LONDON, OH, January 8, 2024 – Equine Affaire invites horse lovers everywhere to join in an extra-special milestone celebration on April 11-14, 2024! This spring, make the pilgrimage to North America’s premier equine exposition and equestrian gathering and celebrate thirty spectacular years of Equine Affaire in Ohio. This landmark event will take place at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, OH, and include four days of everything the horse industry has come to know and love about Equine Affaire – plus a wealth of exciting new features, fun giveaways, and special guests. Elevate your equestrian experience this spring and saddle up for the equine event of the year.
Like all great movements, Equine Affaire first began as an idea. In 1993, founder Eugenia Snyder set out to create a first-class, education-oriented horsemen’s exposition, where horse people from all breeds and all disciplines could convene in a non-competitive environment and share their passion for horses with each other. The very next year, Eugenia and her staff produced the first Equine Affaire at the Hara Arena Complex in Dayton. Just three years later, the expo outgrew the Dayton facility and relocated to the Ohio Expo Center, where it has been produced annually ever since. In 2024, Equine Affaire is proud to continue celebrating its traditions by uplifting and uniting the horse industry. With a little over three months to go until the first horses set foot into the arenas of the Ohio Expo Center, now is the perfect time to begin exploring your options for joining the celebrations! Whether you’d like to attend, ride, participate, compete, volunteer, or exhibit, there’s a way for you to become part of Equine Affaire.
For three decades, equestrians have traveled from all over the globe to attend Equine Affaire and give themselves – and their horses – the gift of better horsemanship through education. This spring, attendees will enjoy clinics, seminars, and demonstrations by such spectacular horsemen and horsewomen as Mike Major, Ken McNabb, Pat Parelli, Steve Lantvit, and Chelsea Canedy, who will present on topics relating to general horsemanship and training. The event’s discipline-specific educators will include Daniel Stewart (jumping, fitness & sport psychology), Phillip Dutton (eventing), Mark Bolender (mountain trail), Cynthia Hankins (hunter/jumper), Lauren Sammis (dressage), Stacey Giere (driving), Solange (stable riding system), Lynn Newton (Western dressage), Duane Esser (English pleasure), Matt McHugh (trailer driving), Karin Bump, PhD (college/career fair), Jerry Paulsen (equine-assisted activities), and the Mid-Ohio Marauders (mounted shooting), plus many more to be announced in the months to come.
Many of these clinicians will be searching for horses and riders to participate in their clinics and demos at the event. Interested riders are welcome to apply to Equine Affaire’s clinic participation program, Ride with a Pro! Application materials and clinic titles and topics will be available online in mid-January. The deadline to apply is February 15, 2024. Clinic fees range from $85 to $350 and include clinic participation, event admission, and 24 hours of stabling for your horse. Clinicians will review applications and videos from applicants. Whether you’re hoping to improve your dressage scores, tackle a new discipline, fine-tune your communication skills with your horse, or something else, there is a spectacular learning opportunity waiting for you at Equine Affaire!
And speaking of learning opportunities, Equine Affaire is pleased to introduce a brand-new educational feature this year, focused on highlighting the Western way of life: Cowtown in Cooper. Get ready to embark on a two-day tour of Western cattle-oriented disciplines in the Cooper Arena on Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13. Attendees will enjoy learning from – or riding with – some of the industry’s finest clinicians in roping, boxing, ranch sorting, reining, cutting, and more. Wear your cowboy hats and cowboy boots and take part in an authentic Western experience. Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for more information about Cowtown in Cooper, including our featured Western clinicians and clinic titles, in the weeks to come.
Looking for something to bring out your competitive side? The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition may be right up your alley! This hugely popular feature will take place on Friday, April 12, during Equine Affaire. Competitors must navigate a challenging obstacle course under the watchful eye of an expert judge and the pressure of a ticking clock. Competitors don’t know what the course will consist of until they check in on site, but past obstacles have included jumping, backing through patterns, pole bending, roll backs, gymkhana games, and other creative exploits. With a field capped at 25 pre-selected horse and rider teams, don’t miss your opportunity to vie for $5,500 in cash and other prizes, as well as the honor of being named the 2024 Versatile Horse & Rider Champion! Application materials are available online at https://equineaffaire.com/events/ohio/ohio-participate/ohio-compete/ohio-versatile-horse-rider-competition/. The deadline to apply is February 15, 2024.
