The Presenters at Equine Affaire®

Learn from the Best at the 2018 Equine Affaire

World Champions, National Champions, Olympians, WEG and Pan Am competitors, popular equestrian TV personalities, professional equestrian performers, authors, judges, veterinarians, professors, and other top industry professionals will come together at the 2018 Equine Affaire in Ohio to share their expertise on a wide range of equestrian disciplines and topics and offer unparalleled learning opportunities. Plan your trip to Columbus to meet these top equestrians and industry leaders, attend sessions on a wide range of equestrian disciplines and topics, and hone your horse training, management, and riding skills.

2018 Clinic, Seminar & Demo Schedule

Dan James

General Horsemanship, Reining & LIberty

Dan James is yet another outstanding horseman who has emerged from the horse trainer breeding grounds of Australia. Mr. James was raised on a cattle ranch near Queensland where he developed a passion for horses at a very early age and was breaking and training horses by the time he was a teenager. Dan James traveled to Japan and then the United States to gain knowledge and experience training horses. He worked under the tutelage of renowned cutting horse trainer, Punk Carter, before returning to Australia and taking a position managing up to 200 horses on a vast cattle operation. Mr. James’ aptitude for trick riding and entertaining first emerged at this ranch where he periodically performed for guests. In 2008 he left the outback to find his audience—and began training and performing at El Caballo Spanish Horse Centre. It was there that he met his performance partner, Dan Steers, with whom he has developed and promoted “Double Dan Horsemanship.” Dan James’ competitive accomplishments include being the 2012 Road to the Horse World Champion, the 2014 Freestyle Reining Champion at the Kentucky Reining Cup, a Mustang Million Finalist, and winning the “Way of the Horse” at Equitana Asia Pacific. He and Dan Steers also participated in the World Equestrian Games in 2010. Mr. James’ philosophy is to push the limits of horsemanship and entertainment while providing knowledge and understanding of our equine “mates.”

Kenn McNabb

General Training & Horsemanship

Ken McNabb is the all-American image of what a cowboy should be, a modern day Roy Rogers. With his wife and young sons he continues the traditional ranching family lifestyle of his youth and trains horses on the McNabb ranch in the mountains of Wyoming. As a boy, Ken McNabb knew that he wanted to help improve the lives of others—and at the first horsemanship clinic he attended, he knew immediately that being a clinician was his life’s calling. For more than 20 years Ken McNabb has helped thousands of riders regain their childhood confidence with his easy to follow step-by-step methods and gentle communication style. He shares his vast experience and knowledge of horses through clinics conducted across the country and his weekly show on RFD-TV titled “Discovering the Horseman Within”—now in its 12th year. He is also a partner in the annual Diamond-McNabb Ranch Horse sale in Douglas, WY.

Stacy Westfall

General Training & Reining

Stacy Westfall’s expertise and effective teaching style have made her one of the most popular and sought-after clinicians in the horse industry. Ms. Westfall began riding at the age of six, and she quickly discovered a natural talent and interest in horse training. While she did a little bit of all types of riding as a youth, she began focusing on reining at The University of Findlay, and more specifically, being able to compete in reining without reins. In 2003 Stacy Westfall won the National Reining Horse Association freestyle reining competition with no bridle or neck rope. Her fame grew far beyond the reining world with her famous bareback and bridleless performance to Tim McGraw’s “Live Like Your Were Dying” at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in 2006. That memorable championship ride led to millions of Internet video views and an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Stacy Westfall’s other accolades include being the first woman to win the Road to the Horse competition and being inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. To assist fellow equestrians in training their equine partners, she has produced numerous articles, DVDs, books, and even a blog series. With her husband, Jesse, Ms. Westfall operates Westfall Horsemanship in Perrysville, OH, and travels worldwide to present clinics and teach people how to build better relationships with their horses.

