Arabian Horse Association renews contract, Tulsa will host prestigious equine event for additional five years

Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of VisitTulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission, announced at a press conference today that the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) recently signed a new five-year agreement with VisitTulsa and Expo Square. The contract extends the prestigious US National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show’s presence in Tulsa through 2017. Hoyt was joined by Mark Andrus, president and CEO of Expo Square, and officials from Tulsa County, the City of Tulsa, the Tulsa Metro Chamber and the AHA to announce the new contract.

“At the end of the day we out-performed our competitors,” Hoyt said. “Mark Andrus and I have worked diligently to ensure the AHA is well-served here in Tulsa. Premier facilities at Expo Square and high-quality services from VisitTulsa provided their organization and their competitors with a good home for the first five years. The extension of the contract reflects that positive partnership.”

The US National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show garners an estimated 175,000 attendees annually with roughly $35.3 million in economic impact. This prestigious competition showcases the finest of the breed, highlighting the equestrian culture in multiple classes over an exciting nine days each October. The new agreement solidifies the partnership for an additional five years, extending the original contract for a total of 10 years and garnering $350 million in total economic impact.

“The Arabian Horse Association looks forward to continuing the wonderful relationship AHA has enjoyed with Tulsa since first coming here in 2008,” Lance Walters, president of the Arabian Horse Association said. “Contributing to our decision to stay in Tulsa is Expo Square’s continued commitment to improvements and service to our exhibitors and the wonderful relationship we have with VisitTulsa.”

“One of the things that I appreciate the most about Tulsa is the willingness of the Expo Square facility and the VisitTulsa staff to work with us to make our show such a success,” Bill Hughes, chairman of the US National Arabian and Half-Arabian championship horse show said.

The AHA includes a 33,000-member equine association that registers and maintains a database of more than one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses. It administers approximately $4 million in annual prize money, produces national events, maintains official event records, recognizes more than 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities and programs that promote breeding and ownership.

“Tulsa is just a good fit,” Glenn Petty, executive vice president of the Arabian Horse show said. “Central to the country for our exhibitors; a facility, Expo Square, that is continually modernizing its facilities; and a welcoming community led by VisitTulsa – that the Arabian Horse Association loves partnering with.”

VisitTulsa is a dynamic organization committed to building the local economy through group and tourism attraction. In turn, the local quality of life is enhanced and the region enjoys a booming and bustling metro region.

“The tourism industry employs some 28,000 Tulsans and garners roughly $1.5 billion in annual economic impact,” Becky J. Frank, chair of the Tulsa Metro Chamber and chairman and CEO of Schnake Turnbo Frank | PR “These numbers continue to grow as the VisitTulsa team identifies new events and works diligently to retain existing high-quality events like the AHA US Nationals, creating an enhanced quality of life for the Tulsa metro region and bolster our local economy.”

“Over the past five years our organizations have built a solid foundation, providing AHA with premier event facilities in a city that is second to none, resulting in a significant economic impact for Tulsa County,” Mark Andrus, CEO of Expo Square said. “Our entire staff looks forward to cultivating an environment where AHA can grow and succeed, strengthening our continued partnership.”

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