The All American Quarter Horse Congress, the world's largest single-breed horse show, returns to the Ohio Expo Center today.
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The American quarter horse breed excels at sprinting short distances. The name comes from its ability to run a quarter of a mile faster than any other horse breed.
Why it matters: The annual Congress usually brings about 650,000 people to the Columbus area over the course of the month-long event and generates more than $400 million for the local economy, according to organizers.
What's happening: This year's event might have one of the biggest turnouts yet after COVID-19 canceled the 2020 festivities, spokesperson Taylor Staus tells Axios.
More than 5,000 horses and their riders will compete in contests such as reining, roping and cutting (isolating livestock such as cattle).
Nearly $3 million will be given away in cash and prizes, including trucks, trailers, trophy saddles, sterling silver buckles and coveted Don Bell bronze trophies.
A trade show involving more than 200 vendors begins Friday.
If you go: The 54th annual Congress runs through Oct. 24 at the Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave., on the state fairgrounds.
Admission is free, with just a few special events, such as professional bull riding, requiring tickets.
Parking is $25 per day or $75 for the entire Congress, but Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are discounted to $15.
Masks are not required. The event is on state property, not in Columbus city limits.
Alissa's thought bubble: One of my first assignments as a Columbus reporter was attending a parade to celebrate the Congress' 50th anniversary. Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and other elected officials rode horses down High Street in denim jackets, cowboy boots and 10-gallon hats. It was quite the spectacle.
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