Equine Affaire: Four Days Filled with So Many Possibilities

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If you love horses, you owe it to yourself to put Equine Affaire on your calendar for November 12-15 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Imagine what you could do with four days to devote to your passion for horses. Immerse yourself in clinics, seminars and demonstrations by top trainers. Explore breeds and riding disciplines you’ve only read about or seen online. Browse hundreds of vendors at an equine marketplace filled with equestrian treasures. Sit back to enjoy fabulous entertainment including Equine Affaire’s signature musical celebration of the horse--the Fantasia--and the ever-popular Versatile Horse & Rider Competition. Meet and mingle with equestrian stars from throughout the worlds of equine competition and media--and enjoy a special season-end getaway with family and fellow horse-loving friends.

You can do all that and more at the 2015 Equine Affaire this November, and you won’t have to break the bank to afford it.

Immerse Yourself in Education

Whether you’ve spoken “horse” since childhood or discovered your passion for horses later in life, you’ll find sessions to help you and your horse along the road to better horsemanship and performance and a winning relationship. Equine Affaire’s broad spectrum of hundreds of clinics, seminars,and demos will be presented by many of the nation’s premiere coaches, competitors, trainers, TV personalities, authors, judges and other industry experts.

There will be something to satisfy almost every equestrian taste in the lineup of presenters who will share their knowledge and expertise at the 2015 Equine Affaire. Clinicians will include some of the most popular presenters from previous events--as well as many individuals who will be new to Equine Affaire. This year’s roster of talent includes experts who will offer a range of horse training philosophies and techniques and hail from a wide variety of competitive arenas.

Sessions on general horse training and horsemanship topics of interest to all horse people will be presented by Ken McNabb, Kerry Kuhn, Julie Goodnight, Dan James, Chris Irwin, Warwick Schiller, Susan Harris and Caroline Rider. Each of these individuals will focus on understanding and communicating with horses, building rider confidence, improving horsemanship, addressing training issues, and enhancing the horse-rider partnership.

Olympians, World and National Champions, Hall of Fame Inductees and other highly-accomplished individuals representing a myriad of disciplines will convene in West Springfield this November to present clinics throughout all four days of Equine Affaire. They will include Phillip Dutton (eventing), Doug Milholland (reining), Michael Barisone (dressage), Sharon Camarillo (barrel racing), Lendon Gray (dressage), T.R. Potts (western pleasure, trail, and hunter under saddle), Bernie Traurig (hunters and jumpers), Paul Maye (driving), Chris Cassenti (English pleasure and saddleseat equitation), Anita Howe (easy gaited breeds), and Sylvia Zerbini (liberty horses). More than 200 clinics, seminars and demos will be presented in five venues--making a little advance planning on “what to attend when” a must!

Bring Your Horse With You to Equine Affaire

Equine Affaire’s Ride With The Best program offers unique opportunities to ride with and receive individual instruction and training from the clinicians presenting sessions at Equine Affaire. Some clinicians will be looking for riders and horses with specific skills and/or problems to participate in their clinics, while others will choose from riders interested in improving their relationships with their horses. Clinic fees range from $75 to $180 and include clinic participation, event admission and 24 hours of stabling. Clinicians will select participants for their sessions from written applications and videos submitted to Equine Affaire. For detailed information on the Ride With The Best program and a clinic application, visit equineaffaire.com or call Equine Affaire. Don’t wait--the application deadline is September 11.

Introducing the Equine Fundamentals Forum

If you’re new to the horse world or still developing your basic skills as a horse person, you’ll find plenty of useful information at Equine Affaire’s new Equine Fundamentals Forum in the Mallary South. The all-new forum will feature a demo ring where experts who are quite savvy about horses will share their knowledge on a wide range of “fundamental” topics of use to new riders and horse owners young and old. The forum will also showcase informative and hands-on interactive displays about horses, horse health, and horse management. Youth activities including a trivia quest, stick horse making, and a stick horse rodeo will also be featured to entertain the youngest horse aficionados at the show.

