The Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield, Massachusetts, will once again become “horse-central” for horse lovers from throughout the East Coast and beyond when it hosts the 56th Equine Affaire on November 9-12. Since its introduction to New England in 1998, Equine Affaire has been a “must see” for horse enthusiasts associated with all breeds and equestrian disciplines. With an unwavering mission to elevate the equestrian experience, Equine Affaire offers an educational program that is second-to-none, the largest horse-related trade show in the East, top equine entertainment and competition, and endless opportunities to experience, buy, and sell horses of all types. Equine Affaire is where you see, feel, touch, compare, try on, experience and smell all aspects of the horse world in person and, most important, “in horse.”
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, and in the 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 six venues—so a little advance planning will be required to know just what to do when!
This year’s gathering will feature Olympic, Pan American, World Equestrian Games, and World Champion greats including Greg Best, Phillip Dutton, Craig Johnson, Steffen Peters and Suzy Stafford as well as outstanding overall horsemen such as Ken McNabb, Julie Goodnight, Van Hargis, Chris Irwin, Steve Lantvit, and Wendy Murdoch. Clinic topics will cover the gamut from the English disciplines of dressage, jumping, eventing, driving, and English pleasure through the western sports of cutting, reining, western pleasure, ranch riding, cowboy dressage, and trail. Sessions will also be presented on liberty horse training, mounted games, the training of easy gaited horses, vaulting, collegiate competition, and more.
Equine Affaire’s Equine Fundamentals Forum, located in the Mallary South, will be where new riders and horse owners—and those still developing basic skills—will meet and learn together with their own demo ring and savvy string of experts sharing solid “horse sense” that forms the building blocks of good horsemanship. The Forum will offer video presentations, hands-on interactive displays about equine health and management, and fun activities tailored to the youngest horse lovers.
Of course the focus of any “horse fest” is obviously the 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 in the Breed Pavilion to answer your questions and share their exceptional horses with you. And, if you’re wanting to learn more about a breed, find horses for sale, research stallions for your mare, and review training and breeding facilities, take time to explore the Horse & Farm Exhibits located in C Barn right next to the coliseum. The Horse & Farm Exhibits is where horse and farm owners and horse service providers connect directly with customers and share information.
Another Equine Affaire favorite is the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, sponsored by Nutrena. This ultimate test of horsemanship will bring 25 pre-selected horse and rider teams to the coliseum on Friday afternoon to ride against the clock in front of a judge who will rate their performance through a pattern of obstacles and horsemanship tests. The race course will embody the definition of versatility requiring jumping over obstacles, working gates, crossing bridges, performing rollback and gymkhana maneuvers, backing through patterns, and demonstrating trust while navigating “spooky” objects. Come out and cheer on your favorite contestants in this exciting, fast-paced event!
At the end of a great day of learning and shopping at Equine Affaire there can be no better way to cap off the day than to settle into a seat to enjoy the very best in equine entertainment—and you can do that at the Fantasia—Equine Affaire’s magical and musical celebration of the horse. The Fantasia, sponsored by Absorbine, will take place at 8:00pm on Thursday-Saturday in the coliseum and offer unforgettable performances by some of the foremost equine and equestrian entertainers in the country. From the exhilarating derring-do of Bobby Kerr and his mustangs to mesmerizing Lusitanos taking flight in airs above the ground, the theatrical showmanship of Pirate-costumed Friesians, and the natural beauty of horses performing at liberty with world-renowned trainer and entertainer Sylvia Zerbini, the 2017 Fantasia will be a feast for the senses.
The Fantasia is a two-hour choreographed spectacle of horsemanship and showmanship that never fails to leave Standing Room Only audiences singing along to musical scores from country to classical to contemporary and leaving with full hearts and renewed conviction in the beauty, nobility, strength and devotion of the horses and ponies that share our lives. But unlike Broadway prices, tickets for the Fantasia are just $14 to $25. Advance tickets are available online through November 7; remaining tickets will be available for purchase starting at 9:00am on November 9 at the Information Booth in the Better Living Center at Equine Affaire. Doors to the show will open nightly at 7:15pm.
There’s shopping online—and then there’s SHOPPING at Equine Affaire! At Equine Affaire’s vast trade show you’ll be able to see, touch, try on and compare everything you and your horse “need”….and some things you’ll discover you simply “must have!” With large retail “stores” to wander through, 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. Whether you want to make plans for a new arena or barn, find the perfect trailer to haul your equine companions, secure the best saddle for you and your horse, research farm equipment, begin your holiday shopping, or find year-end savings on a wide range of equine and equestrian items, you’ll find vendors at Equine Affaire to check all the boxes on your list. It will be one-stop shopping at its finest!
Equine Affaire’s exceptional and affordable program of educational activities and entertainment are made possible through generous sponsorships by dozens of equine-related companies and organizations. We all extend our sincere gratitude to Absorbine, Farnam, Horizon Structures, Wahl Clipper, Cosequin, Nutrena, Horse Network, and the dozens of other companies who have endorsed the educational mission of Equine Affaire through their sponsorships and helped make Equine Affaire both an exceptional as well as affordable opportunity for all horse people.
Equine Affaire will be up and running from 9:00 am-7:3 0pm on Thursday-Saturday, November 9-11, and from 9:00 am-5:00 pm on Sunday, November 12. You can enjoy all that Equine Affaire has to offer—the clinics and seminars, the shopping, the specialty pavilions, and the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition for the price of a single-day or multi-day general admission ticket. Adult admission is only $16/day (and includes a free event program) and youth (age 7-10) tickets are only $8. A four-day adult pass is just $50—a savings of $14 from the daily rate. Kids 6 and under attend for free.
Advance tickets to Equine Affaire are available online through October 22 at equineaffaire.com or by phone at 740-845-0085 Monday through Friday from 9:00 am-5:00 pm Eastern. Tickets will go on sale at 8:30am at event entrances each show day; cash only at the gates.
Whether you have only a budding interest in horses or you’re a seasoned veteran of the horse world, your destination of choice this November will be Equine Affaire. Visit equineaffaire.com, click on the Massachusetts event, and follow the links for 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 (740) 845-0085 for personal assistance. Get together with your family and horse-loving friends to share your passion for horses and enjoy a weekend of fabulous horses, phenomenal opportunities and unforgettable experiences at North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering: Equine Affaire!