Virtual Horse and Livestock Shows Take the Spotlight Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

*** Find Links for Virtual Shows Below! ***

Cancellation of Houston Rodeo Just the Beginning

In February 2020, the Houston Rodeo was in full swing with an average of 70,000+ attendees walking through their doors each day. Then, abruptly, the entire show was cancelled due to the threat of the novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Soon after, the entire country followed suit in closing doors, cancelling events such as concerts and shows, and requiring most to shelter in place to slow the spread of the virus.

Individuals Are Now Eligible to Compete in Virtual Shows

As of now, the orders to stay home have been extended to April 30th, 2020. This update further disrupts show seasons – of all species. Our family’s time and effort have been pushed aside, until now. Many are stepping up to offer virtual shows that will allow interested individuals to submit videos of themselves and their animals completing classes online and then receive judging by a qualified judge.
Specifically, horse show and stock show competitors, judges, and enthusiasts have banded together to find a solution to the country-wide problem. Recently, a private Facebook group was set up by an American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) professional horseman named Charlie Cole. The group now hosts over 10,000 members who are welcome to submit videos in order to be judged as they would in an in-person class.

AQHA Article Explains the Concept

“The all-breeds concept works like this:
1. Charlie posts a pattern for a specific class.
2. Exhibitors send him $20 to enter and $50 if they want private critiques.
3. They film themselves and their horses performing the patterns, then post the video to the group within the time limit.
4. Charlie judges the patterns and places them, with top exhibitors receiving cash prizes.
At least that’s how he thought it would work. But many of the top amateurs declined their prizes, and Charlie redistributed those to Level 1/novice and 13-&-Under classes.
“I’ve been up until midnight and 1 a.m., judging videos,” Charlie says.

Group members are from around the world, including Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and Canada, Charlie points out, adding that watching videos of accomplished exhibitors showing a horse on a pattern can inspire and educate those who haven’t been showing as long. There’s no cost to join the Facebook group, though members must request permission to join.”

Stock show enthusiasts are also encouraged to reach out to the folks at to find a solution to their own show dilemma. Those involved with this new group are offering services to the public to help keep their show going virtually.

Showing Community Bands Together During a Difficult Time

We are incredibly impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity we’ve seen blossom during these difficult times. While a virtual show may lack the sense of community a normal show may offer, we are extremely thankful to those who are trying to maintain some semblance of “normal” during this pandemic – and following the safety guidelines put out by the Trump administration. What is more communal than industries coming together to support one another?

We’ve Gathered a Small List of Virtual Shows Available to You Online!

Additional Information and Sign Up HERE

Additional Information and Sign Up HERE

Additional Information and Sign Up HERE – Deadline April 30th

Additional Information HERE – Deadline May 3rd

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