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.

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 other, 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. Board Members Angel Venegoni and Christy Barnes began restoring these medallions in 2019 to ensure the beauty and life of this hallmark of the St. Louis National Charity Horse 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
2016 donation photo

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 welcomes you to the St. Louis region. Find out more about:

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.

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.

Links for Saddlebred Show:

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


  • 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.

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