Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jola Szubielski 518-457-0752
Dave Bullard 315-487-7711 x 1377

June 11, 2015

6,000 Horses, $12 Million in Annual Economic Impact from Equestrian Events at the New York State Fairgrounds

This Year’s Packed Schedule Features 30 Equestrian Shows

The Great New York State Fairgrounds will be bustling again this summer with some of the finest equestrian competitions and shows as it lives up to its reputation as a top Northeast destination for horses and riders, generating millions of dollars in regional economic impact, Acting State Fair Director Troy Waffner announced today. The summer equestrian season continues tomorrow, June 12 through 14, with the National Barrel Horse Association Syracuse Spectacular 4D Supershow at the Toyota Coliseum.  Admission is free.

“The New York State Fairgrounds is an exceptional venue for agricultural events and especially equestrian shows, thanks to the Toyota Coliseum, the only indoor arena east of Ohio.  If you’re looking to watch the best horses and riders in all of the different disciplines, there’s only one place to go and that’s the New York State Fairgrounds.  And those shows create a very large and positive benefit for the local economy,” said Waffner.

These horse shows pack a big economic kick.  This summer alone, more than 6,000 horses will compete in the various shows held at the Fairgrounds, accompanied by approximately 18,000 owners, riders, trainers, and family members.  Together, using industry-standard measurements, they create an estimated economic impact on Central New York of over $12 million.

During this year’s horse show season that runs through October, the New York State Fairgrounds will host 30 horse shows and competitions covering 116 rental days of occupancy and involving every breed of horse and every style of riding.  The season began with nine shows in April and May, and one in early June.  Among the highlights of this year’s season:

  • The Syracuse International Horse Show – June 24-27
  • The Huck Finn Classic Horse Show – July 7-11
  • The Coliseum Classic Horse Show – August 6-9
  • The New York Morgan Horse Show – September 16-19
  • The Empire State Quarter Horse Association Show – September 23-27
  • The Autumn in New York Horse Show – October 1-4

Shows at the Toyota Coliseum generally do not charge admission.

The largest single show takes place during the Great New York State Fair, when more than 1,000 horses from nearly 600 exhibitors compete over 12 days.  Unique to the Fair is the draft horse competition, in which teams of horses are harnessed together to pull wagons in precise patterns.  The beauty of the often hand-crafted wagons and elaborate traditional dress of the drivers and riders make this one of the most colorful and interesting events of the Fair.

Naomi Blumenthal, who is the superintendent for the State Fair show and who also promotes nine private shows during the season, said, “the Fairgrounds lends itself to shows of every discipline and breed activity that any show would want to include.  There are three nice venues – the Coliseum, the 4-H Rings, and the outdoor ring in the Racing Barn – and the Fair’s staff make it very comfortable to produce an event there.”

The Fair recently completed renovation of one of its large horse stables, the DVM Barn, winning raves from horse owners for the replacement of old and worn stables along with improvements in access and air flow.

As part of the proposal to turn the New York State Fairgrounds into a year-round, multi-use facility and world-class entertainment and tourism destination, tentative plans call for construction of an all-purpose indoor facility, in which the largest regional, national, and international equestrian shows, among other events, could potentially take place year-round.

For more information on equestrian events at the Fairgrounds visit  Events in the Coliseum are sponsored by Toyota.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 27 to September 7, 2015.  The Fair’s mission, reflected in its theme, “Summer’s Best in Show,” is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment. 

In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds host dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website.  Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

2015 Press Releases