A True Horse of a Different Color
Would you be surprised to know that Mississippi is one of the finest states in the nation for the equestrian community? It’s no surprise to us. Mississippi showcases not only phenomenal riding opportunities, but chances to interact with the equestrian community at horse shows and charity events.
The Dixie National Quarter Horse Show is held in Jackson each February as part of the Dixie National Rodeo, and is the second largest such show in the world. Attracting more than 2,000 participants and countless visitors, it’s one of the most famous horse shows for horse owners and enthusiasts of all walks of life.
Also in Jackson, the Deep South Peruvian Horse Show made its debut in 2004 and has quickly become one of the highlight events for Peruvian horse owners. Meanwhile, the National Cutting Horse Futurity attracts visitors and participants from across the country.
Each year the Mississippi Charity Horse Show in Jackson helps raise money for the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital at University of Mississippi Medical Center. It is the only hospital in the state that specializes in the care of injured and sick children, as well as being the only Level 1 trauma unit for children and infants. This horse show helps to increase the hospital’s capacity for aiding children in need.
Along with these shows, the National All-American Youth Barrel Racing competition rounds out the many attractions for horse lovers statewide and brings visitors from all over to see the fierce excitement as these youths vie for the title.
Aside from the many Mississippi horse shows and exhibitions, riding trails and facilities abound across the state. Within Bienville National Forest, part of Roosevelt State Park, the Shockaloe Riding Trail awaits any horse lover who prefers natural transportation as they experience the wilderness. The Natchez Trace Scenic Trail also offers incomparable riding experiences on any of the four different pathways across the state that make up the federally-protected Scenic Trail.
Mississippi has much more to offer the horse lover than may be seen at first glance, but with each passing year the events, horse shows and opportunities to experience nature on horseback grow and continue to excite both state residents and visitors alike.