03 30

MEET THE OHIO CLASS OF 2023 VHRC COMPETITORS, PART THREE

LONDON, OH, March 30, 2023 — Join us in Ohio for the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, happening Friday, April 14, at 1:30 pm in the US Equestrian Coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center! Twenty-five pre-selected horse and rider pairs will race the clock to tackle a series of challenging obstacles in their pursuit of $5,500 in cash and other prizes. In this post, meet five more of the members of the spring 2023 class of VHRC competitors. (If you missed the first two posts in the series, click here!)


Sidney Hawk

Horse: Zippo’s Blu Sky, 14 year old American Paint Horse mare

Sidney and “Sky” hail from Massillon, Ohio. As a student at the University of Findlay, Sidney is pursuing a double major in Equine Western Training and Equine Business Management with a minor in Marketing. She has been riding for more than twelve years and competing for nine as she works toward a career in training horses. Sidney says, “I’ve been attending Equine Affaire for longer than I can even remember and I have wanted to compete in the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition since I started mountain trail at age 12.” Partnered together for nine years, Sidney and Sky are eager to make Sidney’s dreams come true of competing in the VHRC.


Matt Keefe

Horse: Blue Moon Jr Cash, 16 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

Matt and Cash have been partners in and out of the show arena for six years. Together, they have shown in numerous competitions and everything in between from pony rides to lessons. Cash was bred and trained to be a reiner. Due to his kind temperament and quiet disposition, his skills continue to grow. Matt and Cash hope to compete in the VHRC to honor their accomplishments over the years together.


Amanda Malone

Horse: Turbo, 18 year old Norwegian Fjord gelding

Amanda and Turbo have been partners for four years. Turbo loves to compete in eventing, especially in cross-country, but he’s also a fan of trail and versatility competitions. Together, they’ve participated in parades, eventing, western sports, trail competitions, expos, demonstrations, and much more. Amanda and Turbo have competed in the VHRC three times, and each time, they come away with new things to practice as well as having made new friends. Last fall, they placed in the top ten at the 2022 Massachusetts VHRC.


Myron Martin

Horse: Runnin for Cocktails, 3 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

Myron and “Forest” have been together for only a few months, but enjoy riding Western together. Myron has been around horses all his life, but didn’t start riding show horses until 2022. He’s excited to see how he and Forest perform this spring in the VHRC!

Wendy Montgomery

Horse: SF Distinguished Gentleman, 18 year old Rocky Mountain gelding

Wendy and “Rocky” are obstacle aficionados! They’ve been together for fifteen years, and competed in their first obstacle challenge in 2013. After that, they were hooked. For the last decade, they’ve traveled to compete in obstacle challenges in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Alabama. That includes four times in the VHRC, with two top ten finishes, and a long list of championship wins in the American Competitive Trail Horse Association, the Extreme Cowboy Association, the Rocky Mountain Horse Association, the International Mountain Trail Challenge Association, and at the Southern Equine Expo. Wendy says, “Rocky truly is my heart horse. The partnership he and I have formed will never be matched. It’s a privilege for me to have such an incredible animal by my side.”

Are you excited for this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition yet? Plan to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 14, and watch the competition unfold in the coliseum, starting at 1:30 pm Eastern Time. Learn more about the competitors for this exciting event by following along on our social media channels leading up to the event, and stay tuned after the event for results!

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03 28

MEET THE OHIO CLASS OF 2023 VHRC COMPETITORS, PART TWO

LONDON, OH, March 28, 2023 — If you’re joining us in Ohio on April 13-16, 2023, for Equine Affaire, make sure you plan to attend the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition! This exciting tournament will feature 25 pre-selected horse-and-rider pairs as they tackle a challenging obstacle course and race the clock, all for $5,500 in cash and other prizes. The VHRC will take place in the US Equestrian Coliseum on Friday, April 14, at 1:30 pm, with awards to follow. In this post, meet five more of the riders in this year’s spring 2023 class of VHRC competitors. (And if you missed the first post in this series, click here!)

Dawn Chambers

Horse: Charge on Gunsmoke, 6 year old APHA gelding

Dawn Chambers of Chambers Horsemanship will be riding twice in this year’s competition! First, meet “Bandit.”  Dawn and Bandit, a black American Paint Horse gelding, enjoy working cattle, checking fences, working obstacles, and going on leisurely trail rides with family. Dawn says, “Bandit is truly an amazing horse, as he is so willing to please.”


Kristy Fouty

Horse: Dun Got It Goin On, 18 year old American Paint Horse gelding

Kristin and “Boo” have been together since 2007. Boo is a “been there and done that horse.” From open and 4-H shows to the ranch circuit, Kristin and Boo have tackled many disciplines, including pleasure, jumping, rodeo, and ranch. They’ve also earned a variety of champion and reserve champion titles from open and professional circuits, such as the American Ranch Horse Association and the Ranch Horse Association of Michigan. After placing in the top ten in the 2019 and 2022 VHRC, the pair are eager to return and tackle the Equine Affaire obstacle course again.

Franny Galvin-Hynes

Horse: Aspen’s Wild Grove, 5 year old American Mustang gelding

Franny Galvin-Hynes has been riding and working with horses since she was old enough to walk and, since then, she’s competed throughout North America in extreme cowboy, mustang challenges, and thoroughbred makeovers – but Equine Affaire is hands-down her favorite event to attend!

Aspen’s Wild Grove is a wild-born American Mustang who was gathered as an 8-10 month old by the BLM from Warm Springs, Oregon. Franny purchased Aspen for a Mustang TIP Challenge and has been working with him ever since. Naturally friendly and calm from the start, Aspen enjoys taking it back to his roots on long trail rides in all sorts of terrain and weather. He loves participating in parades, nothing fazes him, and he makes friends everywhere he goes – both horse and human.

In Aspen’s debut last year as a 4-year-old at Equine Affaire in MA, he and Franny proudly brought home the 10th place VHRC ribbon. Aspen and Franny are also the 2022 Ontario Extreme Cowboy High-Points Futurity Champions and Provincial Reserve Champions. When they’re not cowboy racing, Franny and Aspen enjoy cattle sorting, ranch roping, competitive trail, and occasionally hitting the local Hunter circuit.

Olivia Giuffrida

Horse: Tiny, 9 year old Clydesdale cross mare

Olivia has owned Tiny for four years. When the pair first came together, they were starting from scratch. Olivia says she didn’t have a clear direction for their journey together, but it was clear that they both liked trying new things and learning together. Three years later, they’re excited to be competing in the VHRC because versatility is one of the disciplines they enjoy most.

