Typically the Hardy Murphy Coliseum acts as a venue, and the events that come through are all produced by third parties. The only show produced in-house is the History and Champions Reining Show, and it begins today.
Hardy Murphy Coliseum General Manager Jeffery Storms said they have produced the show for over a decade but its origins date back even further.
“The producer who had been putting on the show wasn’t able to keep going,” Storms said. Because the event had always been so popular and well attended, the coliseum decided to step in so it could continue.
“Over the years we’ve made some minor tweaks in the categories, and this year it’s going to be about as big of a show as we’ve ever had,” Storms said.
He expects between 350 and 400 entries over the course of three days. While there will be many local owners, trainers and riders in attendance, Storms said many others will be traveling from all across the United States. Some have come from as far away as South America and Europe.
Storms said the coliseum is expecting to house around 300 horses in its stalls and that an average of two to three people come with each of those horses.
“That means there’s going to be an extra 600 to 900 people coming into town, staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants and shopping in our stores,” Storms said. “That’s a major impact on our local economy.”
The show offers categories for a wide range of skill levels including youth, amateur, non-pro and professional. There are also categories based on how much money the horse has earned over its lifetime.
“I know this is spring break, so I would just like to encourage everyone to bring their kids out to see some of the horses,” Storms said. “It’s amazing, some of the things these equine athletes can do, and we want everyone to come out and see it for themselves.”
The History and Champions Reining Show begins this morning and will run through Sunday. Every day begins at 8 a.m. and will last well into the evening. The event is free and open to the public.