Equine Affaire Press Room

10 30

Get to Know the 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competitors! (Part 2)

London, OH, October 30, 2017–We’re back to introduce more of the competitors for this year’s 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Equine Affaire in W. Springfield, MA! Come to the Eastern States Exposition on Friday, November 10 to cheer them on as they compete for $5,500 in cash and prizes.

Danielle Ambrecht

Though Danielle Ambrecht, of Holtsville, NY, has only been partnered with her 6-year-old Quarter Horse mare since mid-2016, this will be the pair’s third time competing in Equine Affaire’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. Danielle grew up showing hunter/jumpers before discovering cowboy mounted shooting in her 20s. Since then, Danielle has pursued a variety of western disciplines, and competes in cow work, ranch versatility, and trail challenge classes with Felina.

April Baronas

April Baronas, of N. Attleboro, MA, has been partnered with Que Sera Sera, a 16-year-old Chincoteague Pony for the past year and a half. Though April previously focused on western events, she now competes in eventing and versatility classes. After being inspired by a friend’s ride in the last year’s Competition, April knew she wanted to compete this year and began training in January.

Jason Charles

Jason Charles, of Dillsburg, PA, is a professional trainer and five-time winner of the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. His two most recent wins, taking place at the 2016 Equine Affaire events in Ohio and Massachusetts, were with his current partner, an 8-year-old Quarter Horse mare named Ms Whiz It. You can also see Jason and Ms Whiz It in action as part of this fall’s Fantasia show.

Returning champion Jason Charles riding Ms Whiz It

Brenda Hanson

Brenda Hanson, of Andover, OH, is a professional horse trainer who is no stranger to the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. This will be the fourth year in a row Brenda and her partner PVF Frosted Ace, a 6-year old Quarter Horse gelding, tackle the course. Brenda has done all of the training on Ace, and they have garnered three top five and one reserve champion placing in previous VHRC’s.  Brenda and Ace can also be seen in action as part of this fall’s Fantasia show.

Kelly Miller

Kelly Miller, of Sandusky, OH, and her 12-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, Big Joe Harlan, are another returning pair to this fall’s Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. Partnered for five years, they regularly compete in ranch horse classes and extreme cowboy races. Kelly and Big Joe Harlan also like to travel to the western United States for horseback riding and hunting trips in the mountains.

Kayla O’Leary*

Though Kayla O’Leary, of Center Moriches, NY, has only been riding for five years, she has found a life-long partner in her 7-year-old Mustang mare, Wildfire. Kayla first met Wildfire when she was being trained as part of the 2015 Extreme Mustang Makeover in Springfield, MA. From the first time Kayla sat on Wildfire when she had only a month of under saddle experience, she knew she was going to buy her. Kayla and Wildfire soon started competing in gymkhana events, but now focus on trail classes.

Kayla O’Leary atop Wildfire

Shaynah Seames

Shaynah Seames, of Huntington, ME, has been riding her horse, Rio Wolf Creek, for fourteen years. Shaynah and the 20-year-old Quarter Horse gelding enjoy riding in a variety of events, including gymkhana, ranch riding, and barrel racing. The pair has won numerous year-end awards through their local gymkhana club and were youth world qualifiers in NBHA.

Check back soon to meet more of our competitors!

And if you missed part 1, click here to read.

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10 16

Get to Know the 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competitors! (Part 1)

London, OH, October 16, 2017–Welcome to the first of several segments highlighting this fall’s 2017 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition competitors. The following highlights some of the individuals and their horses who will convene on Friday, November 10 at Equine Affaire for the ultimate test of horsemanship.

Erin Gendreau riding Dunitgoodtobeapepto

First up, meet Erin Gendreau, of Guilford, VT, who has been partnered with her 7-year-old QH mare Dunitgoodtobeapepto for the past year. In that time, they have competed in barrel racing, pole bending, and cow sorting events. In barrel racing, they have qualified for the Open 1D and 2D World Championships. They won the AQHA Region 6 Level 1 barrel racing and pole bending classes, and have qualified for AQHA Worlds in all levels of barrel racing and pole bending.