Brenda Hanson

Horse: PVF Frosted Ace, 8 year old American Quarter Horse gelding

Brenda Hanson and “Ace” are returning to defend their titles as the 2022 OH Versatile Horse & Rider Champions. They also won the 2019 OH Versatile Horse & Rider Competition! Brenda and Ace have been together for nine years and enjoy ranch riding and obstacle courses. They’re seasoned veterans of the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition, having placed in the top five many times as well as winning a reserve championship in addition to their two championships.

Are you excited for this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition yet? Plan to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 14, and watch the competition unfold in the coliseum, starting at 1:30 pm Eastern Time. Learn more about the competitors for this exciting event by following along on our social media channels leading up to the event, and stay tuned after the event for results!

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03 23

MEET THE OHIO CLASS OF 2023 VHRC COMPETITORS, PART ONE

LONDON, OH, March 23, 2023 — In just a few short weeks, Equine Affaire will take the Ohio Expo Center by storm for a fabulous long weekend of all things equine and equestrian on April 13-16, 2023. In the midst of that long weekend, the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition will return on Friday, April 14, at 1:30 pm in the US Equestrian Coliseum! With $5,500 cash and other prizes at stake, it’s going to be one exciting race as 25 competitors and their mounts vie for the honor of becoming the 2023 Versatile Horse and Rider Champions! In this post, meet five of the talented competitors that will join the race at Equine Affaire.

Melinda Arnitsis

Horse: Bella Beretta, 12 year old American Quarter Horse mare

Melinda has been riding “Retta” for six years. In that time, they’ve performed at Breyerfest, competed in a freestyle reining, won third place at the American Ranch Horse Association World Championships in ranch reining, and placed in the top ten multiple times at the VHRC. Melinda says, “Retta has a lot of spice and so much heart.  She is one of those mares that you have to ask her questions and not tell her what to do. I know she has it in her to be the best.”

April Baronas

Horse: I Can’t Eeven, 8 year old Mustang mare

April has been training “Eevee” for five years. This past December, Eevee became April’s first horse – presented on Christmas Eve with a big red bow, many tears, and all. Together, this pair has competed in hunter/jumper, dressage, versatility, trail, mounted archery, and mostly recently, ranch riding. They have earned many top placings in local, regional, and (virtual) national shows, including back to back trail division championships in 2021 and 2022 at the Woodstock Fair and 9th place at the 2022 MA Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. The 2022 competition marked April and Eevee’s 5th VHRC and 5th top 10 run. April says, “Although she would much rather just play, Eevee is always game to participate in whatever I ask of her and tries her hardest doing it. ‘I Can’t Eeven’ begin to think of a better partner than Eevee, and am so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together.”

Brittany Buchanan

Horse: Crème de Motion, 14 year old Tennessee Walker gelding

In 2014, Brittany purchased a green 5 year old Walking horse. “I had no business at the time finishing out a spunky young horse,” Brittany says. “But I immediately fell in love with this gelding and gave it my all.” In their time together, Brittany and “Momo” have enjoyed riding in all around classes, trail, dressage, obstacles, fun shows, and more. In 2017, they discovered the joys of endurance riding – but they had to take a break from long distance rides when Brittany became pregnant. Brittany’s daughter was born blind, and coincidentally, Momo later lost an eye of his own – but he doesn’t let that stop him. Brittany and Momo hope to dust off their competition skills and come back strong this year with the 2023 VHRC in Ohio!

Tammy Burgard

Horse: WR Classic Whiskey, 10 year old mare

Tammy has owned “Whiskey” since she was a 4 year old, and has been her only trainer for the six years that they’ve been a team. Tammy and Whiskey have won many championships at the state, regional, and national levels. They compete in Extreme Cowboy Racing (EXCA) and other obstacle competitions. For the past six years, Whiskey has finished in the top 10 at the EXCA World Championships. In 2022, they finished the year with a reserve world championship. “I could not be more proud of this mare,” Tammy says. “She is all heart and always does her best.”

Mike Cassedy

Horse: Wakiyan, 8 year old Mustang mare

Mike, or Pappa Mike as he is known, and Wakiyan come from Burlington, Kentucky. Mike is a Mustang TIP Trainer with a passion for working with mustangs. Mike and Wakiyan have been together for five years and compete in trail challenges, cow sorting, barrels, poles, and versatility. In 2018, 2019, and 2020, they took part in the Extreme Mustang Makeover.

Are you excited for this year’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition yet? Plan to attend Equine Affaire on Friday, April 14, and watch the competition unfold in the coliseum, starting at 1:30 pm Eastern Time. Learn more about the competitors for this exciting event by following along on our social media channels leading up to the event, and stay tuned after the event for results!

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03 23

THE HORSEMAN’S GOLD

LONDON, OH, March 16, 2023 – Don’t rely on luck alone this year to see you through your show season! Come to Equine Affaire in Ohio to brush up on your horsemanship skills and learn live and in person from the nation’s premier equestrian educators, coaches, trainers, and more. Putting in the hard work of studying your craft – whether it’s from the saddle as a participant in a clinic or from the bleachers as an avid student – is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your horses. You’re invited to attend the best place on earth for equestrians to learn: Equine Affaire!

North America’s premier equine expo and equestrian gathering will be at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio, on April 13-16, 2023. Horsemanship aficionados Guy McLean (general horsemanship), Jonathan Field (general horsemanship & training), Julie Goodnight (general horsemanship & training), and Jason Irwin (general horsemanship & training) lead a class of dozens of clinicians who will be at the event, ready to produce more than 150 educational sessions, clinics, and demonstrations. Will you be there?

The full schedule for Equine Affaire in Ohio is available online. Hours for the event are from 9 am to 7 pm, Thursday through Saturday, and from 9 am to 5 pm on Sunday. That means you’ve got approximately 38 hours to learn from our general horsemanship clinicians as well as Brad Barkemeyer (reined cow horse & roping), Nona Garson (hunter/jumper), JJ Tate (dressage), Bryan Penquite (reining), Rita Timpanaro (hunter/jumper), Bronwyn Irwin (pole bending), Sterling Graburn (driving), Carl Bledsoe (easy gaited horses), Suzanne Galdun (biomechanics), Ali Kermeen (working equitation), Carrie Brandt & Laura Benson (Resonant Riding/Icelandics), Wendy Murdoch (horsemanship and Sure Foot), Karin Bump, PhD (college/career fair), Larkspur Carroll, DVM (alternative therapies), Kimberly Cole, PhD (forages), Robert Coleman, DVM (stable management), Barb DiPalma (arena footing), Sky Epperson (mustangs), Mandee Flanders (equine business), Amanda Held (mustangs), Carol Herder (hoof care), Sheryl Mankel (acupressure), Dan Moore, DVM (veterinary), Kellie & Sam Rettinger (draft horses), Tim Shuttleworth (manure composting), Ifa Simmonds (equestrian fitness), Annamarie Sims (mustangs), Mackenzie Turrisi (hoof care), Carol Walker (equine photography), Karen Wimbush, PhD (reproduction & breeding), Donna Woods (light therapy), Melyni Worth, PhD (herbs & nutrition), and more!

