Welcome to the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show
Since 1856, the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show has brought together thousands of the best equestrians and equines to compete in one of the nation’s greatest horse shows. This spectacular attraction runs from late August through September annually. The event benefits two of the region’s premier animal charities: TREEHouse of Greater St. Louis and Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Below, find all your need-to-know information about the show.
The First Horse Show West of the Mississippi
- 1856: The first St. Louis National Horse Show becomes a main attraction of the first St. Louis Fair, held at Fairgrounds Park.
- Circa 1861: St. Louis Fair is cancelled as Union troops use the fairgrounds as a campground.
- 1903: A fire destroys the horse barns and livestock pavilion where the show is held, marking the end of the St. Louis Fair.
- 1904: The Horse Show is held as part of the World’s Fair in Forest Park.
Since the late 1800s, many famous exhibitors and attendees have experienced the show:
- Albert, the Prince of Wales, 1860
- President Ulysses S. Grant, 1870, 1871 & 1874
- General William T. Sherman, 1874
- President Grover Cleveland, 1887
- President Benjamin Harrison, 1890
- Queen Marie of Romania, 1926
- August A. Busch Jr., multiple years
- William Shatner, multiple years
A New Era
- 1978: The show is revived at Queeny Park after a 25-year hiatus, named St. Louis National Charity Horse Show benefiting the Kilo Diabetes and Vascular Research Foundation.
1978: At the first Queeny Park show, all three open five-gaited world champions from the stallion, gelding, and mare classes showed together in an amazing St. Louis gaited championship. Mountain Highland Encore repeated his world grand championship to win the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show stake.
- 1980s: William Shatner collaborates with William Thompson of Saddle & Bridle magazine to create the first-ever western division for Saddlebred horses. The St. Louis National Charity Horse Show still hosts Saddle & Bridle’s Shatner Western Pleasure World Championships annually, and draws the top western Saddlebreds from across the country.
- 1985: The show expands exponentially; a separate week is created to make enough room for the two separate shows, saddlebreds and hunter/jumpers.
- 1995: St. Louis Charity Horse Show hosts its first Grand Prix class on Sunday of the Hunter/Jumper show.
- 1999: The event moves from Queeny Park to its current home at the National Equestrian Center in Lake St. Louis.
- 2016: Donations top $115,000 over several years, providing much needed resources to the show’s two charities.
The St. Louis National Charity Horse Show is proud to support two amazing non-profit organizations in our community: Stray Rescue of St. Louis and TREE House of Greater St. Louis therapeutic horsemanship. Over the last five years, we have proudly raised $115,000 for these charities.
Stray Rescue of Saint Louis
TREE House of Greater St. Louis
The St. Louis National Charity Horse Show is governed by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the national governing body for equine disciplines. USEF has strict horse welfare rules and strictly enforces those rules. SLNCHS supports the efforts and authority of the many federal and state agencies and breed associations. These bodies are responsible for regulating equine competition to ensure the safety and welfare of the horses and riders who participate.
Board of Directors – 2018
Jean Ehlmann, President
Jody Ross Woodley, Executive Vice President
Jack Swanson, Senior Vice President
Judy Werner, Senior Vice President
Mary Keirle, Vice President
Ann Horton, Recording Secretary
Melissa Warner, Corresponding Secretary
Deb Erickson, Treasurer
Keith Goding, Immediate Past President
Tracey Gentry Ryan
Ling Fu Wylie
The large tricolor medallions you see decorating the St. Louis Charity Horse Show arena are a tribute to the show’s history and the donors that support the organization. The first medallions were created in 1978, when the horse show celebrated its first year in Queeny Park. This show was a realized vision of founding members Ruth Pfeffer and Bee Brown.
Talented horse show members, including Jean Mutrux, Linda Roos and more, lovingly hand-painted the medallions through the 1980s. Medallion artist Ann Lamont’s considerable artistic talent gained her national recognition. As a result, the former American Saddlebred Horse Show Association rulebook showed her illustrations to demonstrate proper equitation form.
A History of Greatness
The horses seen on the medallions are show horses from the St. Louis area. Most notably, these images include the American Saddlebred pleasure mares Good Night Irene and Glory Town, the parade horse Thousands Cheered, and the hunter Zanzibar, who was mentioned in the newest book by the famous equestrian and trainer, George Morris.
The medallions are a favorite tradition of the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show, and help us thank our donors while highlighting past show champions. The St. Louis National Charity Horse Show is in the process of preserving the medallions digitally for future generations.
The St. Louis National Charity Horse Show welcomes you to the St. Louis region. Find out more about:
Lake St. Louis
As Missouri’s first capital, Saint Charles is rich with history. It is the home of Daniel Boone and famous explorers Lewis and Clark. Visit historic Main Street for boutiques, generous patios, and a walk along the river. For more information visit www.historicstcharles.com.
Just west of Lake Saint Louis, this growing suburb features hotels, casual restaurants, retail stores and farm and home stores. Visit www.wentzvillemo.org.
The National Equestrian Center
6880 Lake St. Louis Blvd.
Lake St. Louis, MO 63367
Directions to The National Equestrian Center
The following hotels offer lodging near the horse show:
- Sleep Inn & Suites – O’Fallon, MO (Offers special rates for exhibitors)
- Holiday Inn Express – O’Fallon, MO (Offers special rates for exhibitors)
- Staybridge Suites – O’Fallon, MO (Offers special rates for exhibitors)
- America’s Best Value Inn – Lake St. Louis, MO
- Comfort Inn & Suites – O’Fallon, MO
- Economy Inn – Wentzvville, MO
- Fairfield Inn and Suites – Wentzville, MO
- Hampton Inn – Wentzville, MO
- Hilton Garden Inn – St. Louis/O’Fallon, MO
- Knights Inn – Wentzville, MO
- Residence Inn by Marriot – O’Fallon, MO
- Super 8 Motel – O’Fallon, MO
- Wingate by Wyndham – Weldon Springs, MO
Hungry? Exhibitors and spectators can choose from a variety of restaurants near the show, including:
Lake St. Louis:
- El Maguey Mexican Restaurant
- BC’s Kitchen – contemporary dining
- Bristol Seafood Grill
- Donatelli’s Bistro – Italian
- Sushi Sen
- Sugarfire Smoke House
- The Brass Rail
- Village Café
- Bandana’s BBQ
- Bob Evans Restaurant
- El Agave
- Olive Garden
- Ruby Tuesday
- Stefanina’s Pizzeria
- Stone Summit Steak & Seafood
- Sunny Street Café
- Waffle House
- 54th Street Grill and Bar
A variety of fast-food restaurants are also located nearby.
For more options, be sure to explore St. Charles, O’Fallon, Weldon Springs and Chesterfield, Missouri.
Show Grounds FAQ:
What are the policies for shavings, horse food and water?
All barns are provided with water and electric. Please bring a hose to access water. All shavings must be purchased from the facility.
What areas are available to practice in, and warm up?
Yes, the site includes two indoor warm-up arenas and one outdoor arena. Both arenas are near the main competition sites.
What is the facility like?
The facility includes covered and outdoor competition and warm-up arenas, seven barns, concessions, indoor restrooms, RV and trailer parking and plenty of spectator seating. During the show, equestrian inspired vendors and tack shops are on-site.
Will photographers be taking shots on-site?
Is videography offered?
Is there wifi?
Yes. Please see the front-desk when you check in for the password.
Where can I find the prize lists?