Learn, Shop, and Share Your Passion for Horses at Equine Affaire this April

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Plenty of great horses, a roster of talented horse people, oodles of great horse products for sale, and a dash of equestrian competition and entertainment all make up the ingredients for Equine Affaire—the nation’s most popular equestrian gathering.

The 49th Equine Affaire will launch April 10-13, 2014, at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, and provide horse enthusiasts from throughout the Midwest and beyond with the opportunity to gather with horse-loving family and friends and indulge their passion for horses.

Since 1994 Equine Affaire in Columbus has become the nation’s “Mecca” for horse-related education, shopping, networking, entertainment, exploration, hanging out with fellow horse people, and immersion in all things equine.

The 2014 Equine Affaire will offer a wealth of opportunities for equestrians, including the largest horse-related trade show in North America, an educational program that will have something to offer for riders of all levels and tastes, Equine Affaire’s exciting Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, and the expo’s signature evening performance, the Fantasia. With a schedule of more than 200 educational sessions in seven venues, acres of exhibits to browse, breed and youth pavilions, and special events scheduled throughout the day and evening, horse fanciers will have plenty of activities to keep them busy.

Education forms the cornerstone of every Equine Affaire, and a top-notch list of clinicians has been assembled to present clinics on a broad spectrum of equestrian disciplines at this year’s event. Among those who are scheduled to present sessions on general horse training and riding topics are Guy McLean, Stacy Westfall, Kerry Kuhn, Tommie Turvey, and Richard Winters. Clinicians who will be addressing Western disciplines will include Stacy Westfall on reining, Molly Powell on barrel racing, Richard Winters on reined cow horse, Dana Hokana on Western pleasure, Kenda Lenseigne on mounted shooting, and Jeff Wilson on Western dressage.

The English disciplines will be well represented by Janet Foy and Michael Barisone on dressage, Bernie Traurig on jumping, Jim Wofford on eventing, Marc Johnson on driving, Wendy Gruskiewicz on hunter pleasure, and Dana Hokana on hunter under saddle.

Carol Coppinger will share her expertise in Parelli Natural HorseManShip, Gary Lane will present sessions on the training of easy gaited horses, and Tommie Turvey will teach the art of training trick horses.

Clinics on equine and equestrian biomechanics will be offered by Karen Ososki, and Heidi Potter will provide sessions on Centered Riding and agility.

Equine Affaire’s extensive program of clinics, seminars, and demonstrations will be conducted in four arenas, the Cosequin and Youth Pavilion demo rings, and the seminar stage and offer a wealth of information as well as a diverse variety of training philosophies.

“Foundation First” Clinic Series Added to the Schedule

Regardless of their disciplines and individual training styles, nearly all horse trainers agree that effective and individualized foundation training is essential to the proper training of all horses. In recognition of the importance of the initial training experience, Equine Affaire will feature a Foundation First clinic series from Thursday through Sunday at the event this April. Through a sequence of sessions, Guy McLean and Richard Winters will each train one unbroke horse for riding, and attendees and horse owners will be able to observe their progress through daily clinics.

The Foundation First clinics will NOT be a race or competition. The focus will be on creating the proper foundation in training a horse to be ridden and on progressing at the rate that is appropriate for the individual horse. Both clinicians will present their horses during special sessions on Sunday, when they will discuss the specific challenges associated with the training of their horses and why they used the training approaches they used.

In addition to being terrific clinics to attend, the Foundation First clinics also offer unique opportunities for owners of halter-broke horses to have their horses trained by these exceptional trainers. Check out Equine Affaire’s Ride With the Best Program at equineaffaire.com for details on how to apply to participate.

Introducing the New Rod’s Equestrian Experience Pavilion

Equine Affaire will feature a broader range of equestrian disciplines and more breed spotlights than ever before with the creation of the new Equestrian Experience Pavilion sponsored by Rod’s Western Palace. Disciplines as diverse as sidesaddle, vaulting, polo, jousting, dressage, drill teams, pony pulling, gymkhana, racing, cutting, Western dressage, agility, and reining will be showcased through sessions presented by associations and clinicians representing these sports at the local, regional, and national levels. The sessions will be introductory in nature and will complement the more in-depth training clinics conducted by clinicians in the other arenas.

In addition to showcasing disciplines, the new Rod’s Equestrian Experience Pavilion will provide an additional venue for breed associations and Horse & Farm exhibitors to present their horses. Horse breeds will be presented in groups by “types,” including gaited horses, easy gaited horses, sport horses, stock horses, drafts, ponies, etc., and breed segments will be alternated with discipline showcases. By showcasing the breeds and disciplines that make up the “equestrian experience,” the new pavilion will provide a great introduction to the horse world for those who are new to horses—as well as a wonderful opportunity for seasoned equestrians to explore new breeds and equestrian activities.

Catch all of the Action of the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition!

Equine Affaire’s hugely popular Versatile Horse & Rider Competition promises to be a highlight of the 2014 event. The competition is a timed and judged race through an obstacle course that is 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. Thirty pre-selected horse and rider teams will compete for the title of “Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Champion” and $5,500 in cash and other prizes.