Guy McLean is a self-taught, Australian-born horse trainer and teacher who possesses an uncanny ability to entertain an audience with his magnetic personality, authentic bush poetry, quick wit, cracking stock whips, and almost supernatural connection with horses. Through a complete love of horses and a burning desire to “find better ways” of building relationships with horses, Mr. McLean developed his own training methods to “ask” the horse to do the job as a partner. He has won multiple colt-starting championships in Australia and America, is a two-time Australian Bush Poetry Champion, and was recognized as “Ambassador of the Outback” in 2002 and 2006. While maintaining a home base in Australia, Mr. McLean now travels throughout the United States to perform and present at prominent equestrian events, including the World Equestrian Games, the National Rodeo Finals, Dressage at Devon, the Washington International Horse Show, and major equine expos and fairs. He has also produced an educational DVD series to share his training approaches and philosophies with riders of all disciplines.

Jonathan Field is a horseman, published author, and renowned international clinician. He grew up in both English and Western saddles before becoming a full-time cowboy on one of the largest cattle ranches in Canada. Mr. Field has dedicated his life to helping people develop the skills to have a connection with horses. His foundation training program is embraced by people around the world, from those new to horses to elite competitors and industry professionals. Overcoming obstacles, creating an environment where learning can thrive, and having fun while doing it are trademarks of his unique style. Mr. Field has been featured on national television including CBS and the Red Bull Media House. He is a recipient of the Jack Brainard Horseman’s award and has taught alongside top equestrian coaches and Olympic medalists in eventing, jumping, and reining. He is also a two-time Road to the Horse finalist, a TEDx presenter, and stunt man in several major motion pictures. He is the published author of “The Art of Liberty Training for Horses” and has produced more than a dozen digital training films.

Growing up in the 1960s on a small horse farm in central Florida, Julie Goodnight developed a connection with horses from a young age. Now an internationally renowned trainer and clinician, Ms. Goodnight is a rarity in that she has ridden and trained extensively in multiple disciplines, both English and Western, working with many breeds. Her focus is on classical horsemanship and developing the horse and rider’s relationship. Ms. Goodnight started her horse training business in 1985. Her methods are grounded in natural horsemanship, classical riding, and understanding what motivates horses. She teaches at clinics, expos, and special events everywhere, and produces an award-winning podcast, “Ride On with Julie Goodnight.” Ms. Goodnight travels both domestically and internationally to lead riding adventures and teach horsemanship. She was named Exceptional Equestrian Educator by Equine Affaire, and is Spokesperson for the Certified Horsemanship Association, an organization focused on promoting safety and excellence in horsemanship. She holds their highest level of certification, Master Clinic Instructor.

Jason Irwin is a lifelong equestrian and horse trainer from Ontario, Canada. He and his wife, Bronwyn, operate Jason and Bronwyn Irwin Horsemanship. Together, they teach horse training clinics, put on training demonstrations, and present at horse events throughout North America. Mr. Irwin began his training career focusing on colt starting and fixing problem horses and later added advanced training and liberty work. Mr. Irwin works with both western and English riders of all skill levels. Jason and Bronwyn host the TV show “The Horse Trainers” on The Cowboy Channel Canada and RFD-TV Canada. They have created several video training series and regularly post training information on their social media accounts.

Tickets for Equine Affaire and Fantasia are on sale now at equineaffaire.com. General admission tickets include entry to all clinics, sessions, and demonstrations; all themed pavilions; the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition; the ILHA Freestyle Invitational; and all interactive activities. Separate tickets are required for Fantasia, Equine Affaire’s musical celebration of the horse. Sponsored by Absorbine, Fantasia is a nighttime equine variety show that will take place nightly at 7:30 pm on Thursday, April 13; Friday, April 14; and Saturday, April 15, featuring a host of incredible performers such as Guy McLean, the Diamond D Cowgirls, the Friesian Drill Heritage Team, Whispery Pines Percherons, and others. Buy your tickets to Fantasia fast – seats are selling out for this popular event! Please note that the Ohio Expo Center charges for parking. Still need accommodations? Visit our website to peruse our list of host hotels.

Equine Affaire is thankful for the generous support of sponsors like Absorbine, Rod’s, US Equestrian, Espana Silk, and GGT Footing. To learn more about Equine Affaire, bookmark our website (www.equineaffaire.com), follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @equineaffaire, or call our office at (740) 845-0085, 9:00am-5:00pm EST (M-F). We can’t wait to see you at Equine Affaire!

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03 06

SHARE YOUR PASSIONS

LONDON, OH, March 6, 2023 — If you’re proud of your horses, business, farm, organization, association, brand, or any or all of the above, declare it! Bring the whole “horse and farm” to Ohio this spring and share your pride and joy with the world at one of the most renowned equine expositions in North America. Equine Affaire returns to the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus on April 13-16, 2023. Consider this your invitation to join us and become part of this incredible event. Tens of thousands of horse lovers and equestrians are already making their plans to attend (or exhibit!) at Equine Affaire. Will you be among them?

The Horse & Farm Exhibits at Equine Affaire present visitors with a glimpse into the wide world of horses by showcasing a variety of breeds, from the familiar to the fascinating, as well as businesses, associations, farms, stallions, horses for sale, and more. Exhibiting is easy, economical, and fun, and there are multiple ways for equine businesses to participate in one of Equine Affaire’s most popular exhibits. Use your stall fronts as a space to promote your barn, farm, stallion, breed, or business, share brochures and other materials about your services, put up photo displays, and more!

Here’s how you can participate. Promote your farm, stallion, or equine services with a Horse & Farm Exhibit Stall. Prices are $160 for an in-line stall, $185 for an end-stall in the center aisle of the barn, and $215 for an end stall on an outer aisle of the barn.

Regardless of position, all stalls are 10 x 10 stalls in the Gilligan Complex and come with:

  • A listing of the stall number, farm name, horse breed, and phone number (or website) on equineaffaire.com before the event
  • A listing of the above in the official event program
  • One four-day admission ticket to Equine Affaire ($52 value)
  • Tack stalls are available for an additional $110 each.

During the event, visitors love walking up and down the barn aisles, greeting exhibitors, meeting the horses, and collecting information or taking photos. Put your best foot forward and plan to meet and greet with a host of new fans and friends! To participate in the Horse & Farm exhibits, exhibitors must commit to presenting for at least three days.

