MARCH 2-10, 2019


2019 Sun Circuit Features American Quarter Horses In Varied Events

Any horse enthusiast will enjoy the variety of events held at the 2019 Sun Circuit March 2-10 at WestWorld in Scottsdale. From the refinement of the English style Hunter Under Saddle Horses to the raw athleticism of the working cow horses, Sun Circuit attracts the best American Quarter Horses from across North America for a week-long equine extravaganza. It is well known as one of the top 10 AQHA horse shows in the country. Exhibitors compete for awards such as saddles and trophies as well as prize money and points which they accumulate for national recognition. Admission and parking are free for spectators. As many as seven arenas will hold classes every day, offering visitors plenty of options.

The National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA) is holding its prestigious Rider’s Cup event at Sun Circuit on March 5 and 6. Non-Pro NSBA members show in Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle, Trail, Western Riding, Showmanship, Western Horsemanship, and Hunt Seat Equitation events. Beautiful silver trophy cups are awarded to the champions and over $50,000 in prize money is on the line.

Cattle classes entice with lucrative awards as well. For edge-of-your-seat action, the $20,000 Added Smart Boons Fence Challenge is always a crowd-pleasing spectacle of equine athleticism featuring the top reined cow horses in the nation. This event has its roots in cowboy tradition where quick-footed, intelligent horses with nerves of steel were highly valued to assist with daily chores. The horses first demonstrate their herd work abilities similar to a cutting class by “boxing” a single cow at one end of the arena. The rider and horse then turn the cow down the length of the arena along the rail at break-neck speed making at least one turn each way. Finally, the cow is circled in both directions in the center of the arena.

The Fence Challenge will be held on Friday, March 8th. Besides the Challenge, Cow Horse exhibitors from youth to pros will be showing in classes throughout the week.
The popular Sun Circuit Rope Horse Futurity will be back again for 4, 5 and 6-year-old horses on March 2nd. This American Rope Horse Futurity Association (ARHFA) event draws a large number of exceptional ropers and their young, talented mounts. The Cinch Non-Pro Roping Futurity, with $5,000 added money, will be held on the 5th.
A new National Championship debuts at the 2019 Sun Circuit. This tournament style competition is for Amateur, Select and Youth AQHA, NSBA and APHA exhibitors in Showmanship, Equitation and Horsemanship. Exhibitors are ranked nationally to be eligible for the tournament. Through 3 rounds, exhibitors will be whittled down to the ‘Sensational Sixteen’, the “Exceptional Eight” and the “Final 4”. Those 4 will proceed to a head-to-head match in the Championship Round. The Tournament promises to be a fun and exciting addition to the Sun Circuit schedule.

There is also a full slate of western, English, jumping, trail and halter classes. Reining horses and riders complete a prescribed pattern full of hard-driving runs, sliding stops and dizzying spins. “Ranch” classes have become very popular with riders showing off their horses’ skills, versatility and smooth gait, all necessary for long days in the saddle for working ranch horses. Cutting classes are also on the schedule where horses separate a cow from the herd and prevent it from returning with quick stops and bold determination.

Beyond the arenas there is plenty to see as well. A large and diverse collection of vendors are on hand with apparel, hats, boots, jewelry, home decor and horse products. Several food vendors are also on site in case you get hungry and Sun Circuit is always free parking and free admission.
Scottsdale is certainly the epicenter of horse and western action in March. The Parada del Sol Rodeo will take place in the evenings March 7-10 at WestWorld. Rodeo fans are encouraged to come early to check out the Sun Circuit and stroll through the vendor areas.
The complete schedule and list of judges is available on line at