Attendees are also invited to apply to work as volunteers at this year’s event. Volunteers who work a certain number of hours can earn free admission, free four-day passes, and fun souvenirs, all while getting a backstage pass to one of the industry’s most well-run and expansive horse expos! Apply by February 26, 2024, by filling out our application form, available online: https://equineaffaire.com/events/ohio/ohio-participate/ohio-help/ohio-volunteer/.
Equine Affaire is also proud to announce the return of Fantasia, the musical celebration of the horse. With just three performances, Fantasia is can’t-miss entertainment that serves as the perfect bookend for a day spent at Equine Affaire. Sponsored by Equine Medical and Surgical Associates, this two-hour extravaganza is bursting at the seams with gorgeous horses, talented riders and performers, and great music. This spring, enjoy performances by 2020 PRCA Dress Act of the Year and 7-time NFR performers Rider Kiesner and Bethany Iles; Brendan and Melanie Wise’s fantastical bridleless jumping; a touch of Pony Magic from the Pegasus Riders; a fast-paced, patriotic drill team routine by the Young Guns; a dressage freestyle by Lauren Sammis, and more! Tickets for this special show are available online at https://equineaffaire.com/events/ohio/ohio-attend/ohio-general-information/tickets/. Buy your Fantasia tickets early because seats are selling fast!
In addition to riding and educational opportunities, the 2024 Equine Affaire in Ohio will showcase a sprawling trade show; a Breed Pavilion and Horse and Farm Exhibits; an Adoption Affaire; a college & career fair; an Interscholastic Equestrian Association Horse Show; and lots more. Booth spaces on the trade show floor are going quickly, so if you would like to exhibit and share your products, company, and brand with the tens of thousands of attendees who will be coming to Equine Affaire, act today! Application materials for the trade show are available here: https://equineaffaire.com/events/ohio/ohio-attend/exhibit/trade-show/ohio-exhibitor-information/.
If you own a farm, specialize in a particular breed of horse, or provide industry services, we welcome you to exhibit with us in the Breed Pavilion or the Horse & Farm Exhibits! These features are beloved elements of Equine Affaire and allow attendees to meet and greet with you and your horses in order to learn more about you, your horses, and the service and value you provide to the industry. Breed and Horse and Farm exhibitors are welcome to visit https://equineaffaire.com/events/ohio/ohio-attend/exhibit/breed-exhibits/breed-pavilion/ or https://equineaffaire.com/events/ohio/ohio-attend/ohio-breed-exhibits/ohio-horses-and-farm-exhibits/ to learn more about these fantastic opportunities.
Part of this year’s anniversary celebrations will also include the debut of the Great Equestrian Fitness Challenge in Ohio. If you’re the king or queen of the barn chore list, a master stall mucker, or a true barnyard athlete, you’ll want to come to Equine Affaire ready to compete in the Great Equestrian Fitness Challenge. This fun new competition will feature three events: a barn chores marathon, a bouncy pony race, and a horse nugget relay. You can sign up for the event of your choice on site – no horses needed and no entry fee required, besides general admission! Prizes will be awarded to the top ten participants in each event, as applicable. Whether you decide to compete or just want to watch, you’re guaranteed to have a fabulous time at the GEFC!
And that’s not all. In the days and weeks to come, stay tuned to our website and to our social media channels for announcements of new features, special guests, and schedule details for Equine Affaire in Ohio.
Tickets for Equine Affaire and Fantasia, the musical celebration of the horse, are available for purchase online any time (https://equineaffaire.com/events/ohio/ohio-attend/ohio-general-information/tickets/) or by calling our office at 740-845-0085, M-F, 9 am to 5 pm EST. General admission tickets are $16 in advance for adults or $10 for children, ages 7-10. Four-day passes are $52. Children (ages 6 & under) get in for free! Tickets to Fantasia, sponsored by Equine Medical & Surgical Associates, are also available online or by phone. Tickets for Fantasia range from $16 to $25. Show dates are Thursday, April 11; Friday, April 12; and Saturday, April 13; at 7:30 pm ET in the Coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center. Club, organization, and association discounts are available for Thursday night’s Fantasia only – to receive this discount, call our office at (740) 845-0085.
Equine Affaire gratefully acknowledges the sponsors that help make this event possible: Equine Medical & Surgical Associates, Rod’s, GGT Footing, and US Equestrian. For more information about Equine Affaire, please visit equineaffaire.com or follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We’ll see you at Equine Affaire!