Do you have horses for sale, or are you an equine rescue or sanctuary interested in placing horses for adoption? Take advantage of this opportunity to put your horse in front of tens of thousands of potential buyers or adopters with a For Sale Stall or Adoption Affaire Stall! These stalls are an economical and easy way to market horses in need of a new home. Prices are $160 for an in-line stall, $185 for an end-stall in the center aisle of the barn, and $215 for an end stall on an outer aisle of the barn. All stalls are 10 x 10 stalls in the Gilligan Complex, and include:

  • A “For Sale” or “Adoption Affaire” sign to post on the stall
  • A free listing on equineaffaire.com before the event
  • A listing in the event program
  • One four-day admission ticket to Equine Affaire ($52 value)
  • The option to sign up to display your horse in one of two exciting Sale Horse Showcase events during Equine Affaire
  • If a horse sells early, you may substitute another horse!
  • Tack stalls are available for an additional $110 each.

The Sale Horse Showcase events will take place twice throughout the weekend and consist of the opportunity to ride, lead, or pony your sale horse or adoptee through the coliseum in front of crowds of interested attendees. Equine Affaire debuted this brand-new feature in Massachusetts last November to rave reviews, and we’re excited to bring it to Ohio.

Join Equine Affaire by reserving your stall today. For more information on the Horse & Farm Exhibits, to sign up for a spot in the Sale Horse Showcase, or to book your stall, contact Jessica Anderson at (740) 845-0085 ext. 112 or janderson@equineaffaire.com. You can also ask Jessica about participating in breed demonstrations during the event.

As North America’s premier equine expo and equestrian gathering, Equine Affaire elevates the equestrian experience for horse lovers of all ages. With more than 150 educational sessions, world-class shopping, championship competitions, and plenty of interactive exhibits, Equine Affaire offers something for everyone in the family. Visit equineaffaire.com for schedules, tickets, and additional details.

Equine Affaire gratefully acknowledges the generous sponsors who are making this year’s event possible: Absorbine, Rod’s, US Equestrian, Espana Silk, and GGT Footing. See you at Equine Affaire in Ohio!

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03 03

WIN PRIZES AND TICKETS TO EQUINE AFFAIRE

LONDON, OH, March 3, 2023 – Looking for an opportunity to win cool prizes and share your opinions about your favorite equine expo at the same time? Then look no further than the official online Equine Affaire raffle! The raffle for the 2023 Equine Affaire in Ohio is now open. Enter online today or hand in your direct mailer form at the event, happening April 13-16, 2023, at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus!

Equine Affaire hosts raffles twice a year: once before our Ohio event and once before our Massachusetts event. Attendees and fans can enter to win cool prizes from some of the industry’s most beloved organizations and retailers. Past raffle prizes have included buckets from Farnam, equine hanging kits from Kong, boots and jackets from Outback Survival Gear, and more! We take pride in partnering with exceptional companies and organizations in order to bring you fun and useful prizes that can enrich your lives with your horses and elevate your equestrian experience.

Interested in entering this year’s raffle? Read on!

The raffle form for the 2023 Equine Affaire Raffle is officially open and available at https://equineaffaire.com/events/ohio/ohio-participate/ohio-win/ohio-free-raffle/. Participants can enter to win one of three $100 gift certificates to Bronco Western Supply; one model Breyer horse of Adamek, autographed by trainer and rider Sabine Desper; one of four $250 gift certificates to Back On Track USA; and one of ten pairs of single-day admission tickets to the 2024 Equine Affaire in Ohio! That’s 18 opportunities to win something, so why not?! It’s easy to enter and you need not be present to win. You can enter online now through April 16, 2023. All winners will be selected via randomized drawing and notified by April 30, 2023.

Once you’ve finished your raffle entry over at equineaffaire.com, you’re in the perfect place to check out the details for the 2023 Equine Affaire in Ohio! Our four-day horse expo is happening April 13-16, 2023, at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. Come learn live and in person from Guy McLean, Jonathan Field, Julie Goodnight, Jason Irwin, and dozens of discipline-specific clinicians. Featuring hundreds of educational clinics, the largest equine-related trade show in the east, horses for sale and adoption from Ohio and surrounding states, exciting competitions, evening entertainment and a whole lot more, Equine Affaire is the go-to destination for equestrians and horseback riders of all ages, skill levels, and disciplines.

Prior to the 2022 event in Massachusetts, which happened in November at the Eastern States Exposition, almost 1,500 participants entered to win prizes from Smartpak, Outback Survival Gear, Farnam, and Equine Affaire. When the raffle ended, thirty entrants won big! Congratulations to all of our lucky winners.

The winners of five $100 gift certificates from Smartpak were Jessi Brewer of Fruitport, Michigan; Emily Malpino of Thetford Center, Vermont; Brittany Gagnon of Madison, Connecticut; Kelly Bronson of Glenmont, New York; and Andrea Arvanitis-Moses of Springfield, Massachusetts.

The winners of five $100 gift certificates from Outback Survival Gear were Elizabeth Poplawski of Webster, Massachusetts; Shannon Kowalski of Stuyvesant, New York; Leslie Hickman of Sand Fork, West Virginia; Eva Skrabl of Ansonia, Connecticut; and Rian Koenig of Milford, Connecticut.

The winners of ten Farnam product buckets were Hilary Dorazio of Wysox, Pennsylvania; Ellen Wilkie of Duanesburg, New York; Cecilia DesRochers of Ludlow, Massachusetts; Stacy Barrette of Danielson, Connecticut; Lauren Higham of LaGrangeville, New York; Tracy Ellis of Cortland, New York; Claudia Baker of Framingham, Massachusetts; Sandra Green of North Stratford, New Hampshire; Debbie Laquerre of Chicopee, Massachusetts; and Robert Bihler of Huntington, Massachusetts.

Finally, the winners of ten pairs of single-day admission tickets to the 2024 Equine Affaire in Massachusetts were Amy Conn of Rutland, Vermont; Rebecca Loyche of Old Chatham, New York; Judi Sasso of Bethany, Connecticut; Megan Rebele of Plymouth, New Hampshire; Karen Hackett of New Ipswich, New Hampshire; Maureen Fontneau of Chepachet, Rhode Island; Hilary Lind of Byfield, Massachusetts; Susan Rovinski of Chaplin, Connecticut; Patricia Ashworth of Jackson, New Hampshire; and Cathy Doucette of East Wareham, Massachusetts.

