It’s hard to believe we’re 46 already! The Iowa Show Circuit, originally known as the Iowa 7 Day Run, had its beginnings in 1966 when a group of people met after returning from the Minnesota Run and discussed whether a run of that sort would work in Iowa. At that time no one anticipated that the Iowa Show Circuit would become one of the longest running and largest quarter horse runs in the Midwest, perhaps even throughout the country. It was launched in 1967 by Ramun Roberts with the help of area six saddle clubs each owning one day of the circuit.
One of the biggest changes is that in the earliest years of the circuit, an AQHA rule stated that no more than two shows could be held in the same location two days in a row and that the next two days must be at least 25 miles away. People stabled their horses at the Iowa State Fairgrounds and each morning the exhibitors would load up their horses and go to areas off of the fairgrounds for the day to another location to show.
When the energy crisis hit in the 1970’s, AQHA changed their rule and allowed shows to be held 3 days in a row at the same location and then off of the grounds for the Thursday show and back to the Iowa State Fairgrounds for three more days.
The classes were very large in the 70’s and early 80’s with Junior Pleasure averaging 60 horses, Youth Showmanship 40 and Youth Western Pleasure classes usually had 50-60 head. Those who showed in those days also remember Yearling Mare classes that had 30 head and circled the inside of the indoor pavilion twice.
These days were also before AQHA added divisions such as Novice Amateur, Amateur, Novice Youth and Select. In the early days, the classes were either Open or Youth division. Over the years, the numbers of the Iowa Show Circuit have stayed strong and we usually sell 600 stalls.
For a few years AQHA allowed the circuit to host seven days of shows in row. Then another AQHA rule change forced the Thursday show day to become a break day, so the circuit became three consecutive shows, break day, three more consecutive shows and continues today in this manner.
Over the years, the break day Thursday has been used for a variety of fund raising for the Iowa Amateurs and Iowa Youth for dog races, pie sales, and survivor games.
For the past few years we have shared the Iowa State Fairgrounds with the World Pork Expo which has proved interesting. There are visitors from around the world at the World Pork Expo and exhibitors eat free pork for a few days and enjoy their entertainment!
For many years, the show circuit committee has sponsored a supper for all exhibitors on Sunday night; and provided courtesy coffee and donuts each morning co-sponsored with Nutrena. The show circuit has given grand champion awards each year and a circuit award for each class.
Two years ago we started the One Fee show and implemented the Split/Combine format. It’s been very successful because the One Fee lets exhibitors show as much as they want for no extra charge and running Monday through Saturday means one less hotel night for most of our exhibitors. Please check our sponsor page too as we appreciate their support over the years.
See you at the 2013 shows!