Horsepeople of all levels of expertise from 4-H riders, Pony Clubbers, and others just beginning their riding careers to accomplished equestrians, trainers, and equine professionals will be able to immerse themselves in “all things equine” at the 2018 Equine Affaire scheduled to take place April 12 through the 15 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. This year’s event will be the 25th show in Ohio and the 57th Equine Affaire produced nationwide by Equine Affaire, Inc., a small company based in London, Ohio.
When work initially began on the first Equine Affaire back in 1993, the show was nothing more than one person’s “good idea.” That idea for an event that would bring all facets of the horse industry together in an education-oriented, noncompetitive environment was soon enthusiastically embraced by horse people and horse businesses alike, and Equine Affaire quickly evolved into a multi-faceted, must-attend show serving the horse community.
“It’s hard to believe that 25 years have passed since we produced our first event at the Hara Arena Complex in Dayton, Ohio” explained Eugenia Snyder, President and founder of Equine Affaire, Inc. “I created this event with the hope of bringing horse people affiliated with all different breeds and disciplines together so that we could share our passion for horses and learn from one another. The success of Equine Affaire over the years is a real tribute to the hard work and dedication of a lot of horse people and horse-related businesses that have participated in and supported the event since its inception. We’ve accomplished a lot together and have created an institution that benefits horses, horse people, and the horse industry overall.”
Today Equine Affaire enjoys a solid reputation and place in the horse industry thanks to the participation and support over the past 25 years of countless clinicians, presenters, performers, farm owners, associations, organizations, retailers, manufacturers, sponsors, and horse people from all walks of equestrian life. The exact impact of Equine Affaire is difficult to measure, but the 56 events that have been produced since the first show in March of 1994 have clearly touched the lives of many hundreds of thousands of horse people and several thousand horse businesses and organizations throughout the nation. Along the way they have also served an even larger and perhaps more important goal of improving our understanding and appreciation of horses and improving their lives through the education of their owners and handlers. Equine Affaire is aptly named—as it continues to be a celebration of our love of horses.
Equine Affaire’s “Silver Anniversary” event will offer what Equine Affaire has become famous for: an educational program that is second-to-none, the largest horse-related trade show in this hemisphere, top equine entertainment and competition, and endless opportunities to experience, buy, and sell horses of all types. Whether you are just becoming involved with horses or you’re a seasoned veteran of the horse world, your destination of choice this spring will be Equine Affaire—North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering.
At a time when so much of what we do and experience is through online avenues, Equine Affaire offers the grand alternative to see, feel, touch, compare, try on, experience and even smell the horse world in person . . . to share one’s love of horses with others who feel the same. Equine Affaire is about first-hand opportunities to witness great horses, learn from top equestrians, shop for all things equine, research, connect, hang out with fellow horse people and immerse one’s self in the world of horses.
At the heart of Equine Affaire is an educational program designed to help horsemen of all riding and driving persuasions reach their equestrian goals at home, on the trail, or in a competitive arena. Hundreds of clinics, seminars and demos by many of the foremost trainers, coaches, competitors, judges, TV personalities, and industry professionals will be presented in seven venues. Clinic topics will cover the gamut from the English disciplines of dressage, jumping, eventing, driving, English pleasure and hunter under saddle through the western sports of reining, western horsemanship, barrel racing, contesting, and trail.
New riders and horse owners of all ages may also acquire basic horse and horsemanship expertise through demos, video presentations, interactive exhibits, and special activities at Equine Affaire’s Equine Fundamentals Forum sponsored by Nutramax. And, if you’ve never ridden a horse or haven’t ridden in a long time, you’ll have an opportunity to connect or reconnect with horses this spring. Equine Affaire is partnering with the American Horse Council’s Time to Ride program to provide opportunities for new and aspiring horse lovers to have their first encounter with a horse—to learn about the basics of horses, horse care, horsemanship, and to actually ride a horse for the first time.
Equine Affaire is expanding its educational offerings this year with the introduction of the Your Farm Forum, sponsored by Equine Equipment and located in the Bricker Annex. This new specialty area will include a range of farm and stable-related exhibitors as well as a seminar stage featuring sessions focusing on the horse’s home and environment and covering a wide range of topics for owners of horse farms of all sizes. Discover ways you can improve your equine operation and horse’s world and learn about other farm activities and animals.
Students hoping to pursue equine-related studies and careers will be able to research college programs and career options by participating in a new Career/College Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, April 14. The hunt will be an engaging way to meet a variety of industry professionals and college representatives.