Ariana Gunderson with Shadow

Next we have Ariana Gunderson, of Meredith, NH, who has been partnered with her 17-year-old Mustang gelding, Shadow, for six years. The pair has competed in cowboy mounted shooting and western dressage. Recently, they won Adult Overall Champion at the 2017 Kaitlyne Wadman Mustang Makeover.

Katie Bogaert riding Mowgli

Katie Bogaert, of Meriden, MA has been riding her 4-year-old QH gelding Mowgli for almost year. Katie found him at auction and bought him with the intention of reselling him. However, Mowgli soon fell seriously ill and over the course of three months of recovery, Katie and Mowgli grew a very strong bond. Now that Mowgli is back to full health, the pair have been dabbling in dressage and western training.

Kristin Sweeney riding Fergie

Last in this installment is Kristin Sweeney, of Berlin, MA, who bought her 14-year-old Norwegian Fjord mare, Fergie, six years ago as a birthday present to herself. Since then, they have competed in numerous events at the beginner novice and advanced elementary level. The pair has also recently gotten into obstacle and versatility training.

Stay tuned to meet more of our competitors soon!

And in the meantime, purchase tickets to Equine Affaire to be sure you don’t miss the action: https://equineaffaire.com/events/massachusetts/mass-attend/mass-tickets/


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09 29

Equine Affaire in W. Springfield, MA: Your Express Trip Ticket to the Wide World of Horses

London, OH, September 29, 2017–The Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield, MA, will once again become “horse-central” for horse lovers from throughout the East Coast and beyond when it hosts the 56th Equine Affaire on November 9-12. Since its introduction to New England in 1998, Equine Affaire has been a “must see” for horse enthusiasts associated with all breeds and equestrian disciplines. With an unwavering mission to elevate the equestrian experience, Equine Affaire offers an educational program that is second-to-none, the largest horse-related trade show in the East, top equine entertainment and competition, and endless opportunities to experience, buy, and sell horses of all types. Equine Affaire is where you see, feel, touch, compare, try on, experience and smell all aspects of the horse world in person and, most important, “in horse.”

At the heart of Equine Affaire is an educational program designed to help horsemen of all riding and driving persuasions reach their equestrian goals at home, on the trail, and in the 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 six venues—so a little advance planning will be required to know just what to do when!

This year’s gathering will feature Olympic, Pan American, World Equestrian Games, and World Champion greats including Greg Best, Phillip Dutton, Craig Johnson, Steffen Peters and Suzy Stafford as well as outstanding overall horsemen such as Ken McNabb, Julie Goodnight, Van Hargis, Chris Irwin, Steve Lantvit, and Wendy Murdoch.  Clinic topics will cover the gamut from the English disciplines of dressage, jumping, eventing, driving, and English pleasure through the western sports of cutting, reining, western pleasure, ranch riding, cowboy dressage, and trail.  Sessions will also be presented on liberty horse training, mounted games, the training of easy gaited horses, vaulting, scholastic / collegiate competition, and more.

Equine Affaire’s Equine Fundamentals Forum, located in the Mallary South, will be where new riders and horse owners—and those still developing basic skills—will meet and learn together with their own demo ring and savvy string of experts sharing solid “horse sense” that forms the building blocks of good horsemanship.  The Forum will offer video presentations, hands-on interactive displays about equine health and management, and fun activities tailored to the youngest horse lovers.

Of course the focus of any “horse fest” is obviously the horses, and you’ll find plenty of ways to discover and appreciate the amazing diversity of the horse world in the Breed Pavilion, Horse & Farm Exhibits, and breed demos throughout the weekend. Get up close and personal with equines from miniatures to drafts, gaited to easy gaited breeds, and stock horses to sport horses. Representatives of dozens of horse, pony, color, and breed associations and registries will be on hand in the Breed Pavilion to answer your questions and share their exceptional horses with you. And, if you’re wanting to learn more about a breed, find horses for sale, research stallions for your mare, and review training and breeding facilities, take time to explore the Horse & Farm Exhibits located in C Barn right next to the coliseum. The Horse & Farm Exhibits is where horse and farm owners and horse service providers connect directly with customers and share information.

