In 1950, a group of Arabian horse breeders and exhibitors in the West came to the conclusion that there should be something above and beyond show champion horses, that champions from the various shows should be shown against each other to determine which horses were really top champions. These men included Donald Jones, R.B. Field, Larry Duff, Lee Graham, Howard Marks, and others. They selected a practical area for such competition stretching from Mexico to Canada; from the Rockies to the Pacific.
In 1952 at the San Francisco Cow Palace they put their idea into effect and held the first Arabian horse classes in America pitting champions against champions. They conducted halter classes for show champion mares and stallions and named them Pacific Slope Championships. This new level of competition was an instant success. I n 1957, performance classes in Western Pleasure, English Pleasure and Park were added. With the help of men and women such as Dr Wes Hoskins, Fred Olsen, Kisa Rhodes, Earl Blincoe, Bob Dougherty and Ruth Husband, the Pacific Slope idea expanded.
Over the years, the following classes were added: In 1964: Halter classes for geldings. In 1968: Formal Driving and Native Costume. In 1971: Half-Arabian Halter and Performance for mares and geldings, in Western Pleasure, English Pleasure and Park. 1978: Pleasure Driving and Side Saddle. 1979: Half-Arabian Native Costume, Half-Arabian Pleasure Driving and Half-Arabian Side Saddle. 1982: Stock Horse. 1986: AOTR classes in Western Pleasure, English Pleasure, Half-Arabian Western Pleasure and Half-Arabian English Pleasure. 1989: Purebred and Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure. In 1991: Purebred and Half-Arabian Country English Pleasure. The list continues to grow each year.
The 1st annual Pacific Slope Arabian Sport Horse Championship show took place on June 19th, 2005, at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. From all reports and comments, a great time was had by all. Judges Pam Nelson and Creeky Routson were very well received and the Golden Gate Arabian Horse Association, which was the host club, turned out a crowd of wonderful volunteers as well as exhibitors.
Championship classes offered were: Sport Horses in Hand, Purebred and Half Arabian, Open and ATH, Sport Horses Under Saddle for Purebreds and Half Arabians, Open and ATR, Purebred and Half Arabian Sport Horse Show Hack Open and ATR, and Dressage Training Level to Fourth with Open and ATR divisions.