Of course the true focus of Equine Affaire is obviously horses, and you’ll find plenty of ways to discover and appreciate the amazing diversity of the horse world in the Breed Pavilion, Horse & Farm Exhibits, and breed demos throughout the weekend. Get up close and personal with equines from miniatures to drafts, gaited to easy gaited breeds, and stock horses to sport horses. Representatives of dozens of horse, pony, color, and breed associations and registries will be on hand to answer your questions and share their exceptional horses with you.
Equine Affaire’s popular test of horsemanship, the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, will once again be an entertaining as well as educational part of the event. Up to 25 pre-selected horse and rider teams will race through a challenging obstacle course in the coliseum on Friday, April 13, in pursuit of $5500 and the coveted title of Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Champion. The VHRCis open to adult riders of all disciplines and horses of all breeds and has evolved over the years into one of the most popular features of Equine Affaire.
A second competition has been added to the schedule for the Silver Anniversary Equine Affaire. An Interscholastic Equestrian Association Western Horse Show will take place on Sunday from 9:00am-2:30pm in Cooper Arena and feature youth competitors representing schools from throughout the region. The show will not only highlight the abilities of youth competitors, but will also provide an opportunity for high school students to learn about the IEA and how they can become involved in showing horses.
Outstanding equine and equestrian acts from throughout the United States are slated to perform at Equine Affaire’s popular musical celebration of the horse - the Fantasia - to create an evening of fabulous and affordable entertainment. The 2018 Fantasia will take place at 7:30pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the coliseum and is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Absorbine®. As the entertainment cornerstone of Equine Affaire, the Fantasia showcases the beauty, diversity, talent, and spirit of horses of a great variety of breeds and disciplines and provides the perfect ending to a busy day of activities at Equine Affaire. With just the right mix of comedy, drama, action, stunning horses, phenomenal horsemanship, and diverse music, the Fantasia has been one of the highlights of Equine Affaire in Columbus since this special event was first introduced nearly 20 years ago. Advance tickets for this must-see event are on sale through April 10. Tickets not sold in advance will be available at the Information Booth in the Bricker Building beginning at 9:00am on Thursday, April 12.
At Equine Affaire’s legendary trade show you’ll be able to see, touch, try on and compare everything you and your horse need….and some things you might not be able to resist. With several large “stores” to explore, hundreds of exhibit booths, and acres of trade show to cover, you’ll want to review the vendor list online in advance before shopping in person at the show. You can also plan to find bargains on quality horse-related items including tack, training equipment and riding apparel for sale on consignment at The Marketplace located next to the Breed Pavilion in the Voinovich Livestock & Trade Center.
Presenting a program as extensive as the one at Equine Affaire is very costly, and we are truly grateful to the many companies and organizations that underwrite production expenses through their generous sponsorships. We extend our most heartfelt thanks to Absorbine, Rod’s, Wahl, Horse Network, U S Equestrian, Farnam, Equine Savings, Nutramax and the dozens of other outstanding companies and organizations that endorse the mission of Equine Affaire and keep ticket prices affordable for all horse people through their sponsorship support.
Visit equineaffaire.com, click on the Ohio event, and follow the links to detailed information on everything that Equine Affaire has to offer—and everything you need to know to attend and/or participate in the event. Or call our helpful staff of dedicated horse people at (740) 845-0085 from 9:00-5:00 ET for personal assistance. Get together with your family and horse-loving friends to make a weekend of Equine Affaire and get your springtime dose of all things equine this April in Columbus.
Though the horse industry is one of the largest sport industries in the nation, it is one of the least-recognized within the mass media. A survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting, LLC and published by the American Horse Council (AHC) indicates that the horse industry contributes $39 billion annually in direct economic impact to the U.S. economy and supports 1.4 million full-time equivalent jobs. When indirect and induced spending is included, the horse industry’s impact on the U.S. Gross Domestic Product reaches $102 billion. The AHC survey found that there are roughly 9.2 million horses in the United States and 2 million horse owners. The AHC study concluded that, “the Ohio horse industry produces goods and services valued at $1.4 billion… [and] 181,700 Ohioans are involved as horse owners, service providers, employees, and volunteers. Even more participate as spectators. The Ohio horse industry directly provides 12,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs. Spending by suppliers and employees (in Ohio and other states) generates additional jobs in Ohio for a total employment impact of 42,700. There are 307,000 horses in Ohio, more than 70 percent of which are involved in showing and recreation. The economic impact of the annual production of Equine Affaire in Columbus since 1996 is incalculable. The event has attracted hundreds of thousands of participants to the region and generated a vast amount of revenue for hotels, restaurants, and support services in addition to sales taxes generated through sales at Equine Affaire’s trade shows.