Van Hargis

General Training & Horsemanship

Van Hargis of Victoria, TX, is more than just a clinician who talks about horsemanship—he is a lifelong horse trainer who moves easily across the great divide between the western and English riding worlds with relaxed humor. Mr. Hargis launched his training career at age 12 when the wife of renowned saddle maker Billy Cook hired him to train her horse. He then went on to train 15 ranch horse versatility champions and develop his unique horsemanship seminars while living in New Zealand in the early 1990s. Mr. Hargis advocates that nothing but the basics applies to every discipline and every interaction with our horses. He has produced two videos titled “Training the Versatile Ranch Horse” and “The Trail to Success” and is also the author of The Horse Is My Teacher.

Warwick Schiller

General Training & Horsemanship

Though he grew up showing Quarter Horses in Australia, Warwick Schiller moved to the United States 25 years ago to pursue his professional horse training career. He initially focused on training reined cow horse and all-around horses before turning his focus to the sport of reining. Mr. Schiller holds multiple champion titles in reining in the United States and Australia, was a member of the Australian reining team at the World Equestrian Games in 2010, and is currently an NRHA judge. For more than a decade, he has been developing Warwick Schiller Performance Horsemanship, based out of Hollister, CA. He conducts clinics in the United States as well as in Australia, New Zealand, and throughout Europe. For the past few years Mr. Schiller has been working on the production of an online video course based on the “Principles of Training,” his popular and award-winning YouTube channel that features more than 200 training videos applicable to all disciplines, and several books.

Tommie Turvey

Trick Training

Tommie Turvey, known to many as the Equine Extremist, grew up loving and riding horses. His unique path to training and showmanship began at the age of 10 when he was hired to present completely unknown horses in the auction ring. As an adult Mr. Turvey expanded his skill set working first for the Medieval Times Dinner Theater and then for the Arabian Nights in Florida. Adept at trick training, Roman riding, and liberty training, Tommie Turvey joined Euro Disney as a trainer and performer at the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show in Paris, France, before touring throughout Europe performing with several other shows. After being recruited and hired by the Hanaford Circus, he returned to the United States and performed with the circus for three years. In 1992 Tommie Turvey obtained his SAG card and embarked on a parallel career using his natural athletic skills as a stunt man in many movies and TV shows. Over the years Mr. Turvey has developed his own unique horse training techniques based on trust, affection, and understanding that enable him to create, with his equine partners, both family-friendly entertainment and incredible movie and TV stunts. His memorable American Paint Horses, Pokerjoe, Joker, and Ace are stars in their own right, with the first two having been immortalized as Breyer® horse models.

Jan Ebeling


Jan Ebeling, a native of Germany, has been a major American dressage competitor since he began riding as a U.S. citizen in 1998. Before coming to the United States in 1984, Mr. Ebeling worked as an apprentice under the late German master Herbert Rehbein and earned his berreiter, a German license to train horses. Aboard several different horses, Mr. Ebeling has collected numerous championship titles including a 2003 gold medal at the Pan-American Games and several USET Festival of Champions wins. Mr. Ebeling has also competed in the 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2012 World Cups. In 2011, Mr. Ebeling and his talented mount Rafalca were the highest-ranked combination from the United States at the World Cup in Leipzig, Germany. Later that year, Mr. Ebeling was a member of the U.S. Team for Aachen, and in 2012, he and Rafalca were awarded a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. Fulfilling a life-long dream, he achieved a score of over 70% in the Grand Prix while competing in London. Mr. Ebeling has also been a USDF Young Rider Clinician, Chef d’Equipe for Region 7, and a member of the High Performance Dressage Eligible Athlete Committee. He currently conducts clinics internationally while also operating his training and sales facility, The Acres, in Moorpark, CA.

Jeff Cook

Hunter / Jumper

Jeff Cook, of Sisters, OR, is a veteran of the Grand Prix show jumping circuit who has successfully trained hunters and jumpers for 40 years. Throughout his career, he has coached, ridden, and trained horses and riders for all divisions from low hunters to Grand Prix jumpers. Mr. Cook has worked for some of the sport’s greats, including as an assistant trainer for the United States Equestrian Team Coach, George Morris, from 1986 to 1991 and again from 1998 to 2003. Over the years, Mr. Cook’s horses and riders have won classes and championships at major shows throughout the United States, as well as at international competitions in Canada, Italy, and Mexico. In addition to his accomplishments in the ring, Mr. Cook has written numerous articles for equine publications, including a 28-month series for Practical Horseman. Though he currently lives in Oregon with his wife and children, Mr. Cook also continues to travel throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada to teach clinics and train at horse shows.

