TRAVERSE CITY — Alexandra Rheinheimer didn’t bolt when Michigan lost its premier horse competition in 2000.
She climbed back into the saddle. Rheinheimer spent three years touring the state to find the perfect site for a new horse show, and she found just the place in Traverse City.
“We wanted to re-create Bloomfield Open Hunt (horse show space), but give the event a different spin,” she said. “The spin was moving it from suburban, city, to more of a vacation destination.”
Rheinheimer started the month-long Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival in 2004, and this year it will lure 1,500 horses to Traverse City.
Those horses mean riders, and those riders mean a $10 million financial boost for local retailers, hoteliers, restaurateurs and more.
Read more about the economic impact of Horse Shows by the Bay in today’s Record-Eagle business section.