Journal on the Road

2012 Pre-Denver and National Western

January 10, 2012

There’s an app for that.

Excel AQHA horse show management smartphone app

Excel Associates Event Management introduced a horse show management smartphone app at the 2012 AQHA Pre-Denver Circuit. Journal photo

Excel Associates Event Management debuted a mobile application for horse show updates during the 2012 Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association Pre-Denver Circuit (January 1-4) and the National Western AQHA Show (January 5-7) in Denver.

“We think it is the first in the nation for that,” says Rene Elkins, of Excel. “There will probably be more of those coming (from other management companies).”

The app was almost like having the show office in your back pocket. Renee’s son, Jason, wrote the application for use on Android smartphones or mobile websites; Excel plans to make it available to exhibitors at all its upcoming AQHA shows.

“We have an event status update on it,” Renee explains. “Since we had multiple arenas going, we could put something up to give people an idea of where we were with things. We put the event exercise schedule there and class entries. We put schedule changes in the status update.”

“It has an order-of-go checker, so for some of the bigger classes, such as reining and trail, people with smartphones can download who is in that class and keep track.

“People really liked that. When the show ran long, they could go home. We’d draw the green trail that night for the next morning, and they’d be able to look at the draw from the hotel and see where they were.”

The new app was just one of several new things noticed at the back-to-back shows.

“There was a real positive energy from the people (at the show),” says AQHA Professional Horseman Bill Bormes of Castle Rock, Colorado. “There were a lot of new faces, both exhibitor-wise and young trainers.

“It has been the best it has ever been, schedule-wise,” he says. “The schedule has been revamped to maximize the facility use and time available.”

For example, the Pre-Denver combined all showmanship and halter classes so that exhibitors showed once to all five of the circuit’s judges on one day.

Entries were up, according to Renee: the Pre-Denver had approximately 4,300 entries, and the National Western just topped 2,000 (both numbers unofficial with AQHA).

Bill and AQHA Professional Horsewoman Leslie Lange of Greeley, Colorado, are the co-chairmen for the 2013 Pre-Denver Circuit. They already are making plans for exhibitor parties and events.

“I am looking forward to next year!” Bill says.