Equine Affaire Will be Truly “Golden” This November

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Equine Affaire, North America’s foremost equine exposition and equestrian gathering, will reach an impressive milestone this November in Massachusetts: The production of the 50th event. Since the inception of the expo in 1994, the ambitious Equine Affaire production team has generated 21 events in Ohio, 11 in California, one in Kentucky, and, with the production of the 2014 Equine Affaire in New England, 17 in Massachusetts.

The 50th Equine Affaire will take place Nov. 13-16 at the Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield and promises to be “golden” in every way.

“Our entire production team is really excited about this year’s show—though we’re also scratching our heads a bit at the reality that we’re working on our 50th event,” reported Eugenia Snyder, president and founder of Equine Affaire. “We’ve been working on Equine Affaires for more than 20 years, and some of our team members have been involved with the shows throughout most of the run.”

As a special and appropriate tribute, the 50th Equine Affaire is going to be dedicated to the memory of Marguerite Henry, the renowned author of Misty of Chincoteague and so many other horse books for children.

“I had the privilege of knowing Marguerite as a horse-crazy child, and the role that the authors of children’s horse books play in engaging the next generation of horse enthusiasts should be recognized,” continued Eugenia. “We plan to feature authors as speakers at the upcoming event and host exhibits by the publishers of some of the most notable horse books for kids. For those of us who loved, but could not own horses as children, horse books served a pivotal role in stimulating a passion that would be realized later in life. I think our official recognition of Marguerite Henry, Walter Farley, C.W. Anderson, and the many other notable authors whose books we grew up reading is entirely appropriate.”

The roster of clinicians assembled for this milestone Equine Affaire includes World and National Champions, Olympians, Pan Am and World Equestrian Games competitors, Large R judges, United States Equestrian Team members, TV personalities, and other distinguished equestrians—making the list of presenters a virtual Who’s Who in the horse industry and world of equestrian competition.

Chris Cox, Pat Parelli, Mark Rashid and Dan James will be on hand to deliver sessions on general horse training and horsemanship topics. The star-studded lineup of discipline-specific clinicians will include David Marcus and Jane Savoie (dressage), David O’Connor (eventing), Aaron Ralston (reining), Nicole Shaninian-Simpson (jumpers and equitation), Bob Giles (driving), Lynn McKenzie (barrel racing), Shaina Humphrey (hunter under saddle), Heidi Potter (Centered Riding, horse agility), Tom Chown (western pleasure and horsemanship), Cliff Swanson (western dressage) and Mark Bolender (extreme trail competition and trail riding).

Clinics with more of a breed orientation will be presented by Scott Seymour (drafts), Gary Lane (easy gaited breeds) and Shaina Humphrey (Thoroughbreds). And the program of the 2014 Equine Affaire will be rounded out with sessions on horse and rider biomechanics by Wendy Murdoch, long-lining by Vitor Silva as well as clinics on high school training conducted by Lisa Dufresne.

Whether you want to gain advice on starting a new horse, are embarking on a new discipline, are seeking ways to improve your relationship with your current horse, or want to enhance your performance in the competitive arena, you’ll discover clinicians and clinics at Equine Affaire that will help you reach your equestrian goals. Equine Affaire also offers unique opportunities not only to attend clinics by some of the foremost horsemen in the world, but also to meet and speak with these horsemen at their exhibit booths in the trade show. At the upcoming Equine Affaire many clinicians will also be featured in “open forum” sessions at the Nutrena Seminar Stage where you’ll have an opportunity to ask training and riding questions and receive individual answers and advice.

As has been the tradition at each Equine Affaire, a full schedule of seminars and hands-on demonstrations conducted at the Absorbine Demo Ring and Nutrena Seminar Stage will complement the sessions taking place in the dotHorse Arena and other clinic venues. Horse industry professionals including veterinarians, authors, trainers, and practitioners, and equine business specialists will share their expertise on topics of relevance to all horse people—and present information ranging from the “basics” of horse care to cutting edge technology and veterinary medicine.

Equine Affaire’s unparalleled trade show will bring together exhibitors from every corner of the equine industry allowing you to see, evaluate, try on and buy the items you’ve heard of, read about in magazines and viewed small pictures of online. Forego online chats with far-off company reps and interact with more than 475 knowledgeable Equine Affaire vendors who will provide personal assistance and answers to your questions on the spot.