Nancy Cahill

Western Horsemanship & Trail

Nancy Cahill, of Madisonville, TX, has spent half a century training riders and Quarter Horses. Ms. Cahill started her training business in high school, and by the time she went to college at Texas A&M University, she had 11 horses in training. While at college, she continued to train horses and met her now-husband Bubba Cahill. The pair opened Cahill Quarter Horses after graduation, a training facility they still run today. Nancy Cahill has an illustrious career in the Quarter Horse world that includes winning numerous World and Reserve World Championships. She also founded the Texas Quarter Horse Association in 1978 and went on to serve on their Board of Directors. In 1996 Ms. Cahill was named the American Quarter Horse Association’s Professional Horsewoman of the Year. A firm believer that teaching others is the most important thing she does, Ms. Cahill developed a line of horsemanship DVDs meant to give riders the ability to improve their riding and training of their horses. Ms. Cahill was recently named a member of the 2018 AQHA Team Wrangler, a group of 24 professional horsemen who work to promote educational outreach for the equine industry.

Lynn Symansky


Lynn Symansky is a highly-successful eventer with 30 years of competition experience that includes almost 20 years of international competition. She has been competing at the advanced level of eventing since she was 18, and her extensive accomplishments in the eventing arena include being a member of the gold-medal winning 2011 Pan American Games Team; competing at the 2014 World Equestrian Games and the 2015 Nation Cup; and traveling as a reserve member for the 2016 Olympic Games. She has completed 10 CCI**** events including Rolex (now the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event), Badminton, Burghley, and Pau. Ms. Symansky currently rides and trains out of Handlen Farm in Middleburg, VA. In 2017 and 2018 she was named to the USEF High Performance Elite Training Lists with her 14-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding, Donner. In addition to training and competing, Ms. Symansky has extensive teaching experience in coaching amateurs, top junior riders, and advanced competitors. She is a U. S. Eventing Association Certified Instructor and has coached US Pony Club eventing and show jumping teams at regional and national championships for several years.

Paul Humphrey

Barrel Racing

Paul Humphrey, of Rhome, TX, has been running barrels for more than 40 years and has plenty of accomplishments to show for it. After getting his start in barrel racing at the age of 10, Mr. Humphrey spent many years competing through 4-H and rodeo events before moving abroad to further his barrel racing education. He spent several years training in Italy and in that time became a ten-time European barrel racing champion. More than a decade ago Paul Humphrey developed his signature “Breaking the Mold” training program which aims to increase horse and rider body control to improve their barrel patterns. Since then he has produced educational DVDs, a book series, and a line of bits to help riders better connect with their horses and improve their barrel patterns. Mr. Humphrey travels throughout the United States to teach clinics using his Breaking the Mold program and regularly contributes to Barrel Horse News. He was recently was profiled in the American Quarter Horse Association’s Performance Horse Journal.

Bob Giles


Bob Giles is an accomplished driving horse trainer, competitor, and clinician who has been deeply involved in the sport of driving for more than 60 years. Mr. Giles trains and teaches safe harnessing, hitching, and driving at Winter Hill Driving Center in Morriston, FL, and is recognized in the world of combined driving both for his enthusiasm and determination. In addition to his stature as a driving competitor, Mr. Giles is a veteran of the Vietnam War who received not one, but two, purple hearts and has dedicated his life to remembering the thousands of men and women who did not make it back from the war. Through his military service in Vietnam, Mr. Giles lost 90% of his hearing and has a fused elbow and only partial use of his right hand. Not one to let physical challenges stop him, in 2014 Mr. Giles competed in the World Driving Championships in Sandringham, England as part of the USEF Para-Equestrian Driving Team, where he drove to a second place finish. In addition to competing and teaching clinics on a regular basis, Mr. Giles judges several draft, carriage, and driven dressage shows each year.