Shop for All Things Horse Related

If it’s something horse-related that you want, you’ll find it in Equine Affaire’s legendary trade show--the largest equine-oriented shopping opportunity in the East. You’ll discover hundreds of the nation's leading equine and equestrian retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and organizations in five exhibit halls and the outdoor areas in between. Looking for tack or grooming supplies? Check. How about riding apparel and gifts? Check again. Is it time for a new trailer, tractor, or arena drag? You can evaluate them in person instead of online. Do you need new fencing? Check out all of the options in one convenient location. Maybe you’re planning a new barn, or renovating an older stable? There are vendors for that, with informed representatives to answer your questions and offer advice. Research riding vacations and equestrian college and university programs, evaluate all types of feed and supplements, and find jewelry and books, art, photography, and all of your equine and equestrian must-haves in a trade show that offers acres of superb shopping.

Experience the Fantasia . . . sponsored by Absorbine

Equine Affaire’s signature musical celebration of the horse, the Fantasia, will be the perfect ending to a perfect day at Equine Affaire. Gather with family and friends to enjoy the beauty, grace, and diversity of dozens of horse breeds, the athleticism and skill of many equestrian disciplines, and the extraordinary talent of some of the foremost professional equestrian performers in North America--all honoring the special connection we share with horses.

The Fantasia will take place at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (November 12-14) in the Eastern States Exposition coliseum and be an evening of great entertainment for horse lovers of all ages. “This year’s show will incorporate many of the elements that Fantasia-goers have come to expect at the event including Grand Prix freestyle dressage, freestyle reining, driving, horses at liberty, and drill team performances--but all with a new twist,” explained Eugenia Snyder, president of Equine Affaire. “The Knights of Iceland will bring their unique energy from the land of ice and fire, and we’re thrilled to be able to feature once again the incomparable Sylvia Zerbini with her team of eight Arabians working at liberty.”

“Were especially excited to be able to include in the 2015 Fantasia four acts from the phenomenal ‘Gala of the Royal Horses’ show that is currently touring North America showcasing Andalusians, Lipizzaners, Arabians, and Friesians,” Snyder continued. “The evening will culminate with Lipizzaners performing the phenomenal ‘airs above the ground’ under the direction of world renowned riding master, Rene Gasser--the creator and producer of ‘Gala of the Royal Horses.’ There will be plenty of action and drama at the 2015 Fantasia--and plenty of reminders as to why we find horses so intoxicating.”

The 2015 Fantasia promises to be an evening of extraordinary entertainment you will not want to miss. A separate ticket is required, and ticket prices range from $12 to $24 (plus a $2.75 shipping/handling/selection fee per ticket). Advance tickets for the Fantasia are available online (where you may consult a seating chart and select your seats) or by calling Equine Affaire at 740-845-0085 weekdays from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Eastern. Tickets for this popular event sell quickly, and advance ticket sales end October 25. Any tickets not sold in advance will be available for purchase at the Information Booth in the Better Living Center beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 12, at Equine Affaire.

Put Your Riding Skills to the Test

Equine Affaire’s ultimate test of horsemanship, the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, returns this November! Up to 30 preselected horse and rider teams will compete for $5,500 in cash and other prizes and the coveted title of Champion on Thursday and Friday, November 12 and 13, during Equine Affaire.

The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition--aka “VHRC”--will be a timed and judged race through an obstacle course created to test communication between horse and rider as well as each competitor’s horsemanship skills and athletic prowess. The qualifying rounds of the competition will take place on Thursday morning, and the top 10 horse and rider teams will advance to the Finals on Friday afternoon in the coliseum at the Eastern States Exposition. This year’s VHRC is sponsored by Nutrena and is open to adult riders of all disciplines and horses of all breeds.

“The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is a true test of horsemanship for those who are willing to put their riding skills on the line--and a whole lot of fun for horse people in the audience who mentally work through the course with each team--thinking about the best approach to an obstacle and empathizing with the contestants as their horses succeed at some obstacles and fall short at others,” explained Eugenia Snyder. “The VHRC is not only an exciting competition to watch, it also has a strong educational element. You get to watch great horses and talented riders tackle real riding challenges, and you inevitably learn a lot simply by observing different approaches to the same obstacles and the horsemanship skills of dozens of outstanding riders on horses.”