“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,” explained Coagi Long, Equine Affaire’s VP and Program Director. “Riders in the audience mentally work through the course with each team and can’t help but wonder how their own horses would respond to the obstacles and how they would approach them. They also empathize with the contestants as their horses succeed at some obstacles and fall short at others. And, apart from the entertainment aspect of the VHRC, there is a strong educational element because you learn a lot by observing the different approaches of contestants riding a variety of breeds of horses through the same obstacles.”

The qualifying rounds for this year’s competition will be conducted on Thursday morning in Cooper Arena, and the top 10 teams will advance to the finals, which will take place Friday afternoon in the coliseum. All around trainer Kerry Kuhn will judge the competition. If you’re ready to put your skills to the test, you’ll find details on the competition and how to apply at equineaffaire.com. Just click on the Ohio event and follow the “participate link” to the competition. Applications will be accepted only until thirty contestants are selected and confirmed. And, if you plan to watch the action from the stands, be sure to get there early to get a seat for this popular event within Equine Affaire.

The 2014 Fantasia, Sponsored by Buckeye Nutrition

The focus will shift from education to entertainment at Equine Affaire’s flagship equestrian extravaganza, the Fantasia, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights in the coliseum. As veteran Fantasia-goers have come to know, this special equine musical revue will feature a star-studded lineup of professional equestrian performers and exceptional horses choreographed to a wide variety of musical styles. Enjoy the beauty and diversity of horses of many breeds as well as the excitement of equestrian sports including freestyle reining, dressage, driving, drill teams, trick riding, trick horses, and more!

“The Fantasia is always a special opportunity to see some incredible horses and riders and witness some unforgettable performances,” said Eugenia Snyder, President of Equine Affaire. “In addition to enjoying the beauty and excitement of the various performances that make up the show, we have to marvel at the range of skills that horses possess, their extraordinary trainability, and their willingness to perform and excel in so many ways. The Fantasia is much more than equestrian entertainment—it’s truly a testament to the heart and soul of the amazing animals we love.”

The 2014 Fantasia will include performances that will cover the emotional gamut from the dramatic to the comedic, and Fantasia-goers can be prepared to be “moved,” amazed and made to laugh. Headliners of the event will include two of the top liberty horse trainers in the business: Guy McLean and Tommie Turvey. Guy McLean will present his “signature” four-horse liberty act, which must be seen to be believed—while Tommie Turvey will Roman ride a team of horses over a fire jump and engage his infamous paint horse, Poker Joe, in a battle of the wits. Other performers slated for the show include the award-winning Canadian Cowgirls drill team, Christine Drentwett and Caroline Williams (who will perform a garrocha pas de deux), Jeff Wilson presenting cowboy dressage aboard his Morgan stallion Delview Catskill Valiant, and a host of other distinguished riders and handlers and unforgettable horses both large and small. The 2014 Fantasia will be a show that horse-loving Fantasia goers won’t soon forget.

A separate ticket is required, and tickets range in price from $12 to $25, plus seat selection fees. Advance tickets are available through March 31 and can be ordered online at equineaffaire.com or by calling Equine Affaire at 740-845-0085. Any tickets not sold in advance will be available for purchase at the Information Booth in the Bricker Building beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday at Equine Affaire.

Convenient, One-Stop Shopping

Put simply, Equine Affaire offers the best one-stop, horse-related shopping anywhere. Take a break from online shopping and don your most comfortable shoes to explore literally acres of equine-related retailers and manufacturers in a trade show that will fill four exhibit halls and the areas in between. Equine Affaire’s vast trade show will feature more than 450 vendors offering everything from tack and apparel to horse-care items and trailers. Whether you’re planning to build a barn, replace a fence, or install a riding arena or you’re shopping for new tack, attire, artwork, DVDs, or even a horse, you’ll find information, manufacturers, retailers, associations, equine service providers, and plenty of other horse-related sources at Equine Affaire.

Buy and Sell Quality Consigned Items at The Marketplace at Equine Affaire

Make plans now to both buy what you and your horse need and sell what you don’t at The Marketplace at Equine Affaire. The Marketplace will be a consignment store within the trade show where you’ll have a unique opportunity to market your unwanted equine and equestrian items for up to four days to the tens of thousands of avid horsemen who attend Equine Affaire, as well as browse through a vast array of consigned items and discover bargains on the things you need to get ready for the next riding season. Where else can you find more potential buyers for your unwanted equine and equestrian items while also enjoying the ultimate horse-related educational program and equestrian shopping experience than Equine Affaire--the largest “horse fest” in North America?

“The Marketplace was a popular addition to last year’s Equine Affaire, so we’re featuring it again this April,” reported Eugenia Snyder. “We had a lot more shoppers than consignors last year—which was inevitable given the number of attendees at Equine Affaire. A large number of saddles of all types as well as a variety of other items were consigned, and most left the event with new owners by Sunday. We’re anticipating a big increase in both consignors and consigned items this year—as word has gotten out about this great opportunity to turn used tack, riding apparel, and horse equipment into cash!”

