Covered riding arena is welcome addition at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City

The new outdoor covered arena has been welcomed by horse show competitors in Oklahoma City.
By Jenifer Reynolds, For The Oklahoman Published: June 14, 2014
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The weather is proving to be a bit unpredictable these days, which has made the new outdoor covered arena at State Fair Park a welcome addition for the thousands of riders who come here to compete at Oklahoma City’s world-class horse events such as the recent Redbud Spectacular.

“It’s a very exceptional arena,” said Casey Hinton, of Whitesboro, Texas, who was here for the Redbud, an American Quarter Horse Association event that is one of the biggest in the country.

According to officials at State Fair Park, the outdoor arena was paid by the city’s hotel/motel tax and now provides 60,000 square feet of covered riding space, with a curtain wall on the north end, a wind screen on the south, and — rotating under the new roof to keep the air moving during warm-weather shows — gigantic steel-bladed fans that keep horses and riders cooler in the park’s larger practice pens.

“It is the best facility in the world,” Hinton said. “The number of arenas that it has, access to the airport and hotels, make it a very special place, a comfortable place, and it’s top-notch.”

And, he said, the Redbud Spectacular is one of State Fair Park’s bigger draws.

“It has horses from all over the country participating at it. It’s a very important show that people are using to qualify for the AQHA World Show held at Oklahoma City, as well as the NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) Derby held towards the end of June.”

Youth riders can also qualify at the Redbud for the American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Show coming up in August.