At Equine Affaire you can spend four days wandering a trade show that will fill five trade show halls and learn about a wide range of equine products and services from tack, apparel and how-to DVDs to insurance, arena footing, feeds, supplements and equine-related art. If a new horse trailer is in your future, spend time with knowledgeable representatives of most major trailer brands and gain a real understanding of differences in construction, features, and costs. Meet with barn, farm equipment, stall or fencing company professionals and get the facts you need to create a new equestrian facility or improve the one you have. You’ll find an array of interesting new products for you and your horse in the New Product Showcase in the Mallary South—and have a chance to get ahead on your holiday shopping while taking advantage of season-end savings offered by many exhibitors. Shopping on the internet can be quick and easy, but it simply can’t compare with the shopping experience at Equine Affaire!

Equine Affaire is, after all, EQUINE Affaire—and horses will take center stage not only in the clinic arenas, but in Equine Affaire’s Breed Pavilion and Horse & Farm Exhibits. Horses representing nearly 40 breeds from throughout the world are expected to participate in exhibits and demonstrations throughout the four days of the event, and enthusiastic representatives of a variety of breed associations will be on hand in the Breed Pavilion to share information about the virtues of their breeds, association activities and horses for sale. Stop by and visit with a rotating cast of stallions, mares, and geldings in the Breed Pavilion and discover the breed that best suits your fancy.

Horse & Farm Exhibits featured within C-Barn will complement the Breed Pavilion by providing attendees opportunities to interact and consult with individual horse owners, trainers, and facility managers about horses for sale, stallions at stud, training services, and boarding facilities located throughout the region.

At Equine Affaire’s diverse and kid-friendly Youth Pavilion you’ll find a variety of educational and fun youth-related exhibits, hands-on activities, breed demonstrations, and instructional demos presented by many of the event’s top clinicians. The Youth Pavilion will be an interactive outlet for horse-crazy children as well as a place for more serious young riders to hone their skills. Fun activities for the youngest horse fans will include the Wahl Clipper Corp Stick Horse Rodeo and the Coloring Book of Breeds (presented by Wild Horsefeathers) while older kids may rise to the challenges of the equine trivia quest. The Youth Pavilion will also feature the Celebrity Horse Showcase where kids and their parents will come nose to nose with notable equines standing ready for photos and compliments.

Introducing the Cosequin Versatile Horse & Rider Invitational! The 2014 Equine Affaire will feature a new twist on the popular Versatile Horse & Rider Competition (aka “VHRC”). Ten horse and rider teams from those that placed in the Top Five at VHRC’s conducted from 2009-2013 have been invited and selected to compete in the Cosequin Versatile Horse & Rider Invitational. Like the VHRC, the Invitational will be a fast-paced, timed and judged race through an obstacle course designed not only to push horse and rider teams out of their traditional "comfort zones," but also to test communication between horse and rider and the horsemanship skills and athletic abilities of each competing team. The “VHRI” will take place on Friday afternoon in the coliseum. Plan to get there early to get a good seat to watch the “best of the best” compete for the title of "2014 Massachusetts Versatile Horse & Rider Invitational Champion" and $6,250 in cash and other prizes.

After a day of attending clinics, shopping, and sharing your passion for horses, what could be better than spending the evening with family and friends enjoying some of the best equine and equestrian performers in the nation? The Fantasia sponsored by BUCKEYE Nutrition will take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings (Nov. 13-15) in the coliseum at the Eastern States Exposition, and Fantasia fans can expect performances that will hit YouTube in record time and be the talk of the horse community for days afterwards. Headliners for this year’s show will include Jerry and Staci Diaz, Lisa Dufresne, Aaron Ralston and a host of other top performers that will make this year’s musical celebration of the horse the talk of the horse world and delight audiences of horse lovers young and old.

Doors to the coliseum will open at 7:30 pm and each show will begin at 8:00 p.m. and last approximately two hours. A separate ticket is required for the Fantasia, and ticket prices range from $12 to $24 (plus a $2.75 shipping & seat 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. Advance ticket sales will end Oct. 26; 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, Nov. 13 at Equine Affaire. Tickets for this popular event are going quickly—so place your order soon to secure the seats you want for the night you want to attend!

