If you see people wearing cowboy boots inundating Moose Jaw’s restaurants and stores next week there is a good chance they came from the Moose Jaw Exhibition Grounds.
As next Monday to Thursday, the exhibition will host the largest horse show in the province — the Saskatchewan Barrel Racing Association finals.
The hugely popular rodeo sport will see horses moved in on Sunday with the actual competitions kicking into gear on Monday.
“This will be the biggest horse show in the province,” George Fowler general manager of the Moose Jaw Exhibition Company told MJ Independent.
The show was previously held in 2019 in Moose Jaw after moving from their traditional home in Saskatoon. There was no competition in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event is a competitive competition with horse and rider vying to be the best in the province, so there is the potential to draw larger crowds to the free event, Fowler said.
Although hosting the event is a major event for the exhibition it is also a big event for the community as a whole. Over 500 riders will be competing.
“I think it is a very good event; it is a lot of work for the staff but we are capable of doing it and it is good for the community.”
Fowler said he could not estimate how many competitors as well as horse fanciers will venture out to local stores and restaurants but in 2019 the Exhibition Company had businesses call and comment on the increased numbers of customers at their establishments.
“It will be good for the community and they’ll be out shopping and eating.”
To be held in the Golden Mile Arena, the event will see about half of the 500 camp out at the fair grounds and the other half head for local hotels.
The competition will feature competitors from throughout the province, having qualified at other events to compete in Moose Jaw.
The fair grounds serve as a place where competitors take time to socialize with others in the barrel racing and horse community.
“The riding is important with the socializing just as important. They all know each other. They all want to win so it is highly competitive but they are also friends,” Fowler said.
The event will be held indoors at the Golden Mile Arena located on the Moose Jaw Exhibition Grounds - 250 Thatcher Drive East.
The start times for the competition is Monday August 16th at noon, Tuesday, August 17 and Wednesday, August 18th at 8 a.m. and Thursday, August 19th at 9 a.m.
The event is FREE to attend and spectators are welcome to stop in or stay all day. There will be concessions in the building.