By Jacqueline G. Goodwin Ed. D. • Photos Courtesy of PA National Horse Show
In its 74th year, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show (PNHS) returns to the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg from Oct. 10-19. Whether you are an avid horse-lover or have never ridden in your life, stop by and experience unparalleled competition, family activities, boutique shopping, and the opportunity to watch the very best in equestrian sports in action.
The first Pennsylvania National Horse Show was held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in 1946. It was a four-day show with 226 horses entered and benefited the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation. International teams competed at Harrisburg from 1948 until 1972. In 1950, the show was lengthened to seven days, in 1962 to eight days, in 1970 to nine days and in 1982 to 10 days – which it is today.
In the fifties and sixties, the show was a major social event in Harrisburg. Even Arthur Godfrey televised live nationwide from his horse Goldie at the show in 1955 and 1956.
The Harrisburg Kiwanis club has been a part of every show since the beginning, selling ads, programs and tickets. In the past, Kiwanis volunteers even wore tuxedos as they sold tickets and programs.
Yet, the PA National Horse Show is about more than its riders and horses. It’s also about charity. A portion of the profits from the show goes to the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation, and to date, over 1.5 million dollars has gone back to the youth of Central Pennsylvania thanks to this partnership.
Formal dress may be gone, but the show has grown in stature and prestige hosting 10 national championships. The goal of the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Association is to keep this show one of the premier national sporting events in the United States, by not just getting bigger, but always getting better and to remain dedicated to the horsemen while engaging and educating the audience.
As one of the largest indoor Horse Shows in the United States, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show offers sponsors excellent exposure to exhibitors from around the world, as well as to spectators from the mid-Atlantic region. The community of Harrisburg also benefits from the Pennsylvania National Horse Show realizing what is estimated as an economic impact of over $44 million dollars annually.
The 10-day show will feature more than 1,400 horses in a variety of competitions, including show jumpers, show hunters and junior jumpers. The show, with total prize money exceeding $420,000, is one of the nation’s most highly regarded equestrian competitions for junior and adult riders, and will feature many of the top riders and horses currently in competition.
For more information, tickets, updates, promotions, and more, visit www.PAnational.org.