What exactly is the Germantown Charity Horse Show?

The Germantown Charity Horse Show is an all-breed show for locals as well as competitors from around the country. Expect to be amazed at the beautiful horses, skillful riders and fun crowds. From hunter jumpers (yes, jumping over fences) to carriage driving and Gypsy Vanner horses, and from American Saddlebreds and Tennessee Walking Horses to sidesaddle and Paso Fino classes, you will see a variety of horses and riding styles. The show benefits Kindred Place (formerly known as the Exchange Club Family Center of Memphis) and contributes to local education programs.

The Germantown Charity Horse Show is a U.S. Equestrian Federation Heritage Competition, giving it national recognition for its contribution to the community and to the sport. The show is one of the oldest and largest all-breed horse shows in the country, and the longest-running sporting event in Shelby County. You can read more about the show here.

What should I wear?

The weather can be a bit warm, even at night. Shorts, sun dresses, short sleeve shirts are all recommended. Dress is casual, but you are welcome to come dressed up if desired. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are a must, especially if you’ll be at the show during the day. The show goes on even in the rain, so if the forecast calls for rain, you’ll want to be prepared for that as well.

If you would like to participate in our Big Hats & Bow Ties competition on Saturday evening, tap this link to learn more about this fun event: https://gchs.org/big-hats-bow-ties/

Is this a kid-friendly event?

Absolutely! The children will love the outdoors along with the beautiful horses. If any little ones are shy or maybe afraid of the horses, you can sit a comfortable distance or get up close and personal if desired. Face painting is a popular spot for kids in the vendor area, and on Saturday night our Stick Horse Race is a longstanding tradition the kids love. For $5 they can ride their stick horse to victory in the main arena and receive a ribbon. The Stick Horse Race takes place directly following the Grand Prix of Germantown.

Additionally, child-friendly food is available in the vendor area, including cotton candy, corn dogs, funnel cakes, shaved ice, smoothies, and MemPops. Our mascot Charity has a General Store with items such as stickers, stuffed animals, stick horses, and toy horses for sale. Charity also stocks T-shirts and sweatshirts in children’s sizes. In the evening, Charity makes appearances to visit with the crowd, and he loves taking selfies with his young fans, so be sure to look for him after dark!

Where can I get tickets?

Tickets can be purchased at the gate on the south end of the Arena and at the eastern gate by the pavilion. Advance tickets may be purchased at Saddles N Such, located at 2135 S. Germantown Rd.. Advance tickets will be sold through Tuesday, June 7, and are $3 each or five for $10. For more information, click here.

Morning and afternoon performances are free of charge, and you are welcome to attend and watch the hunter/jumper competition in the North and South Rings and the Sonny Foster Arena. Tickets are required for entry to the evening performances in the Sonny Foster Arena, starting at 4 p.m.. Tickets purchased at the gate Wednesday-Saturday are $5 per person, and children 3 & under are free.

What time should I arrive?

Generally, the hunter/jumper classes that precede the evening Breed Show begin between 4:30 and 5:00 pm, and the evening Breed Show follows these classes, starting between 6:00 and 7:00 pm nightly. Make sure to arrive in plenty of time for parking. Our famous People Mover will be running constantly between our designated parking areas and the Founders Pavilion, and parking will be clearly marked. The details of each day’s schedule can be found at https://gchs.org/schedule/.

Days start as early at 7:30 for those who wish to make a full day of the fun. Hunter classes begin at 7:30 am, jumper classes generally begin at 9 am. These classes run throughout the day, generally ending between 2:30 and 4 pm. Admission to the morning show is free every day.

Where should I park?

Parking is available in the grass in front of the arena, at Germantown High School and the surrounding streets. There will be a shuttle from the high school. Local police officers will be on site and help to direct you to open available parking. Parking is free.

Disabled parking is available in the lot directly in front of the Founders’ Pavilion, which is where the ticket office is located. During the show, Germantown police officers are on duty and directing traffic, and they will direct you to the closest available disabled parking.

Where can I sit at the show?

