PICKERING, Mo. — The 84th annual Pickering Horse Show, once referred to as “The Biggest Little Horse Show in the World,” is not only offering three days packed full of equestrian entertainment, but also three chances to win cash.
Each night of the show — Sept. 16, 17 and 18 — all who purchase admission at the Pickering Horse Show Arena will be entered into a drawing for $150, said Bob Whipple with the Pickering Lions Club, sponsors of the event.
“When you buy a ticket you’re automatically entered into the drawing,” he said, explaining that they hope to bring in more audience members.
Each year the small community pushes its doors wide open to the public, offering numerous opportunities for an equestrian encounter and entertainment.
The three-day weekend event is jam packed with events and shows including a bit of Wild West flavor provided Thursday by the K Bar J Big Creek Stageline, which consists of a fully-rigged, working coach of the type in western movies and television shows. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. and music will be provided by Northwest Opry.
Professor Farquar & Polecat Annie’s Medicine/Magic Show will kick off the evening on Friday starting at 6 p.m. The $2,000 Overload Draft Horse Pull will follow.
On Saturday, a poker run will begin at 10:30 a.m. Cost to enter is $20 and registration begins at 9:30 a.m. This run features a 50 percent payback with $500 added money and a five-place payback. As in years past, anyone may enter whether riding a horse, driving a horse, walking or running the course. Proceeds of the run will be used toward scholarships given by the Lions Club.
Starting at 4 p.m., 30 different races and competitions will be held for adults and youths to show off their horsemanship and equestrian skills.
As with each year, the Pickering Lions Club cafe will feature burgers, hot dogs and various homemade desserts. Last year, the homemade pies included among others, blueberry, peach and even a “Blue Goose” pie, a combination of blueberries and gooseberries.
According to the event poster, masks and six-foot social distancing is recommended for the event in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. While last year’s event did see fewer people attend, it still provided an opportunity for families to gather outside, reconnect and enjoy each other’s company.
Since its inception in 1934, with the exception of 1942-1945 during World War II, the event has drawn families from throughout the Midwest and country for the horse-based camaraderie and competition.
Last year several family members, many from states around the Midwest and country, told The Forum they use the show as a sort of reunion. Brother and sister Alan Roush of Maryville and Teresa Parker of Shambaugh, Iowa, met up with siblings Jola Fisher, of Savannah, and Pam Tempel of Columbia, to enjoy the festivities with their mother Marjorie Roush.
Others, like the Gray family of Villisca, Iowa, have attended the show for many years and seen five generations participate in the draft horse pull each year. At last year’s show Cody Gray placed fourth in the pull with his horses Pete and Baldy. As the fifth generation puller for the family he told The Forum that he has worked with horses since he was 9 years old and that his family always makes a point to attend the show in Pickering.
The event will be held rain or shine. Admission for Thursday and Friday events is $6. On Saturday the cost of admission is $3. For more information about Saturday competition events, call Bob Whipple at 660-927-3478.
Pony Pull scheduled for Sept. 11
The Pickering Lions Club is also sponsoring a Midwest Percentage Pony Pullers Pony Pull this Saturday, Sept. 11.
Starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Pickering Horse Show Arena, the Pony Pull offers a fun competition for audiences. Concessions will be available.