By Libby Hanon
Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! To some it feels like only a blink and to others maybe just a bit longer than that, but this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association’s premier show, The Redbud Spectacular, held in the AQHA World Show arena in Oklahoma City!
Wayne Halvorson, OQHA past president, reflects on the show’s history and importance of the Redbud to both the OQHA and the Quarter Horse industry:
“The 25th anniversary is very special to many members of the OQHA, both those who have past and those still with us, who are so proud of what our association was able to accomplish. Thirty years ago, the OQHA was putting on small shows that served a mostly local aspect of our industry. Today, we host one of the biggest Quarter Horse shows in the world.
Just as the AQHA announced that the AQHYA World Show was moving to Oklahoma City, and the OKC Fairgrounds was making major renovations and upgrades, there was a small group from the OQHA board of directors who cast vision for what would become the Redbud Spectacular. These visionary horse men and women desired to create a large show that would give exhibitors the opportunity to have show experience in the World Show arena just prior to their respective World Shows. Their vision caught on throughout the OQHA as everyone agreed to make it reality: open, amateur, and youth members alike! However, many important details needed to fall into place.
The timing needed to be just right sandwiching the show between school letting out for summer vacation and the mid-summer AQHYA World show. As nothing short of a miracle, the fairground had our dates available! The first few years the Redbud was run entirely by volunteers. Soon it grew so large that we had to hire an entire show staff! During the show’s inception, our goal was for exhibitors from all disciplines to be able to compete from the All-arounders, the Hunters, Halter, to timed events, to Roping. Although, in recent years some disciplines have fallen off, we are extremely proud to say we have answered to nearly every aspect of the quarter horse show industry through the years! 25 years and we’ve only just begun!”
With a quarter century of history, the Redbud has seen an entire generation! OQHA Past President, Trainer, and show mom, Stacey Roberson recounts, “To say I have raised my family at the Redbud show is no exaggeration. My oldest daughter, Jojo, attended her first Redbud at six weeks old and my younger daughter, June, at only four weeks old. Both girls still make showing at Redbud a priority: Jojo in the Amateur and June in her last year as a Youth. This is a show that we look forward to year after year. Happy anniversary, Redbud!”
The OQHA board of directors made sure it would be an unforgettable year by planning special events like an hors d’oeuvre welcome reception and a 25th birthday party complete with pizza, pop, cake, and even an amazing smores bar! OQHA past president and show coordinator Jackie Krshka shares, “It’s been a great journey of 25 years. However, the praise really goes out to all the exhibitors, owners, and individuals who have supported OQHA and the Redbud Spectacular.
Another extraordinary aspect to the show this year was three Non-pro Green Classes: Showmanship, Horsemanship, and Equitation. Each class was held one time during the show with $300 added to the payout of the top 4 placings.
Making the cash awards possible was Lara Mueller Performance Horses, Dave and Tricia Auberle/35 M Ranch, Monica Parduhn, and the Elaine Mueller Memorial Fund. NUTRENA also sweetened the deal by donating a Cornhole Board set to the exhibitor with the highest combined score.
OQHA ’23-’25 President Russell Mueller explains, “Thank you to the many people who contributed to the efforts of providing added opportunities to our exhibitors. We are excited to be forerunners in adding these classes for the Redbud’s silver anniversary. They will give extra experience to those green horses and non-pro youth and armatures exhibitors as stand-alone classes, and we hope they will soon become AQHA approved.”
Congratulations to the winners (win photos by Libby Hanon)!
Non-pro Green Horsemanship with 29 shown:
1st Place and Cornhole Board winner: Charlotte Green and MechanicParkinOnly
2nd place: Sydney Kay Dunham and One Broken Halo
3rd Place: Addison Langley and Goin Nowhere Fast
4th Place: Mylie Parker and Don’t Doubt Im Hot
Non-pro Green Showmanship with 9 shown:
1st Place and Cornhole Board winner: Anne Oldfather and VS Top Gun
2nd place: Alana Marie Stanton and Queen of Invitations
3rd Place: Hope Elizabeth Prickett and VS Im Urs N Ur Mine
4th Place: Erika Bennet and Ultimate Ryde
Non-pro Green Hunt Seat Equitation with 11 shown:
1st Place and Cornhole Board winner: Tatum Keller and Instaglam
2nd place: Erika Bennet and Ultimate Ryde
3rd Place: Anna Rodriguez and Lets Invite Harley
4th Place: Shelley Dawn Grissom and Clear Tha Way
“We’ve been honored to put on this show for the past 25 years. The group of OQHA members who conceptualized this unique concept for our industry nearly decades ago created a legacy,” shares Mueller. “We are already looking to next year and how we can make the 26th and even the 50th Redbud Spectacular even better than it is today. Thank you for everyone that came to our 25th anniversary! It’s been a huge success!”
Congratulations Redbud! Cheers to 25 more years and beyond!