Elevating the equestrian experience since 1994, Equine Affaire is known as the nation’s premier equine exposition and equestrian gathering. Join us on April 13-16, 2023, at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio, for our next event, and help us celebrate the horse and everything that it represents to all of us! Purchase tickets, learn more about the event, and enter the raffle now at equineaffaire.com.

Equine Affaire is grateful to the companies who have supported the raffle year after year! Thank you to Smartpak, Outback Survival Gear, and Farnam for supporting our 2022 Massachusetts raffle, and to Bronco Western Supply, Sabine Desper, and Back On Track USA for supporting our 2023 Ohio raffle.

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02 08

WIN HEARTS WITH FANTASIA TICKETS

LONDON, OH, February 7, 2023 – Give your horse-crazy valentine the gift they really want this year: tickets to Fantasia! Attending Equine Affaire’s signature musical celebration of the horse in April is the perfect way to celebrate a mutual love for horses and enjoy an incredible date night. Combining the gorgeous moving art of equestrian performances with the joyful ebullience of a rock concert, Fantasia is a musical evening show that highlights the many graces and talents of horses and equestrians in a variety of disciplines. Tickets for this equine extravaganza are on sale now for three performances only, happening at 7:30 pm on April 13, 14, and 15, in the coliseum of the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio, during Equine Affaire. Seats are selling fast, so make your valentine’s day and buy your tickets today at equineaffaire.com!

Sponsored by Absorbine, Fantasia has been a beloved tradition for many horse lovers and their families for more than two decades. Appropriate for all ages, it’s the perfect bookend to a day spent taking in the sights at Equine Affaire – and a spectacular showcase of everything that made us fall in love with horses in the first place! This year, audiences will enjoy a slew of unforgettable performances that showcase the strength, agility, grace, beauty, and versatility of the horse. If you love exciting pyrotechnics, trick riding, great storytelling, the grace and freedom of a liberty act, Roman riding, drill teams, or just want to see something new and unexpected – Fantasia is the show for you! Read on for a special sneak peek into this spring’s class of Fantasia performers.

This year, audiences will get to enjoy performances by a combination of beloved veteran exhibitors and new acts who are guaranteed to become fan-favorites. No one sparkles under the spotlights quite like the Diamond D Cowgirls and their speedy mounts. Watch these incredible cowgirls and their stock horses weave mesmerizing patterns with dazzling precision throughout the coliseum. Hailing from Connecticut, NRHA professional Bryan Penquite will perform his own kind of pattern magic with a reining routine sure to thrill! Last year’s winner of the International Liberty Horse Association Freestyle Invitational, Melissa Barnett, will take center stage with a beautiful and moving liberty performance, guaranteed to inspire you to try out the incredible discipline of liberty with your own horses back home. Brand new to Fantasia, the Pegasus Riders are two eleven-year-old equestrian performers who specialize in trick riding, Roman riding, dance, aerial hammock, and equestrian liberty. These incredibly talented young equestriennes have performed at rodeos and expos all around the country, including Breyerfest 2022, the American Royal, and the Professional Armed Forces World Championship Rodeo. If Friesians are your one true love, then you’ll be delighted to watch as the Friesian Heritage Drill Team, their black coats gleaming, takes their turn under the spotlights. If your heart flutters to the beat of a different drum, then look out for the Knights of Iceland! These incredible riders and their fast, fiery mounts are back to raise spirits and set the coliseum dirt on fire – literally. And speaking of fire, daredevil Dusti Dickerson is bringing her Roman riding act to Ohio, complete with leaping through flames. Finally, America’s favorite Australian stockman, the inimitable Guy McLean, will bring audiences to their feet and lift hearts everywhere with his inspired poetry and incredible team of horses. All these acts and many more will be at the Ohio Expo Center in April for Fantasia – will you?

Buy your Fantasia tickets early, along with your general admission tickets to Equine Affaire, on our website at equineaffaire.com today. Tickets for Fantasia range in price from $14-$25. The doors to the coliseum will open at 6:45 pm each evening and the show begins promptly at 7:30 pm. If you plan to come with a group, call our office at (740) 845-0085, M-F, 9 am to 5 pm ET, to receive a discount on group tickets to Thursday night’s performance.

Equine Affaire is especially grateful to Absorbine for making this year’s show possible. To learn more about Equine Affaire or Fantasia, including details about our host hotels and other accommodations, visit www.equineaffaire.com or call our office at (740) 845-0085, 9:00am-5:00pm EST (M-F). For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @equineaffaire. We’d love to hear from you!

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02 01

EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS WITH HORSES

LONDON, OH, February 1, 2023 – Did you know that “horse heaven” comes to Columbus once a year? You do now! Elevate your equestrian experience to heavenly heights with Equine Affaire, happening April 13-16, 2023, at the Ohio Expo Center. For more than twenty years, Equine Affaire has reigned supreme as North America’s premier equine expo and equestrian gathering. Whether you’re new to the horse world or a lifelong horse enthusiast, this exciting horse expo can help you explore and expand your horizons in the horse industry.

Join tens of thousands of fellow horse lovers at Equine Affaire for four days of learning, sharing, networking, competing, riding, and shopping. Located at the Ohio Expo Center, this sprawling event features the nation’s largest horse-related trade show, a full schedule of educational clinics, seminars, and demonstrations, two riding competitions, activities for kids, educational exhibits, interactive activities with horses, and more! With our family-friendly ticket pricing, there’s no reason not to bring the whole family to spend a day – or two – exploring the horse world.

General admission tickets and tickets to Fantasia, Equine Affaire’s exciting nighttime performance, are available now. General admission tickets for adults are $16/person. Tickets for children, ages 7-10, are $10, and children, ages six and under, get free admission. Adult four-day passes are also available for $52! General admission includes all clinics, seminars, and demonstrations, access to the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, the International Liberty Horse Association Freestyle Invitational, interactive activities, and all educational exhibits and pavilions.

Separate tickets are required to attend Fantasia, Equine Affaire’s musical celebration of the horse. Sponsored by Absorbine, this exciting and unique performance will return for three nights only on April 13, 14, and 15. Tickets for Fantasia range from $14-$25 and seats go quickly, so buy yours online today! Visit equineaffaire.com to purchase your tickets in advance.

Ready to learn more about everything you’ll see, enjoy, and experience at this spring’s phenomenal event?

COME LEARN, GROW, AND SHARE

Regardless of your learning style, if you want to learn more about horses, there’s an educational pathway open for you at Equine Affaire. Love watching demonstrations while an expert talks you through what they’re doing, thinking, and working through with a horse? Learn in person from some of the nation’s top horse trainers and instructors during more than 150 educational sessions, clinics, and demonstrations. This year’s clinician class is led by such industry standouts as Guy McLean, Julie Goodnight, Jonathan Field, and Jason Irwin, and includes a slew of discipline-specific clinicians who can offer you new ways to enhance your riding, handling, or driving skills. The preliminary schedule is available online today!

