By Bradley Callow
The idea was born during a New Year’s Eve party, where several passionate Arabian owners were celebrating. Noting Arizona’s typically wonderful winter climate, the group agreed that it would be a great time to explore all the local farms.
A decade later, the 10th annual ArabHorse Farm Tour returns to the Airpark area Dec. 29 through Jan. 1, giving the public a rare opportunity to experience majestic Arabian horses up close.
As part of the tour, guests get an inside peek behind the gates of some of the area’s most prestigious horse farms. Barn owners open the doors to showcase their horses with tours, performances and intimate gatherings that often include refreshments or wine tasting.
“The more they thought about it, the more they realized it should be an organized event the community could also enjoy,” says Phyllis LaMalfa, the event organizer.
Adds Scott Bailey, on the ArabHorse Farm Tour website: “Scottsdale is recognized as the world capital of the Arabian horse, and traditionally some farms in Scottsdale have hosted New Year’s parties or open bars.”
Bailey is regarded as the source of the ArabHorse Farm Tour. For years, he has been inspired to share the breed up close and personal.
“The tour has gained in popularity since its inception in 2007. There is no admission charge to attend any of the tour events but we encourage people to participate in our raffles and auctions that will be occurring each event to raise funds for Healing Hearts Animal Rescue and Refuge,” says Bailey.
The 10th anniversary tour includes 10 farms, each showcasing the horses in a unique way. Guests may choose as many as three farms each day. They may, in some cases, even feed the horses.
As it has for the last five years, the ArabHorse Farm Tour wil support the local Healing Hearts Animal Rescue and Refuge with a benefit auction. Established in 2005, Healing Hearts is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals. Last year the auction raised more than $20,000 to help distressed, abandoned or abused horses.
“We all love animals and felt it was a great fit knowing they rescue a lot of Arabians,” LaMalfa says. “Jennifer Brumbraugh is the executive director and her team of passionate animal lovers do an amazing job rescuing many animals.”