For details on the competition and how to apply to participate, consult equineaffaire.com or call Equine Affaire. And, if you not up for the ride yourself, be sure to get to the race early to get a good seat. You just might be sitting on the edge of that seat as you take in all of the action!

Explore Horse Breeds and Riding Disciplines

Visit Equine Affaire’s Breed Pavilion in the Stroh Building and the nearby Horse & Farm Exhibits located in C-Barn, where horse owners and breeders and representatives of various national, regional, and local breed associations will provide helpful information and answer questions.

Dozens of horse breeds from ponies to drafts and stock horses to sport horses will be on exhibit and presented in hand at Equine Affaire. Under saddle demonstrations of the breeds will also be conducted throughout the weekend in the main clinic arenas,
offering you a chance to understand the conformation, movement, and temperament of different breeds as well as the many different riding disciplines at which they excel.

The Horse & Farm Exhibits in C-Barn will showcase individual horse farms, stables, and training and breeding facilities from throughout New England and provide opportunities to network with horse owners, trainers, and facility managers about horses for sale, stallions at stud, training services, and boarding facilities.

Win a $1000 Shopping Spree, Tack or Another Great Prize

Equine Affaire has a fantastic raffle going that offers great prizes that any horse person can appreciate, including a $1,000 gift certificate for Horseloverz.com, quality English and western saddle and bridle packages, Triple Crown horse feed, Best Cob Premium horse bedding, a framed official Equine Affaire limited edition print, and tickets to the 2016 Equine Affaire. The raffle is free, it’s easy to enter, and you need not be present to win. Go to equineaffaire.com to enter online before the show, and visit the Raffle Center in the Mallary North at Equine Affaire to see the prizes in person and enter the raffle on site. Winners will be announced at 4:30 on Sunday at Equine Affaire.

Join Our Team

Would you be interested in earning free admission by helping out as a volunteer at Equine Affaire? We rely on hundreds of avid horse people to assist our full-time staff before and during the show. Volunteers sign up for specific “jobs,” work two-hour shifts, and earn free admission and an event souvenir. For information on volunteering, visit equineaffaire.com or call Equine Affaire. Get your application in soon; volunteers are scheduled in the order applications are received.

Equine Affaire 2015: A Great Value for Horse Lovers!

Equine Affaire will be up and running from 9:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Thursday-Saturday, November 12-14, and from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 15. 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 $15/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 $10 from the daily rate. Kids 6 and under attend for free.

Advance tickets to Equine Affaire are available for purchase through October 25 online at equineaffaire.com or by phone at 740-845-0085 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Eastern. You may also download a mail-in ticket order form from the site to send with a check. Tickets will go on sale at 8:30am at event entrances each show day; cash only at the gates.

Equine Affaire makes your trip even more affordable with special room blocks and discount rates at dozens of area host hotels. But make your hotel reservations soon--room blocks and special rates at our host hotels will expire in early October. Camping with hookups is available right at the Eastern States Exposition on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12.

Everything You Need to Know to Go

Round up your horse-loving friends and barn mates and plan your getaway. Equineaffaire.com contains everything you need to know to make your visit a fun and successful one. Click on the Massachusetts event and follow tabs for: admission details, directions, hotel information, a complete roster of presenters, daily schedules, maps, details on how to participate in the Ride With The Best program and Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, a volunteer application, facility information, and tips for making the most of your Equine Affaire experience. And if you’re not Web-savvy, not to worry: call Equine Affaire at 740-845-0085 and speak to a member of our friendly, horse-loving staff, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Eastern.

Generous Sponsors Make Equine Affaire Affordable

Equine Affaire’s exceptional program of educational activities and entertainment and the event’s modest admission fees are made possible through generous sponsorships by dozens of equine-related companies and organizations. We all extend our gratitude to Absorbine, Ariat, Farnam, Horizon Structures, Wahl Clipper, Cosequin, Nutrena, Southern States Cooperative, and the dozens of other companies who have endorsed the educational mission of Equine Affaire through their sponsorships. Our helmets, hats, and derbies are off to you!