Another Equine Affaire favorite is the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, sponsored by Nutrena®.  This ultimate test of horsemanship will bring 25 pre-selected horse and rider teams to the coliseum on Friday afternoon to ride against the clock in front of a judge who will rate their performance through a pattern of obstacles and horsemanship tests.  The race course will embody the definition of versatility requiring jumping over obstacles, working gates, crossing bridges, performing rollback and gymkhana maneuvers, backing through patterns, and demonstrating trust while navigating “spooky” objects. Come out and cheer on your favorite contestants in this exciting, fast-paced event!

At the end of a great day of learning and shopping at Equine Affaire there can be no better way to cap off the day than to settle into a seat to enjoy the very best in equine entertainment—and you can do that at the Fantasia—Equine Affaire’s magical and musical celebration of the horse. The Fantasia, sponsored by Absorbine®, will take place at 8:00pm on Thursday-Saturday in the coliseum and offer unforgettable performances by some of the foremost equine and equestrian entertainers in the country. From the exhilarating derring-do of Bobby Kerr and his mustangs to mesmerizing Lusitanos taking flight in airs above the ground, the theatrical showmanship of Pirate-costumed Friesians, and the natural beauty of horses performing at liberty with world-renowned trainer and entertainer Sylvia Zerbini, the 2017 Fantasia will be a feast for the senses.

The Fantasia is a two-hour choreographed spectacle of horsemanship and showmanship that never fails to leave Standing Room Only audiences singing along to musical scores from country to classical to contemporary and leaving with full hearts and renewed conviction in the beauty, nobility, strength and devotion of the horses and ponies that share our lives. But unlike Broadway prices, tickets for the Fantasia are just $14 to $25.  Advance tickets are available online through November 7; remaining tickets will be available for purchase starting at 9:00am on November 9 at the Information Booth in the Better Living Center at Equine Affaire. Doors to the show will open nightly at 7:15pm.

There’s shopping online—and then there’s SHOPPING at Equine Affaire!  At Equine Affaire’s vast trade show you’ll be able to see, touch, try on and compare everything you and your horse “need”….and some things you’ll discover you simply “must have!” With large retail “stores” to wander through, 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.  Whether you want to make plans for a new arena or barn, find the perfect trailer to haul your equine companions, secure the best saddle for you and your horse, research farm equipment, begin your holiday shopping, or find year-end savings on a wide range of equine and equestrian items, you’ll find vendors at Equine Affaire to check all the boxes on your list. It will be one-stop shopping at its finest!

Equine Affaire’s exceptional and affordable program of educational activities and entertainment are made possible through generous sponsorships by dozens of equine-related companies and organizations. We all extend our sincere gratitude to Absorbine®, Farnam, Horizon Structures, Wahl Clipper, Cosequin®, Nutrena®, Horse Network, and the dozens of other companies who have endorsed the educational mission of Equine Affaire through their sponsorships and helped make Equine Affaire both an exceptional as well as affordable opportunity for all horse people.


Equine Affaire will be up and running from 9:00am-7:30pm on Thursday-Saturday, November 9-11, and from 9:00am-5:00pm on Sunday, November 12. You can enjoy all that Equine Affaire has to offer—the clinics and seminars, the shopping, the specialty pavilions, and the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition for the price of a single-day or multi-day general admission ticket. Adult admission is only $16/day (and includes a free event program) and youth (age 7-10) tickets are only $8. A four-day adult pass is just $50—a savings of $14 from the daily rate.  Kids 6 and under attend for free.

Advance tickets to Equine Affaire are available online through October 22 at equineaffaire.com or by phone at (740) 845-0085 Monday through Friday from 9:00am-5:00pm Eastern. Tickets will go on sale at 8:30am at event entrances each show day; cash only at the gates.

Whether you have only a budding interest in horses or you’re a seasoned veteran of the horse world, your destination of choice this November will be Equine Affaire.  Visit equineaffaire.com, click on the Massachusetts event, and follow the links for 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 (740) 845-0085 for personal assistance. Get together with your family and horse-loving friends to share your passion for horses and enjoy a weekend of fabulous horses, phenomenal opportunities and unforgettable experiences at North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering:  Equine Affaire!