Prefer learning by doing? Equine Affaire is proud to present the “Ride with a Pro” initiative, which provides riders like you the chance to ride in a clinic at Equine Affaire. Clinic fees range in price from $85 to $350 and include clinic participation, event admission, and 24 hours of stabling, all for the opportunity to ride with or have your horse trained by a professional! You could ride with Rita Timpanaro (hunter/jumpers), Bronwyn Irwin (pole bending), Brad Barkemeyer (reined cow horse), Bryan Penquite (reining), JJ Tate (dressage), Ali Kermeen (working equitation), Carl Bledsoe (easy gaited horses), Julie Goodnight (general horsemanship), and so many more. Applications to Ride with a Pro are due by February 15.

Like to study over visual displays, chat with experts, and network with people one-on-one? There’s a way to do that, too! Visit our clinicians at their booths in the trade show to ask questions or delve deeper into topics. Stroll through the various educational exhibits in the Equine Fundamentals Forum, a corner of our event dedicated to novice horse lovers, and watch educational sessions in the EFF demo ring. If you want to learn more about a particular breed or type of horse, visit the Breed Pavilion! Located in its own building, the Breed Pavilion features stall-and-booth displays where real, live horses and their owners are waiting to chat with you about horses of a variety of different breeds, types, and disciplines. This year, you might even meet a real live Breyer horse celebrity! Head out to the barn to visit even more horses and displays in the Horse & Farms Exhibits, where equine business owners and service providers are set up to answer your questions and network with you.

LOVE THE THRILL OF COMPETITION?

Riders, it’s not too late to saddle up! Equine Affaire’s crowd-favorite competition, the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, returns on Friday, April 14. Apply today for your opportunity to compete for $5,500 in cash and other prizes. A maximum of 25 pre-selected horse/rider teams will participate in the competition, which will consist of one round through the course. As the horse and rider teams race through the course and work through each obstacle, they will be judged on several horsemanship criteria as well as overall performance.

And if watching’s more your style, attend on Friday and watch a herd of talented riders and their horses tackle Equine Affaire’s unique and challenging obstacle course. Past obstacles have included pushing objects with mallets from horseback, crossing bridges, leaping through colorful balloon arches, ground-tying, pole bending, and more. You never know what you might see!

In conjunction with the International Liberty Horse Association, Equine Affaire is also proud to present the ILHA Freestyle Invitational, sponsored by EspanaSilk. This two-part invitational will feature horses and their handlers working at liberty. If you’ve never seen liberty before, you’ll want to attend this exciting competition and enjoy seeing horses and their people working in beautiful harmony together as they show off all they’ve accomplished.

SHOP OR SELL!

It wouldn’t be Equine Affaire without an opportunity to buy and sell! Our trade show floor is busy, diverse, and brimming with vendors from all across the industry. Shop for tack, grooming supplies, jewelry, décor, clothing, children’s goods, toys, books, and much more, all while meeting shop owners, artisans, authors, service providers, and other purveyors of goods related to the horse industry. With more than 300 vendors spread out across multiple venues, you’re guaranteed to find something you want, something you need, and maybe even a gift or two for family back home!

Got something of your own you’d like to sell? Bring your gently-used tack and other horsey items with you to consign through the Marketplace. Our friendly staff will sell your items for you while you shop and enjoy the event; then you can come back at the end of the day (or the end of the event) to pick up your cash and any leftover items. Our fees are lower than those of other venues, and the process to consign is easy! Register in advance through our website to save $5 on your consignment fees. It’s that easy! And if you love finding a good bargain, make sure to browse the goods on sale at The Marketplace.

Are you searching for a horse of your own to buy or adopt? Whether you’re looking to add to your herd or sell a horse, you can do that at Equine Affaire! Our “For Sale” stalls are a great way to advertise your sale horses in the Horse & Farm exhibits. You can also sign up to participate in our Sale Horse Showcases in order to ride, drive, or lead your sale horses through the coliseum in front of the crowd while our announcer reads their details. Equine Affaire is also partnering with the ASPCA’s Right Horse Initiative this year to offer the Adoption Affaire, where rescues and organizations can bring their horses for adoption to meet and greet with prospective adopters. No matter what kind of horse you’re looking for, you’re likely to find “the right horse” at Equine Affaire!

EXPERIENCE A SHOW UNLIKE ANY OTHER

Sponsored by Absorbine, Fantasia is Equine Affaire’s signature musical celebration of the horse. This fabulous show features unforgettable performances from equine and equestrian entertainers from across the world. This year’s show will feature a moving performance by Guy McLean, exciting drill team routines from the Diamond D Cowgirls and the Amish Friesians Drill Team, and a fiery Roman riding exhibition by Dusti Dickerson, plus a stellar showcase by the Knights of Iceland, liberty routines, trick riding, and more! Don’t miss Fantasia this spring. Buy your tickets early and reserve your seats for the show of the year, happening April 13, 14, and 15, at 7:30 pm in the coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center. Doors will open at 6:45 pm each evening.

BRING YOUR KIDS, TOO

Kids of all ages can enjoy everything Equine Affaire has to offer – but there are also plenty of activities designed especially for them! First, make sure your kids visit the Equine Fundamentals Forum to enjoy hands-on learning opportunities, such as braiding manes and tails, wrapping legs, identifying bones, and more. Kids can also participate in a Stick Horse Rodeo (happening daily at 3 pm) and win prizes, or make unicorn masks at our special craft station. For older youth, make sure to take time to participate in the Equine Affaire College and Career Fair, also stationed in the EFF, where they can learn all about different college and career paths related to the equine industry.

Equine Affaire is proud to partner with the Interscholastic Equestrian Association to present an intensive clinic on Sunday, April 16. This two hour clinic is formatted to review items from the judge’s perspective and will cover hunt seat and dressage disciplines in the IEA show format. If your child attends middle or secondary school and wants to compete, but doesn’t own a horse, IEA is the organization for you! Come attend the clinic and learn more about this awesome organization that works to make equestrian competition more accessible.

WANT TO HELP?

Volunteer your time and talents with Equine Affaire, and you could earn free admission to the event as well as fun souvenirs. While most of our volunteer positions require volunteers to be aged 18 years or older, volunteers ages 12-17 can volunteer to clean stalls, assist with youth activities, or hand out programs. If you’re interested, please sign up by February 24 and join our family of volunteers! We’d love to have you.

GOT QUESTIONS?

To learn more about this event, including details about our host hotels and other accommodations, visit www.equineaffaire.com or call our office at (740) 845-0085, 9:00am-5:00pm EST (M-F). For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @equineaffaire. We’d love to hear from you!

Equine Affaire gratefully acknowledges the generous sponsors who are making this year’s event possible: Absorbine, Rod’s, US Equestrian, Espana Silk, and GGT Footing. See you at Equine Affaire in Ohio!

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01 18

LASSO YOUR RIDING ASPIRATIONS AT EQUINE AFFAIRE:

LONDON, OH, January 18, 2023 – Are you struggling to level up in the show ring, dealing with frustrations on the trail, or wishing you knew more in general about riding, training, and horsemanship? Insights into all these problems (and more!) are waiting for you at North America’s premier equine exposition and equestrian gathering.

This spring, Equine Affaire takes place on April 13-16, 2023, at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. Featuring such industry standouts as Guy McLean, Julie Goodnight, Jonathan Field, and Jason Irwin, along with an outstanding class of discipline-specific presenters, this year’s clinic schedule abounds with learning opportunities – including the chance to Ride with a Pro! You can also apply to compete in the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, slotted for Friday, April 14, and put your riding skills to the ultimate test during everybody’s favorite four-day equine extravaganza.

WANT TO RIDE WITH A PRO?

Whether you’re an English enthusiast, a Western devotee, a driving aficionado, or a connoisseur of multiple disciplines, there is an educational clinic – or two, or three – for you at Equine Affaire. Through Ride with a Pro, you can apply to participate in a session with the clinician of your choice. The following clinicians are hosting clinics on these topics and looking for riders:

  • Suzanne Galdun (Biomechanics)
  • Guy McLean (Colt Starting)
  • JJ Tate (Dressage)
  • Sterling Graburn (Driving)
  • Carl Bledsoe (Easy Gaited Horses)
  • Jonathan Field (General Training & Horsemanship)
  • Julie Goodnight (General Training & Horsemanship)
  • Jason Irwin (General Training & Horsemanship)
  • Nona Garson (Hunters/Jumpers)
  • Rita Timpanaro (Hunters/Jumpers)
  • Bronwyn Irwin (Pole Bending)
  • Brad Barkemeyer (Reined Cow Horse)
  • Bryan Penquite (Reining)
  • Wendy Murdoch (Rider Position and Sure Foot®)
  • Ali Kermeen (Working Equitation)
  • Jonathan Field (Yearlings and Weanlings)
  • Jason Irwin (Youth Riders & Trainers)

To apply to Ride with a Pro, visit equineaffaire.com (select the Ohio event, click “Participate,” and then “Ride with a Pro”) or contact Lori Helsel at lhelsel@equineaffaire.com. Fees for clinics range from $75 to $350. All clinic fees include participation in the clinic, admission to Equine Affaire on the day of the clinic, and twenty-four hours of stabling for your horse. Applications are due by February 15, 2023. Give your horse a spectacular Valentine’s Day present and apply today!

LOOKING FOR A DIFFERENT KIND OF CHALLENGE?

There’s another way to ride at Equine Affaire this spring – and this one might just put some change in your pocket and a ribbon around your horse’s neck! Apply to compete in the 2023 Versatile Horse and Rider Competition, which will take place on Friday, April 14, in the coliseum at the Ohio Expo Center. This exciting tournament – a fan-favorite event at Equine Affaire – affords riders the chance to display their skills and race the clock as they navigate a challenging set of obstacles and tasks.

With just three months to go until Equine Affaire, now is the perfect time to start a riding program geared towards boosting you and your horse’s versatility acumen. If you plan to ride in the VHRC, you can look forward to facing obstacles and tasks such as rollbacks, pole bending, backing through patterns, gymkhana games, gates, spooky objects, gait and lead changes, flexing, and much more. Contestants are judged on their horsemanship skills and athletic prowess as well as the communication between horse and rider. Cash and other prizes will be awarded to the top four riders, and the top ten riders receive ribbons.

The VHRC field is capped at twenty-five riders, so there’s no time to waste! Apply by February 15, 2023, by visiting equineaffaire.com and selecting the Ohio event, then “Participate,” and “Versatile Horse & Rider Competition.” Riders must be at least 18 years old to apply. Got questions? Email Coagi Long at clong@equineaffaire.com.

Equine Affaire gratefully acknowledges the generous sponsors who are making this year’s event possible: Absorbine, Rod’s, US Equestrian, Espana Silk, and GGT Footing. Visit our website (www.equineaffaire.com), follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @equineaffaire, or call our office at (740) 845-0085, 9:00am-5:00pm EST (M-F). We will see you at Equine Affaire in Ohio!

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11 30

A RECAP OF “HORSE HEAVEN”:

WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA, November 30, 2022 – For years, horse enthusiasts and equestrians from all across North America have lovingly referred to Equine Affaire as “horse heaven.”  After all, where else can you spend sunup to sundown being surrounded by all things horse, with some of the country’s best equine-related education, entertainment, and shopping available at every turn? North America’s premier equine exposition and equestrian gathering earned its heavenly moniker once again on November 10-13, 2022, when it returned to the Eastern States Exposition with record numbers of attendees. In terms of attendance, 2021 served as a banner year for Equine Affaire, especially since it marked the first time in two years that the expo was held in person. The 2022 event attracted even more people, with attendance increasing by 3.5% overall.

“We have always been thankful for the support of our horse community, but in the wake of the pandemic and the way it interrupted live events like ours, our community is even more important to us now,” said Coagi Long, president of Equine Affaire. “We continue to be especially grateful for the chance to see our supporters and fans live and in person at our events, where we can all come together to celebrate the horse.”

The 63rd Equine Affaire featured horses of all shapes, sizes, ages, breeds, and disciplines in a four-day extravaganza of competitions, entertaining shows, educational clinics, a huge trade show, interactive breed pavilions, and lots more. The event’s educational program featured clinics by Canadian horseman Jonathan Field; natural horsemanship trainer Pat Parelli; ranch horse aficionado Steve Lantvit; Canadian equestrienne Lorie Duff; and general horsemanship coach and trainer Scott Purdum, along with many other discipline-specific clinicians. More than a dozen clinicians also participated in the “Ride with a Pro” initiative, which enables riders to participate in clinics and demos during the event and benefit from one-on-one instruction with the country’s best and brightest horsemen and horsewomen. Scores of interested equestrians applied, including Jessica Knapp, who was selected to ride with internationally-respected show jumping Olympian and hunter competitor Nona Garson.

“Nona Garson’s clinic was so much fun and one of the best clinics in which I’ve ever participated,” said Jessica Knapp, who rode her 11-year-old Holsteiner/Welsh gelding, River of Dreams. “It was well run in all areas, and she gave me some awesome tips on how to improve my jumps with ‘Riv.’ I truly believe that it is a tremendous privilege to be chosen to participate in any of the clinics that are offered at EA, and I treasure the memories made throughout it all.”

Jessica Knapp was also one of the lucky 24 horse-and-rider pairs who was selected to compete in this year’s Massachusetts Versatile Horse and Rider Competition.

“The Versatile Horse and Rider Competition is one of the things I look forward to most every year,” Knapp said. “My horse, Riv, was a little awed by some of the creative obstacles this year, but he gave his best try, which is everything. I have some great ideas regarding what to work on for next year, when I am determined to better our round!”

The VHRC is a signature event for Equine Affaire, featuring a judged race through a timed obstacle course. Every obstacle was specially designed to test the communication between horse and rider as well as each competitor’s horsemanship skills and athletic prowess. This year’s event was judged by Scott Purdum, while Steve Lantvit served as the master of ceremonies. The course was especially challenging for many of the competitors, featuring a longlining obstacle, a feed sack drag, serpentines, and using a lance to spear a ring, among others.

Regardless of the challenges, one pair rose supreme: Franny Galvin-Hynes and her 6-year-old Fjord/Quarter Horse cross mare, Super Nova.

“I was so proud of Nova,” Galvin-Hynes said during her winner’s interview on the Equine Affaire Purple Carpet at the event. “We ran second in the arena, so I did not get to see anybody else’s go at all. She did everything I asked! I was super proud of her for the way she handled all the obstacles. The counter canter? She did it the moment I asked. The roping? She stood perfectly. The weave? She cantered the whole thing. The spear? Even though I didn’t get the ring right away, she stood like a champ! Jumping? She’s a really good girl with that stuff. She was perfect in my eyes.”

The pair first competed in the 2022 Ohio VHRC, which took place in April. During that event, Franny and Nova took sixth place with 56 points – and they were determined to do even better during their go-round in Massachusetts. Galvin-Hynes, who’s from Bethany, Ontario, said they spent every weekend at shows and practicing in anticipation of this fall’s competition.

“I told Nova that I didn’t care if she got dead last, because in my heart, she did her best,” Galvin-Hynes said. “After our ride, did I think we did as well as we did? No! Am I incredibly proud of her and our goal was top 5? Yes!”

Galvin-Hynes won $2,500 in cash and a champion rosette. Danelle Osinchuk and Slip Me A Dual Pep claimed second place honors with $1,750 and a reserve champion rosette, while Karli Knapp & Meadowbrook’s Sir Prize placed third and won $1,000.00 and a rosette. The last cash prize of $250 and a rosette went to fourth place winners Jackie Rappel & Beckett’s Hickory Doc. Fifth through tenth place also received rosettes.

To hear Galvin-Hynes’ full interview from the Purple Carpet, check out the latest episode of the Equine Affaire podcast on Horses in the Morning via the Horse Radio Network. Horses in the Morning is available everywhere you download your podcasts, and the Equine Affaire HITM episodes are also accessible via equineaffaire.com/podcast.

Another highlight of an incredibly horsy weekend included a special Veterans Day activity, as presented by the Equine Immersion Project in partnership with Equine Affaire. The “A Horse for Heroes” session on the afternoon of Veterans Day had full bleachers and a crowded fence line showing tremendous support for service members and first responders. The Equine Immersion Project (EIP), leaders in the field of equine assisted services nationwide, facilitated a groundwork session with their team of veterans, Blue Star family members, and equine specialists. Eleven participants ranged in age from 26 to 79 years and in service, including active duty, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Vietnam era, EMT/Paramedics, and a K-9 police officer.

“There is a desire and demand for alternative healing modalities among service members with invisible wounds of war, such as post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Tara Mahoney, CEO of EIP and a licensed clinical mental health counselor. “Grooming a horse encourages mindfulness and connection while leading a horse through obstacles builds confidence to handle challenges. The Equine Immersion Project team was honored to provide a demonstration at Equine Affaire for this deserving population on Veterans Day.”

According to Mahoney, one participant in the activity stated, “My friend is really the horse person. I just came for a fun day at Equine Affaire. But doing this with EIP… I had no idea the healing impact that 30 minutes would have on me. I definitely recommend this program.”

Equine Affaire wouldn’t be complete without a bustling trade show that filled three buildings with vendors, tons of breed demonstrations, educational activities for kids, and a thriving sale horse pavilion, along with the annual Adoption Affaire. Multiple rescues, including Rising Starr Horse Rescue and New England Equine Rescue, brought horses to participate in the Adoption Affaire and in Equine Affaire’s new Sale Horse Showcase activity. In the showcase, which took place twice during the weekend, horses for sale and available for adoption made their debut in the US Equestrian Coliseum, enabling potential buyers and adopters to watch their prospects in action.

And finally, Fantasia, Equine Affaire’s musical celebration of the horse and beloved nighttime show, sold out two nights of its three-night run. This beloved equine variety show has become a family tradition over the years for generations of horse lovers, and this year’s show did not disappoint. The Canadian Cowgirls performed multiple rousing drill team routines, including a salute to veterans of both the American and Canadian armed forces. The Knights of Iceland lit the arena on fire and got fans’ blood pumping with their fantastical costumes, fabulous music, and indefatigable energy, while Jane Karol and Hot Chocolate W presented a beautiful dressage freestyle set to Kate Bush’s nostalgic 80s anthem, “Running Up That Hill.” Elliot Holtzman and his wife, Caitie, performed a tribute to Aladdin. Sterling Graburn and his fellow driving team members sped through the arena in an exciting combined driving demonstration. Audiences cheered for power couple Dusti Dickerson & Justin Dickerson as they showed off their trick-riding abilities at top speed. The finale, Wild West Skills & Thrills, featured seven-time National Finals Rodeo performer Rider Kiesner and his trick-riding partner, Bethany Illes, who wowed fans with a combo performance of incredible trick riding and trick roping.

If you didn’t make it to either of this year’s Equine Affaires, here’s your chance to ward off the dreaded FOMO for 2023. Equine Affaire (and Fantasia!) will return on April 13-16, 2023, to the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio, and on November 9-12, 2023, to the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Tickets for the 2023 Ohio event go on sale December 7, 2022 and will be available for purchase online at equineaffaire.com.

Want to learn more about Equine Affaire or start planning your visit? Bookmark our website (www.equineaffaire.com), follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @equineaffaire, or call our office at (740) 845-0085, 9:00am-5:00pm EST (M-F). We can’t wait to see you at Equine Affaire!

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ELEVATING THE EQUESTRIAN EXPERIENCE SINCE 1994 TM