The Marketplace at Equine Affaire will be featured in the Bricker Annex, and merchandise will be presented for sale in a spacious retail setting that horse enthusiasts will appreciate. Take a break from advertising your items online and let the staff at The Marketplace display and sell your tack, apparel and other horse-related items to customers who will be able to see your items first hand and make their purchases on site. Equine Affaire’s staff will take care of selling your consignments while you enjoy Equine Affaire’s fantastic program of clinics, seminars, and demos—then pay you in cash for sales made at the event! With cash in hand, you’ll have additional spending power to shop for used items at the Marketplace and new merchandise at Equine Affaire’s phenomenal trade show. Best of all, the consignment fees at the Marketplace will be lower than those at other consignment venues in the region!

For information on the Marketplace at Equine Affaire, including consignment guidelines and forms and a list of items that will be accepted for consignment, visit equineaffaire.com, click on the Ohio event, and follow the “Participate” link to the Marketplace page. Or contact Kristen Gump at 740-845-0085 ext. 104 or email kgump@equineaffaire.com.

Horses Are the Focus of the “Affaire”

Whether your passion is for a large horse or a small one, a pleasure horse or a competitive mount, a gray, a pinto, or a bay, you’ll find it within Equine Affaire’s Breed Pavilion and Horse & Farm Exhibits. The Breed Pavilion in the Voinovich Center and the Horse & Farms Exhibits in the Gilligan Complex will showcase dozens of breeds of horses from North and South America, Europe, and beyond. Knowledgeable horse breeders and association reps will be on hand to answer your questions about characteristics, uses, bloodlines, and horse selection and share with you information about their associations and club activities. Come to Equine Affaire to experience a full taste of the horse world and research horses for sale, stallions at stud, training and breeding facilities, and various equine-related services from throughout the Midwest.

A Special Place for the Next Generation

Equine Affaire’s Youth Pavilion will host a variety of exhibits and activities geared to the interests of horse-crazy kids of all ages. In addition to educational and horse-related youth association exhibits, the Youth Pavilion will feature a full schedule of presentations by many of the horse industry’s most popular educators, demonstrations of horse breeds, daily stick horse rodeos sponsored by Wahl Clipper Corp., an equine trivia quest, and many other activities specially for kids. Get up close and personal with several equine stars at the Celebrity Horse Showcase located in the Youth Pavilion . . . and don’t forget to bring your camera!

You Just Might Win!

Would you like to win a western saddle from JT International Dist., Inc., a year of free forage for one horse from Triple Crown Nutrition, Inc., free tickets to Equine Affaire, or another prize? Equine Affaire’s 2014 raffle features a number of great prizes and is both free and easy to enter. Visit equineaffaire.com to learn more about the prizes available in this year’s raffle and enter online. And be sure to visit the Raffle Center in the Bricker Building at the event to see the prizes on display and complete your entry. Winners will be announced on Sunday afternoon, and you need not be present to win.

Ticket Prices and Volunteer Opportunities

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) admission is only $8/day. A four-day pass for adults is also available for just $50—a savings of $10 off of the daily rate. If you want to earn free admission and an event souvenir, consider assisting with the event as a member of our wonderful volunteer crew. nformation on the volunteer program is available at equineaffaire.com; click on the Ohio event and follow the “Participate” link to the volunteer page. Or contact our volunteer coordinator, Cindy Southward, at 740-845-0085 ext. 102 or email csouthward@equineaffaire.com.

Round up your horse-loving family, friends, and barn mates and plan your April getaway. Equine Affaire makes your trip even more affordable with special room blocks and discount rates at dozens of area host hotels. You’re encouraged to make your hotel reservations soon as room blocks and special rates at our host hotels will expire in early March. Camping with hookups is available right at the Ohio Expo Center on a first-come, first-served basis. Consult equineaffaire.com for hotel details, updated information on room availability, and information on camping.

Generous Sponsors Make Equine Affaire’s Program Possible

Equine Affaire’s unique program of educational activities and entertainment and the event’s modest admission fees are made possible through the financial underwriting provided by our many generous sponsors. We all extend our sincere gratitude to Buckeye Nutrition, Farnam, Rod’s Western Palace, Nutramax, and the dozens of other companies that have endorsed the educational mission of Equine Affaire through their sponsorships. Without these sponsorships, Equine Affaire would not be the quality event that it is.

Everything You Need to Know to Go

Visit equineaffaire.com to find everything you need to know to make your visit a fun and successful one: ticket details, directions, hotel information, a complete roster of presenters, daily schedules, maps, Ride With The Best and Versatile Horse & Rider Competition materials, facility information, and tips for making the most of your Equine Affaire experience. You can order advance tickets online or through the mail (through March 31). If you’re not web-inclined, Equine Affaire’s staff will gladly take your call and provide assistance at 740-845-0085 Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Eastern.

We look forward to seeing you and your family and horse-loving friends at the 2014 Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio, April 10-13!