an excellent decision. The facility is world-class. There are many places to ride and the fact that two arenas can be running at the same time makes for a much more relaxed schedule. I love Fort Worth.
Heather Lange – I have been thrilled with the move to Ft Worth. The facility is excellent, and the town of Ft Worth is fantastic. We’ve been to some great restaurants, and I’ve enjoyed running along the river. I am hoping for a few changes to the schedule next year, so there will be more time to watch some of the other classes, shop or explore the city, but overall I am looking forward to coming back next year.
Carrie Warren – I think the move was a great one. The facilities are more extensive and seemingly more secure. RV hookups are convenient to the stalls. The area has so much more to offer for dining and entertainment, and getting in and out of Dallas airport for those flying is better- just more direct flights. A bit more traffic in the market, but that’s the trade-off.
Maggie Bellville – I think it’s more convenient and conducive to growth over the next years – adding classes like Novice Select would grow it even more. Ranch and versatility classes would add to revenue-generating opportunities. Also, the visibility of AQHA in Fort Worth is essential; marketing to the local market would be necessary as well.
Mimsi Coon – I love the move to Fort Worth. The facility is great for showing and stalling our horses safely. There is a large, friendly staff keeping things swept, bathrooms clean, manning good reasonable concessions for a snack, sandwich or a beverage. Excellent security is also on-site. Oh, and I love that I can sleep in my bed at night.
Laurel Champlin – I love having the Select World in Fort Worth. The stalls are so big and nice. Having two air-conditioned arenas is terrific. The footing was excellent. The arenas were bright, and I loved the big banners everywhere. I haven’t even mentioned the RV Park or the fantastic restaurants. What’s not to like?
Judy Ford – We loved the show. It had been 15 years since I showed at Select World in Amarillo. Fort Worth has such a beautiful facility to show in, and Fort Worth has outstanding hotels and hospitality Industry. Look forward to 2020 to return. The icing on the cake was a Reserve World Title with my Weanling filly. AQHA did an outstanding job hosting the Select World.