02 21

The 2018 Equine Affaire: 25 Years in the Making

LONDON, OH, February 21, 2018— When work initially began on the first Equine Affaire back in 1993, the show was nothing more than one person’s “good idea.”  That idea for an event that would bring all facets of the horse industry together in an education-oriented, noncompetitive environment was soon enthusiastically embraced by horse people and horse businesses alike, and Equine Affaire quickly evolved into a multi-faceted, must-attend show serving the horse community.

Today Equine Affaire enjoys a solid reputation and place in the horse industry thanks to the participation and support over the past 25 years of countless clinicians, presenters, performers, farm owners, associations, organizations, retailers, manufacturers, sponsors, and horse people from all walks of equestrian life.  The exact impact of Equine Affaire is difficult to measure, but the 56 events that have been produced since the first show in March of 1994 have clearly touched the lives of many hundreds of thousands of horse people and several thousand horse businesses and organizations throughout the nation. Along the way they have also served an even larger and perhaps more important goal of improving our understanding and appreciation of horses and improving their lives through the education of their owners and handlers. Equine Affaire is aptly named—as it continues to be a celebration of our love of horses.

Equine Affaire’s “Silver Anniversary” event will take place April 12-15 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus and offer what Equine Affaire has become famous for:  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. Whether you are just becoming involved with horses or you’re a seasoned veteran of the horse world, your destination of choice this spring will be Equine Affaire—North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering.

At a time when so much of what we do and experience is through online avenues, Equine Affaire offers the grand alternative to see, feel, touch, compare, try on, experience and even smell the horse world in person . . . to share one’s love of horses with others who feel the same.  Equine Affaire is about first-hand opportunities to witness great horses, learn from top equestrians, shop for all things equine, research, connect, hang out with fellow horse people and immerse one’s self in the world of horses.

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.  Clinicians scheduled to present at the Silver Anniversary event will include Ken McNabb, Dan James, Van Hargis, Warwick Schiller, Stacy Westfall, Tommie Turvey, Nancy Cahill, Jan Ebeling, Jeff Cook, Lynn Symansky, Paul Humphrey, Stephen Hayes, Bob Giles, Larry Whitesell, Liz Bentley, and a host of others.  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 reining, western horsemanship, barrel racing, contesting, and trail.

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 sponsored by Cosequin®.  And, 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 spring. 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.

Equine Affaire is expanding its educational offerings this year with the introduction of the Your Farm Forum sponsored by Equine Equipment and located in the Bricker Annex.  This new specialty area will include a range of farm and stable-related exhibitors as well as a seminar stage featuring sessions focusing on the horse’s home and environment and covering a wide range of topics for owners of horse farms of all sizes. Discover ways you can improve your equine operation and horse’s world and learn about other farm activities and animals.

Students hoping to pursue equine-related studies and careers will be able to research college programs and career options by participating in a new Career/College Scavenger Hunt. The hunt will be an engaging way to meet a variety of industry professionals and college representatives. The kickoff presentation for the hunt will take place at 10:00am on Saturday in the Equine Fundamentals Forum demo ring in the Celeste Center, and the scavenger hunt will follow until 3:45pm. Prizes will be awarded during a final panel discussion at 4:00pm.  Interested students should check in to participate at the Equine Fundamentals Forum upon arrival at the show.

Of course the true focus of Equine Affaire is obviously 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 popular 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 13, 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 20.

A second competition has been added to the schedule for the Silver Anniversary Equine Affaire.  An Interscholastic Equestrian Association Western Horse Show will take place on Sunday from 10:00am-2:00pm in Cooper Arena and feature youth competitors representing schools from throughout the region.  The show will not only highlight the abilities of youth competitors, but will also provide an opportunity for high school students to learn about the IEA and how they can become involved in showing horses.

Outstanding equine and equestrian acts from throughout the United States are slated to perform at Equine Affaire’s popular musical celebration of the horse – the Fantasia – to create an evening of fabulous and affordable entertainment. The 2018 Fantasia will take place at 7:30pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the coliseum and is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Absorbine®. As the entertainment cornerstone of Equine Affaire, the Fantasia showcases the beauty, diversity, talent, and spirit of horses of a great variety of breeds and disciplines and provides the perfect ending to a busy day of activities at Equine Affaire. With just the right mix of comedy, drama, action, stunning horses, phenomenal horsemanship, and diverse music, the Fantasia has been one of the highlights of Equine Affaire in Columbus since the show was first introduced nearly 20 years ago. Advance tickets for this must-see event are onsale through April 10. Tickets not sold in advance will be available at the Information Booth in the Bricker Building beginning at 9:00am on Thursday, April 12.

At Equine Affaire’s legendary trade show you’ll be able to see, touch, try on and compare everything you and your horse need….and some things you might not be able to resist. With several large “stores” to explore, 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 located next to the Breed Pavilion in the Voinovich Livestock & Trade Center.

Presenting a program as extensive as the one at Equine Affaire is very costly, and we are truly grateful to the many companies and organizations that underwrite production expenses through their generous sponsorships.  We extend our most heartfelt thanks to Absorbine®, Rod’s, Wahl, Horse Network, US Equestrian, Farnam, Equine Savings, and the dozens of other outstanding companies and organizations that endorse the mission of Equine Affaire and keep ticket prices affordable for all horse people through their sponsorship support.

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 get your springtime dose of all things equine this April in Columbus.

Read More