Your general admission tickets allow open seating anywhere on the bleacher type seats or grassy knolls (great for kids). You are welcome to bring your own chairs and sit in the grassy areas above the stadium seating as well.

For disabled patrons, the entrance to the Founders’ Pavilion is flat and wheelchair accessible, and wheelchairs are welcome in the grassy areas above the stadium seating. For those walking in but concerned about the distance, seating is available within approximately 40 feet from the entrance, and bringing your own chair and setting it up in the grassy area near the entrance is also welcome.

Box seats are reserved for box owners and are designated by the name of the box owner. All are welcome to purchase a box seat (subject to availability), and this gives you a designated location for the entire week of the show. If you did not have a box seat this year, but would like to reserve one for next year, please reach out to our box seat chair. More information about box seats can be found here

Is there a map of the show grounds?

Yes, click here for the map.

What kind of food is available for purchase?

The Germantown Commissary supplies a variety of barbecue and chicken menu items in two separate pavilions surrounding the Sonny Foster Arena. We have vendors serving coffee, tea and refreshing smoothies all day. In the evening, be prepared for a variety of fair food such as funnel cakes, corn dogs, cotton candy, and shaved ice, as well as salads, wraps, hot dogs, and other delicious fare.

Food vendors this year include: The Germantown Commissary, Owens Bakery, Mempops, Bella Cafe, Herrington Corn Dogs, Greys Cheese Boards, and Collierville Nutrition Spot.

Where can I buy horse show souvenirs?

Be sure to visit Charity’s General Store for a variety of Germantown Charity Horse Show items, including but not limited to T-shirts, sweatshirts, water bottles, saddle pads, keychains, Silipint cups, posters, sun hats, and rain jackets. Charity stocks all sizes and items for all ages, so make sure you stop by! The General Store is located next to the Cotton Candy Pavilion.

Make sure you also visit our Vendors’ Row, with jewelry, leatherwork, art, embroidery, and many other items for sale.

What can I bring?

Coolers and outside food are allowed. Our bleacher seating is modern and comfortable, but if you would like to bring your own stadium chair there are some places in the grass where you can sit. Also please support our vendors for great food and desserts! We have a wide variety of food and cold treats available at the show.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes! But be advised that Germantown has a strict “Leash Law,” and unleashed dogs are subject to impounding and their owners may be fined. Loose dogs that are a problem, especially if caught in any arena, will result in a fine to exhibitors of $100.00. Please use your judgment on bringing your dog if you believe they will be afraid of running horses, crowds, or other dogs, or if they will bark at the horses during the show.

What can’t I bring?

Fireworks, portable speakers, radios (without headphones), open flames, and slingshots are not allowed. Also the arena and park area is a gun-free zone. Please refrain from bringing any devices that make loud noises or that could potentially spook horses while they are performing.

Can I take pictures or video?

Photography and video for personal use is allowed, but taking photos to sell is reserved for our official show photographers.

What if it rains?

Depending on the amount of rain the show may go on without stopping. If the rain is heavy, or lightning is seen in the area, the arena will be cleared of exhibitors and competition will resume once it is safe to do so.

What are box seats?

Box Seats are purchased each year by those wishing to have a box just above the ring in the Sonny Foster Arena. The box seats are sold out for the 2022 show, but if you are interested in a box for 2023, please visit our Box Seat page for more information: https://gchs.org/box-seats/

Eight chairs are provided for each box, but box seat holders may bring their own chairs and tables. Many box seat holders choose to participate in our Box Seat Decorations Contest, bringing a festive and creative atmosphere to “The Bowl,” as many affectionately call the main arena.

Our annual Box Seat Decorations Contest will be held Saturday evening, June 11, and judging will take place after the Grand Prix of Germantown. Prizes will be awarded! This year’s categories are:

Most Creative

Most Elegant

The Box I’m Most Likely To Party With!

We can’t wait to see your creative and fun ideas!

Have a question we didn’t answer? Tweet us @gchorseshow or friend us on Facebook!