It doesn’t matter whether you have only a budding interest in horses or you’re a seasoned veteran of the horse world, your destination of choice this April will be Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio. The 2017 Equine Affaire will take place April 6-9 at the Ohio Expo Center and offer what Equine Affaire has become famous for: fabulous horses, phenomenal opportunities and unforgettable experiences.
Horse people from throughout the country will convene at the 55th Equine Affaire in Columbus for their springtime dose of “all things equine” and to share their passion for horses with family and friends throughout the four days of the event. With 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, Equine Affaire is where you see, feel, touch, compare, try on, experience and smell the horse world in person . . . and “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, 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—so a little advance planning will be required to know just what to do when! 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 cutting, reining, western pleasure, barrel racing, and trail.
If you’re inclined to do more than just watch clinics at Equine Affaire—you and your horse can also participate. Through Equine Affaire’s Ride With The Best program you can receive individual instruction from or have your horse trained by one of the top clinicians at the event for a very reasonable clinic fee that includes stabling and event admission. The deadline to apply to participate is February 15, so check out all of the great clinicians and clinic opportunities at equineaffaire.com.
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 April. 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. Representatives of area horse farms and trainers affiliated with the Time to Ride program will provide instruction and seasoned lesson horses for first-time and returning riders who sign up to ride. 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.
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 to answer your questions and share their exceptional horses with you.
Equine Affaire’s ultimate 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 7, in pursuit of $5500 and the coveted title of Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Champion. The VHRC is 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. Put your skills to the test—or come and cheer on your favorite contestants in this exciting, fast-paced event! The deadline to apply to compete is February 15.
At the end of a great day of learning and shopping at Equine Affaire there can be nothing more gratifying than settling 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 7:30pm on Thursday-Saturday in the coliseum and offer unforgettable performances by some of the foremost equine and equestrian entertainers in the country including Guy McLean, Bobby Kerr, Matt McLaughlin, and Dan James. The Fantasia will take you on a journey through various disciplines and breeds and quickly remind you why we find horses so enchanting. Advance tickets are on sale through March 30.
There’s shopping online—and then there’s SHOPPING at Equine Affaire! At the largest horse-related trade show in North America 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 “super stores” to wander, 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 conveniently located this year in the Voinovich Livestock & Trade Center.
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 share your passion for horses at North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering!