The National Horse Show was founded in 1883 in New York and has been held at Madison Square Garden throughout most of its 127 year history. Founded by affluent New York sportsmen, it was a highly anticipated Manhattan society event and in 1887 its directory was used as the basis for the first New York Social Register.
The National Horse Show (NHS) is the longest running indoor horse show in America and it has seen many changes over the years. In 1909, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, great-great-grandson of "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt and president of the NHS, invited British Cavalry officers, the first international competitors.
From 1915 to 1925 the NHS was a military competition. Riders included famous Generals 'Black Jack' Pershing, Billy Mitchell and George Patton. The show has outlived three Madison Square Garden facilities. In 1989 it moved to Meadowlands Arena. In 1996 the NHS returned to the current Madison Square Garden and the show included a retirement ceremony for Cigar, the famous thoroughbred now residing in the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park. In 2002 the NHS moved to Wellington, Florida.
This year holds more exciting changes for the National Horse Show. It is moving to a new home at the Alltech Arena in the Kentucky Horse Park, site of 2010 Alltech WEG; and Alltech is providing title sponsorship. "We're thrilled that Alltech has joined forces with the National Horse Show for its debut in Kentucky," said Mason Phelps, Jr, president of the National Horse Show. "This great American horse show has a long standing reputation for excellence, so partnering with Alltech, a company known worldwide for excellence in everything they do, makes this a perfect match."
The Alltech National Horse Show will be held at Alltech Arena, Lexington, Kentucky, November 2-6, 2011. The event features AA-rated hunter divisions, a big money Open Jumper division with a major Grand Prix and the ASPCA Alfred B Maclay Finals.