By DAVID JONES
IMPORTANT VISITOR: Myron Krause, president of the Arabian Horse Show Association and in Tulsa for the Arabian Horse Show Convention being held at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center, is looking forward to bringing the annual show to Expo Square in October, 2008.
DAVID JONES for GTR Newspapers
When the Arabian Horse Association, housed in Denver, Co., decided that alternating the group’s annual show between Albuquerque, N.M. and Louisville, Ky. wasn’t working, how did it wind up in Tulsa?
“We went looking for a site in the middle of the country,” says AHA President Myron Krause, “and we found a lot of cities that said they were willing to work with us. But when we got down to specifics and asked that certain goals be met, Tulsa was the only city willing to put it into writing.”
The Arabian horse show is due to be in Expo Square in October 2008 but, Krause says, when he began negotiating in 2002 the site wasn’t remotely ready for a show of its magnitude.
“But bond issues were passed and construction was done and the agreement was signed in 2004. I’ve worked with facilities all over the United States and the ones now in Tulsa are some of the best I’ve ever found.”
Krause was profuse in his appreciation of how Tulsa has stepped to the plate. “The people at Expo Square are some of the best to work with and the new facilities are some of the nicest I’ve ever found, and the Convention Visitors Bureau moved quickly and effectively to take care of our needs. Whenever we had a problem we found Mayor Kathy Taylor and County Commissioner Randi Miller quick to respond.”
Krause says that when the show was alternating between the two cities, Louisville seemed to draw the larger crowds. “We are currently budgeting the show with official expectations somewhere between the Louisville and Albuquerque totals, but I believe we can build Tulsa to be the largest show we’ve ever had.”
Krause said that at least 2,000 horses will be brought to the show and that on average nine people accompany each horse.
Krause gave the interview in the Renaissance Hotel, which became, rather hurriedly, the site of the annual AHA Convention. “We decided in January to switch the site from Denver because most of our delegates are unfamiliar with Tulsa and the Expo Square site and I wanted them to get acquainted with the area.” Krause said there were approximately 500 delegates at the convention and when you added spouses, children and associates the visitor total swelled to around 2,000.
“The show itself takes 10 days, but when you add the extra time people take in transporting their horses to the site and the vendors building their displays it can take a bit longer.
“I can promise you that the last day, when the show winners are announced, the Expo Square Pavilion will be filled.”
He said many horse owners bring their own housing to the site so they can keep watch over their horses.
“I think Tulsa will be amazed. Between the working horse display, the costumes and the other entertainment, most Tulsans will never have seen anything like it.”