You and Your Horse May “Ride With The Best” Clinics at Equine Affaire are not just for watching . . . most of the clinicians presenting at the 2014 Equine Affaire will be accepting riders and horses to participate in their sessions as well. Equine Affaire’s “Ride With The Best” program offers unique opportunities to receive individual instruction from--or have your horse trained by--one or more of the prominent clinicians who will be presenting at the event. The modest clinic fees range from $75 to $175 and include clinic participation, event admission and 24 hours of stabling. Clinicians will select the participants for their sessions from written applications and videos submitted to Equine Affaire. For information on the Ride With The Best program and application materials, visit http://equineaffaire.com/, click on the Massachusetts event, and follow the Participate link or contact Kristen Gump at kgump@equineaffaire.com or 740-845-0085, ext. 104. Act quickly—the application deadline is Sept. 15.

Win a complete riding vacation for two or another great prize. Ever dream of spending a week riding in the mountains of northwest Wyoming? Enter Equine Affaire’s free raffle to win great prizes including a complete seven-day riding vacation for two in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming (conducted by Blue Sky Sage); a Silver Royal premium show saddle package (from JT International Dist. Inc.); an Optimus Puissance close contact saddle by Shires (from Crop & Carrot); 50 bags of Triple Crown Forage (from Triple Crown Nutrition); free bedding for one horse for a year (from Best Cob, Inc.); tickets to the 2015 Equine Affaire; and more! Enter online at equineaffaire.com before the show . . . and visit the Raffle Center in the Mallary North to see all of the prizes and enter the raffle at the event. It’s free, it’s easy, and you need not be present to win. Happy trails!

Join our production team. It takes a lot of hard working and dedicated folks to make Equine Affaire happen each year, and we’re always looking for new volunteers to assist our full-time staff before and during the event. 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, click on the Massachusetts event, and follow the Participate link to the Volunteer tab or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Cindy Southward, at csouthward@equineaffaire.com or 740-845-0085 ext. 102. Get your application in soon; volunteers are scheduled in the order in which applications are received.

Though the summer riding season is still under way, it’s not too early to begin making plans with family and friends to attend autumn’s ultimate equestrian getaway in New England. Visit equineaffaire.com to start planning your getaway to W. Springfield. Read more about the roster of presenters, plan the schedule of sessions you want to attend, apply to ride in one or more clinics, get a head start on your shopping plans by visiting our exhibitor links, check out Equine Affaire’s volunteer program, and take a minute to sign up to win a prize in the free online raffle. Download forms, order tickets, and research a full range of host hotels. And, if you don’t have web access or have a question, give us a call at 740-845-0085 Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Eastern. Equine Affaire’s staff is happy to answer your questions and provide assistance.

Ticket sales at Equine Affaire will begin at 8:30 each morning of the event, and the gates and doors to the show will open at 9:00 a.m. Adult admission will be $15/day or $50 for a four-day pass. Admission for children age 7-10 will be $8/day, and kids 6 and under will be admitted for free. There’s no repetition of sessions within Equine Affaire’s program and the four-day ticket represents a $10 savings off of the daily admission rate, so you may want to take in all four days of the show. Advance tickets are available for purchase through Oct. 26 online at equineaffaire.com or by phone at 740-845-0085 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern using Visa, MasterCard or Discover. You may also download a mail-in ticket order form from our Web site to send with a check. Cash only at the gates; the Eastern States Exposition will charge for parking.

Equine Affaire’s host hotels are offering special discounted rates during the event, and camping with hookups (30 and 50 amp with water) is available right at the Eastern States Exposition on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 12. Consult equineaffaire.com for a list of hotels and amenities and details on camping options.

Generous sponsors make Equine Affaire possible. All of the special and affordable horse-related opportunities that will be available at 50th Equine Affaire will be made possible through the generous sponsorship of dozens of equine-related companies and organizations. Without this sponsorship support, it would not be possible to present an event of the size and caliber of Equine Affaire and keep admission prices so affordable. We extend our sincere thanks to BUCKEYE Nutrition, dotHorse, Absorbine, Ariat, Cosequin, Farnam, Horizon Structures, Nutrena and the many other companies that have endorsed the educational mission of Equine Affaire through their sponsorships. Please show your appreciation by researching and investing in their fine products!