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Stephen Hayes


Stephen Hayes is an up-and-coming dressage rider and trainer who has trained with some of the foremost figures in the industry and competed internationally through Grand Prix. Mr. Hayes was born in Britain and dabbled in numerous equine disciplines including working as an exercise rider of Thoroughbred racehorses. He eventually narrowed his focus on dressage and began riding at Two Mills Sport Horses, owned by Mike Jones, an accomplished British dressage rider and trainer. Mr. Hayes transitioned to a position at Villa Equus in Spain, where he trained under the tutelage of three-time Olympian Beatriz Ferrer-Salat. Stephen Hayes moved to the United States five years ago and is now based out of Milton House Farm in Warwick, NY, for most of the year. This winter he joined Perfect Harmony Dressage in Loxahatchee, FL, to spend time on the Florida circuit. In addition to training and showing his own horses and coaching riders, Mr. Hayes is known for his enthusiastic and positive teaching style and runs a busy clinic schedule throughout the eastern United States, Europe, Australia, and even Malaysia. He also writes for the British publication, Everything Horse.

Keith Miller

Hunter Under Saddle

Ketih Miller’s career as a horse trainer and breeder evolved from a part-time job in high school where he worked on a horse breeding farm. He started his own professional training business with his wife, Sydney, more than 10 years ago in the form of Miller Quarter Horses in Reidsville, NC. Since then he has trained and shown Quarter Horses in a variety of disciplines including halter, showmanship, hunter under saddle, western pleasure, trail, equitation, horsemanship, western riding, and hunter hack. His horses have earned numerous wins including multiple World Champions, Reserve World Champions, American Quarter Horse Congress Champions, and National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA) Champions. Mr. Miller is an American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Professional Horseman and is a recognized judge through the American Paint Horse Association, AQHA, and NSBA. He is also a member of the 2018 AQHA Team Wrangler, a group of 24 Professional Horsemen who promote educational outreach for the equine industry. Articles penned by Keith Miller have appeared in NSBA’s The Way To Go magazine and InStride Magazine.

Liz Bentley

English / Hunter Pleasure

Liz Bentley has spent more than 30 years as an active rider and trainer of Arabian and half-Arabian horses. Her experience includes riding and training in numerous equine disciplines including western and English pleasure, hunter, sidesaddle, cutting, and gaited classes. In 2012 Ms. Bentley became the first female rider to pilot the winning horse of the Arabian Western Pleasure National Championship. She followed up the victory by being named the Arabian Professional and Amateur Horseman’s Association Horse Woman of the Year that year. In addition to showing and training, Ms. Bentley and her husband, David, run IIB Farms in Oronogo, MO, a successful breeding business. They have bred several champion horses including the 2004 Purebred U.S. National Championship Futurity Hunter Class Champion, IIB Justalilwicked. Over the past 15 years, Ms. Bentley has bred and trained National Champion horses in all divisions of western and hunter pleasure. Her riders, who compete in the youth and amateur divisions, have been equally successful.

Larry Whitesell

Easy Gaited Horses

Larry Whitesell’s name is almost synonymous with excellence in gaited horse performance. He has been a renowned gaited horseman since 1980 and has won numerous regional, national, and grand national championships as well as Trainer of the Year honors in 2002. In addition to competing in the show ring, Larry Whitesell has held judges’ cards in several gaited breeds. Over the years, Mr. Whitesell began looking for ways to achieve correctness and lightness in gaited horses and to create mounts that riders could count on to be safe and dependable. He began studying classical dressage in the early 1990s from contemporary masters who had studied under Nuno Oliveira and at classical schools in Europe. Larry Whitesell quickly learned that horses were more consistent in their gait and could perform gaits with a wider range of speeds when classically trained. He now travels the United States and Canada appearing at clinics and equine expositions, promoting his belief that making things better for the horse creates a smoother, safer, more dependable mount.

