About Us

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.

 

Vintage photo of Horse Show visitors gathering at Queeny Park
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.

Our 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 St. Louis logo
Stray Rescue of Saint Louis
Stray Rescue of Saint Louis

Stray Rescue was founded in 1998 and has grown into the largest no-kill companion animal organization in the greater St. Louis area. Stray Rescue provides dedicated animal rescue efforts, sheltering, community outreach programs, education, and the facilitation of responsible pet guardianship in the community. The organization works to give all rescued animals a chance at health, comfort, love and happiness. The St. Louis National Charity Horse Show began supporting Stray Rescue in 2010.

TREE House of Greater St. Louis logo
TREE House of Greater St. Louis
TREE House of Greater St. Louis

TREE House stands for Therapy, Recreation, Education and Exploration. For over 40 years, TREE House has focused on improving the lives of individuals age two and up who have physical, mental, emotional, social and/or learning disabilities. TREE House provides therapeutic equine-assisted sessions with licensed physical, occupational and speech therapists. Additionally, the organization offers recreational riding sessions, educational workshops, and an environment to support outdoor exploration at their thoughtfully developed facility. The St. Louis National Charity Horse Show has supported TREE House therapeutic horsemanship for over 30 years.

Governance

The St. Louis National Charity Horse Show is governed by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the national governing body for Olympic 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 – 2016

Keith Goding, President
Jean Ehlmann, Executive Vice President
Jack Swanson, Senior Vice President
Kristin Gumper, Vice President
Sylvia Roper, Recording Secretary
Mary Keirle, Corresponding Secretary
Kit McClorey, Vice President
Angel Venegoni, Vice President
Melissa Warner, Vice President
Judy Werner, Vice President
Deb Erickson, Immediate Past President, Elected Treasurer

Jenney Aselage
Christy Barnes
Dan Busse
Candace Flynn
Joni Friesen
Marcia Gay
Tracey Gentry Ryan
Jenny Hannis
Elizabeth Hazzard
Paula Hildebrand

Ann Horton
Lynn Kloster
Cathy Loeffleman
Jean Mutrux
Lisa Mills
Traci Stix
Amanda Thomas
Jody Ross Woodley
Ling Fu Wylie

Horse Show prize ribbon with painting of rider on it
The Medallions

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:

  • St. Louis

    Visit explorestlouis.com.

    From the Gateway Arch to Forest Park’s 1,300 acres of lakes, walking paths and attractions, including the ZooArt MuseumMunyScience Center and the History Museum, St. Louis is a great place to visit.

     

  • Lake St. Louis

  • Saint Charles

    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.

  • Wentzville

    Just west of Lake Saint Louis, this growing suburb features hotels, casual restaurants, retail stores and farm and home stores. Visit www.wentzvillemo.org.

  • Map

    The National Equestrian Center
    6880 Lake St. Louis Blvd.
    Lake St. Louis, MO 63367

    Directions to The National Equestrian Center

  • Accommodations

    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
  • Restaurants

    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
    • Panera
    • Stefanina’s
    • Sushi Sen
    • Sugarfire Smoke House
    • The Brass Rail
    • Village Café

    Wentzville:

    • Bandana’s BBQ
    • Bob Evans Restaurant
    • Culver’s
    • 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.

  • Shopping

    St. Louis also offers a variety of luxury shopping experiences, indoor malls and premium outdoor shopping outlets. Options include The Meadows at Lake St. Louis, Plaza Frontenac, West County Center, Chesterfield’s Traubman Prestige Outlets and St. Louis Premium Outlets.

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?

    Yes, please see details on your competition page: saddlebred or hunter/jumper.

  • Is videography offered?

    Yes, please see details on your competition page: saddlebred or hunter/jumper.

  • Is there wifi?

    Yes. Please see the front-desk when you check in for the password.

  • Where can I find the prize lists?

    Please see details on your competition page: saddlebred or hunter/jumper.