More than 150-year-old tradition trots toward uncertain future

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — For the Dayton Horse Show time is a slow trot.

“It’s kind of an old time horse show on a county fairgrounds,” says Show Manager Evette Moody. “That’s what makes it unique.”

But now the show may have to deal with change at a full gallop.

“If the fairgrounds does move certainly we will consider moving to the new fairgrounds if they have facilities that will accommodate us,” Moody says.

For as long as there’s been a fairgrounds in Montgomery County there’s been a horse show there.

That’s more than 150 years of horses and history, but now the Montgomery County Fair Board has an option to sell the current fairgrounds in downtown Dayton and move to Brookville.

We wanted to know if the horse show would survive the move.

“The Horse Show will live on,” Moody says.

But whether it would go to the new fairgrounds or another location is unknown. Organizers say their intent is to keep it in Montgomery County.

But for a show that embraces its tradition, will a new venue cause it to lose its appeal?

“If the fairgrounds goes we’ll lose tradition,” Moody says. “What we’re looking to do is have an all new direction. We’re introducing a new theme called Dayton Horse Show looking to the future.”

But for now the horse show continues to entertain in its traditional spot and to raise money. It’s generated more than $2 million for Shriners hospitals and now more than $30,000 for its current charity, The Theraputic Riding Institute.

“It makes it a family event,” Moody says. “It makes it a community event.”

The fair board is expected to decide in September on whether to move, but those with the Dayton Horse Show say they’re confident they’ll at least have next year’s show still at the fairgrounds.

The show continues Friday and Saturday.

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