Ty Evans

Mules & Donkeys

Though Ty Evans’ experience in the equine world has included riding horses and donkeys in addition to mules, his current training business focuses primarily on mules. Mr. Evans has been training professionally for more than 10 years and has spent many years passing his expertise on to other mule owners through clinics and various media. His DVD series, titled “Ty Evans Mulemanship,” covers everything from groundwork basics to under saddle work to solving common problems people may encounter when working with their mules. Mr. Evans also shares his expertise through a monthly column for Western Mule Magazine and has contributed to North West Horse Source. In 2015 and 2016 Ty Evans was named Champion of the American Mule Trainers Challenge. He also served as the Vice President and President of the Rocky Mountain Mule Association in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Mr. Evans currently travels from his home in Grenola, UT, throughout the United States to teach clinics and improve people’s relationships with their mules, with his wife and their two daughters in tow.

James Cooler

Behavior & General Training

James Cooler, of Hampstead, NC, is a second-generation trainer working under the title of Cooler Horsemanship. After studying the techniques of prolific natural horsemanship trainers, including Buck Brannaman, John Lyons, and Pat Parelli, Mr. Cooler’s father, Don, developed the horsemanship method he called ATRUM and started Cooler Horsemanship. ATRUM refers to the five pillars needed for a successful partnership between a horse and its rider: Attention, Trust, Respect, Understanding, and Motivation. After Don Cooler passed away in 2004, James Cooler carried on his teachings in Cooler Horsemanship with his wife, Kate. In 2014, Mr. Cooler was chosen as the wild card competitor for the Road to the Horse competition, an opportunity extended to him again in 2015. Passionate about improving the relationship between horses and riders, Mr. Cooler has developed eBooks and online video series to increase equestrian’s access to his methods. Though he specializes in colt starting, liberty training, and working with difficult horses, Mr. Cooler has the expertise to train nearly any horse or rider, having ridden in numerous disciplines ranging from ranch riding and reining to jumpers and dressage.

Sandy Croote

Miniature Horses

Sandy Croote is a breeder of champion Miniature Horses as well as a carded judge for the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA), the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR), the United States Equestrian Federation for Shetlands, and many other organizations. Her experience with horses in various disciplines began in 1983. It was the high-stepping, refined action of Saddlebred-type horses and Hackneys that initially caught her eye and eventually led her to Miniature Horses. By 2000, Ms. Croote owned her first mini and went on to win several AMHR National Championships the following year. From her home in Esperance, NY, Ms. Croote has worked and travelled with top industry trainers and clinicians to strengthen her training and observation skills. In addition, her success in breeding Miniature Horses earned her the title of Champion Breeder of the Year by the World Class Miniature Horse Registry in both 2006 and 2010. Ms. Croote’s Miniature Horses have continued to be shown with much success, taking numerous national, world, futurity, Hall of Fame, and Horse of the Year titles.

Kellie & Sam Rettinger

Draft Horses & Logging

Kellie and Sam Rettinger, owners of Whispery Pines Percherons in Kingsville, OH, have been involved in the equine industry for their entire lives. Sam Rettinger grew up with draft horses and began driving and showing them at a young age. In addition to showing, Sam currently trains their horses to work at the couple’s farm and complete logging projects. Kellie Rettinger grew up riding and showing Quarter Horses in hunt seat, western pleasure, gaming, and cutting. After meeting Sam more than 10 years ago, she began to drive, ride, and show draft horses in saddle seat, western pleasure, and Roman riding classes. The Rettingers bring their horses to several events each year to show in different hitch and riding classes. They also provide carriage rides with their Percherons for a variety of events including weddings, birthdays, hayrides, and winter sleigh rides.

Carrie Brandt & Laura Benson

Carrie Brandt is the co-owner of Taktur Icelandic, an Icelandic horse focused training barn located in Prospect, KY. Like so many equestrians, Ms. Brandt caught the horse bug at any early age and soon fell in love with Icelandics. She first rode under Gudmar Petursson, a top Icelandic horse trainer in the United States and a member of Equine Affaire’s popular Fantasia performance group, Knights of Iceland. Ms. Brandt continued her education by attending Holar University in Iceland, the only school in the world that produces certified Icelandic horse trainers. As one of only two Americans to graduate from the school, Ms. Brandt uses her education to teach Icelandic horse owners and enthusiasts how to work in harmony with their horses. In addition to training out of her farm, she travels throughout the United States and Iceland to show horses in competitions and breeding evaluations.

Karen Downie

Equine Assisted Learning

...and more to be announced!