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Eight, Arizona PBS spotlights Scottsdale's Arabian Horse Show

February 14, 2012

Horse lovers of every breed tip their hats to the magnificent animals and equine spectacle that is the world-renowned Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. That 57-year-old tradition that attracts more than 2,500 Arabian horses and their owners annually to Arizona horse country is profiled in an hour-long program to air March 3 on Eight, Arizona PBS.

This year, the Scottsdale event takes place Feb. 16-26 at the city’s WestWorld venue.

“Scottsdale loves its horses, and perhaps no other event exemplifies that more than its signature Arabian horse show in February,” said Kelly McCullough, Eight’s general manager. “As a trusted community resource, Eight is thrilled to be able to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at this highly regarded competition.”

Eight will air "Horses of the West: America’s Love Story" at 2 p.m., March 3. For a preview, visit or follow Eight on Facebook at

Not only is the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show an economic driver for the community, but it also promotes the bond between the breed and Arabian enthusiasts illustrated in the documentary.

"Education and outreach about the Arabian horse is an essential component of our 11-day equestrian extravaganza," said Taryl O'Shea, executive director of the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona. "We want to share our passion for the personality, beauty and stamina of this incredible animal with any and all would-be Arab aficionados."

In addition to Scottsdale’s Arabian horse competition, "Horses of the West: America’s Love Story" explores the horse-human bond in a variety of regional settings. Inmates at Utah’s state prison tame wild horses for adoption and find themselves inspired. Castoff horses find second careers through a horse sanctuary. Rescued wild horses help heal disabled youngsters in a therapeutic riding program using hippotherapy. And the world of barrel racing reveals the special bond that exists between girls and their horses.

Other segments visit racing thoroughbreds – and the jockeys who ride them – and working cutting horses on a cattle ranch.

Narrated by actress Ali MacGraw, the documentary was created by John Howe, Utah’s KUED senior producer, and received the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle award last month. Filmmakers Ken Burns and Steven Spielberg are among the award’s past recipients.