LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Riders from across the globe faced off in what some call one of the most competitive horse events in the world.
The World's Championship Horse Show came to a conclusion at the Kentucky State Fair on Saturday.
The finals were at night, but riders were moving and the lights were shining brightly for contests in varying divisions throughout the day.
"Typically, when people think about horses in Kentucky, they think about the racetrack," Kentucky State Fair Spokesperson Cody Patterson said.
That was not the case Saturday at the Kentucky State Fair, as athletics and aesthetics collided.
"It's a chance for you to see an animals' personality, their athletic precision and just the way they work in concert with their riders," Patterson said.
Rider Camryn McHugh got to do just that.
"It was impressive in my opinion," McHugh said. "This horse is amazing."
McHugh grabbed 7th place in the Five Gaited Show Pleasure Class, and she traveled all the way from New Jersey to do it.
"We consider this the most prestigious saddlebred horse competition in the world," Patterson said.
Fair officials said that's become normal.
Many people of all ages come from all corners of the globe to watch and compete.
Competition organizers said attendance and participation are up this year, which gives them a good opportunity to show off all they have to offer.
"Not only to compete here, but they also get a flavor of the Kentucky experience," Patterson said.
An experience shared by those with a deep passion for horses.
"It's just a hobby that I don't think I'll ever give up, honestly," McHugh said.
People, she adds, who feel like family, even in an unfamiliar venue, far from home.