State Fair of Texas Announces Free Lineup of Pre-Fair Horse Shows

DALLAS, TEXAS – August 4, 2017 – Just in time to kick-off the State Fair of Texas are the 2017 pre-Fair horse shows! This month-long lineup offers a series of horse shows featuring teams and riders from all over the nation. Located in the Fair Park Coliseum and the Livestock Judging Pavilion, events begin August 4 and will take place every weekend through September 16. All shows are free to the public and offer fun entertainment for the entire family!


Barrel Racing: August 4-6
Location: Fair Park Coliseum
Starting time: Fri. 12 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m., Sun. 9 a.m.

A popular event among people of all ages and varying levels of expertise, spectators cheer on teams as they rigorously maneuver an obstacle course of barrels. A rider must successfully complete the course without disrupting the clover-shaped course or overturning a barrel at top speed. A nail-biter until the very end, the winner is determined by the best performance and overall fastest time.

Team Roping: August 11-13
Location: Fair Park Coliseum
Starting time: Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m., Sun. 8 a.m.

A rodeo favorite, team roping originated on ranches back when cowboys needed to treat or brand large steers and performing the task proved too difficult for one man. Today, team roping requires close cooperation and timing between two highly-skilled ropers and their horses. Starting on opposite ends of the arena, team ropers must correctly rope the front end and hind legs of a steer. Winners are determined by teams with the best time.

Ranch Sorting: August 18-20
Location: Fair Park Coliseum
Starting time: Fri. 9 a.m., Sat. 9 a.m., Sun. 9 a.m.

Using strategy, teamwork, and stock knowledge, ranch sorting celebrates traditional skills by requiring modern riders to divide and separate 11 cows. A team of two riders must know and anticipate how a cow will instinctively move in order to successfully move them from one pen to another in numerical order, all while maintaining the fastest time.

NCHA Cutting: August 25-27
Location: Fair Park Coliseum
Starting time: Fri. 8 a.m., Sat. 8 a.m., Sun. 9 a.m.

Much like ranch sorting, the sport of cutting evolved from tasks performed by horses on cattle ranches. During a competition, a horse and rider team must demonstrate the horse’s ability to handle cattle during a two and a half minute performance in front of a panel of judges. Contestants are required to make at least two cuts, pulling one select cow from the group twice.

Arabian Show: September 1-3
Location: Fair Park Coliseum and Livestock and Judging Pavilion
Starting time: Fri. 8 a.m., Sat. 8 a.m., Sun. 8 a.m.

Arabians are the oldest pure breed of any horse in the world and are known for their balance and agility. The Arabian show consists of a series of different classes wherein a group of horses with similar training or characteristics compete against each other.

Rhonda-Voo Appaloosa Show: September 8-10
Location: Fair Park Coliseum
Starting time: Fri. 8 a.m., Sat. 8 a.m., Sun. 8 a.m.

Known for its unique and spotted pattern, the Appaloosa is an American horse used in a variety of equestrian events including western pleasure, games, and as working cow horses. This show consists of a series of different events including jumping, cattle, and ranch classes where groups of horses with similar training or characteristics compete against each other.

1st Annual Arena Polo Match: September 15
Location: Fair Park Coliseum
Starting time: Tues. 5 p.m.

A fast-paced version of the polo sport, arena polo consists of four “chukkas,” or periods of seven and a half minutes, where opponent teams must score against each other before time runs out. The team with the most points wins the match.

Donkey and Mule Show: September 16-17
Location: Livestock Judging Pavilion in Fair Park
Starting time: Sat. 8 a.m., Sun. 8 a.m.

The horses’ larger-eared “cousins,” the donkey and mule, must compete in a multitude of events including hunt seat equitation, obstacle driving, pleasure driving, timed driving, course driving, western pleasure, mulemanship, donkeyship, reining, trail, barrel racing, stake race, scramble, and physical appearance.

4×4 Chute Out: September 16
Location: Fair Park Coliseum
Starting time: Sat. 8 a.m.

Youth 4-H participants from across Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma compete in this invitational. Participants compete in four events that include barrel racing, pole bending, break-away roping, and team roping. Prizes are awarded to top competitors and all-around winners.

For more information regarding the 2017 pre-Fair shows, visit All times and locations are subject to change. Ending times will depend on number of exhibitors entered in each show.

Mark your calendars for the line-up pre-Fair horse shows beginning Thursday, August 4! Then, visit us again Friday, September 29 through Sunday, October 22 for the 2017 State Fair of Texas, themed “Celebrating Texans.” Every day we will be celebrating Texans through activities, entertainment, and Texas-sized fun!

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About the State Fair of Texas

Since its inception in 1886, the State Fair of Texas has celebrated all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. The State Fair of Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with all proceeds helping to preserve and improve Fair Park; underwrite museum, community, and scholarship programs for inner-city youth and students pursuing agricultural careers; and help improve State Fair operations. The 2017 exposition runs September 29 through October 22 in Fair Park. Visit for more information.

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