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08 16

The Personal Touch: Promote, Sell, and Network through the Horse & Farm Exhibits at Equine Affaire

London, OH, August 16, 2017–Good horse business, like good horsemanship, is very much in the hands. Hands waving welcome invitations to a barn. Hands running over the smooth coat of a breeding stallion or sale horse. A handshake between horsemen as they close a deal.

If you’re looking to complement your online marketing by investing in a personal, hands-on approach to promoting and selling your horses and services, look no further than the Horse & Farm Exhibits at Equine Affaire—North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering. The 2017 event will take place November 9-12 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA, and bring together tens of thousands of prospective customers and savvy horse and horse business owners.  In Equine Affaire’s Horse & Farm Exhibits event attendees will see firsthand what you have to offer, and you will hold the reins to your own real-time advertising. If a picture is “worth a thousand words,” then having opportunities to sell your horses and promote your farm and services in person to potential customers is “priceless.”

The Horse & Farm Exhibits will be presented in Eastern States’ spacious C Barn adjacent to the coliseum.  C-Barn features an enclosed exercise arena perfect for schooling, and there is a nearby outdoor arena for evaluating a sale horse or pony. What could be a better venue at which to sell a horse or market a stallion or stable than a centrally located and well-established equine facility like the Eastern States Exposition and a first class equestrian event like Equine Affaire?

Selling your horses at Equine Affaire

Yes, you can sell your horse online, at your barn, or through an auction, but finding the right buyer at the right price at Equine Affaire just might be quicker, easier, and more profitable. You can rent a 12 x 9 “For Sale” stall within the Horse & Farm Exhibits area at Equine Affaire for just $150, and each stall rental includes two four-day passes to the event (a $100 value), a “For Sale” sign to post on the stall, and a free listing pre-event on equineaffaire.com that will provide the horse’s breed, age, gender, name, disci­pline, price, photo, and stall location.

For added convenience, you may also rent a tack stall next to your “For Sale” stall(s) for only $100 in order to store your bedding, tack, feed, and other equipment while at the show. Though Equine Affaire is a four-day event, you only need to commit to exhibiting your horse for at least two days of the event.

Marketing your farm, stable, stallion, or boarding, training, and breeding facility at Equine Affaire

Equine Affaire’s Horse & Farm Exhibits complement the Breed Pavilion and serve as a second location to showcase horses and ponies on exhibition rotation. The area includes three types of exhibit stalls—inline 12 x 9 stalls for only $150 each, end/corner stalls on the outer aisles of the barn for $175, and end/corner stalls on the main center aisle of C-Barn for $200. The rental of each exhibit stall includes two four-day event passes (a $100 value); a one-line listing of stall number, farm name, breed of horse, and phone number or web site address in the free event program; and a listing pre- and during the event on equineaffaire.com.

Equine Affaire understands that Horse & Farm Exhibitors have facilities to run and may have difficulty being away from home for the duration of the event.  Horse & Farms exhibitors are not required to participate all four days of the event, but they must commit to exhibiting for at least three days and specify in advance which days they will be on site.

Fascinated by a new breed you saw in the Fantasia or the Breed Pavilion? Looking to buy a new horse or take your riding to the next level with a fresh trainer? Dreaming of the ideal stallion for your mare? Then the Horse & Farm Exhibits at Equine Affaire is for you.

For detailed information on Equine Affaire’s “For Sale” stalls, Horse & Farm Exhibits, and Breed Pavilion consult equineaffaire.com. Click on the Massachusetts event and follow the “exhibit” link to the Breed Exhibits pages. You may also contact Karin Brennan by phone at (740) 845-0085 ext. 112 or email kbrennan@equineaffaire.com.

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08 03

Equine Affaire® Massachusetts to Again Present Three Spectacular Nights of the Fantasia, sponsored by Absorbine®

London, OH, August 3, 2017–It’s the kind of news that makes a horse lover’s heart sing.  Once again Equine Affaire® is pleased to confirm three consecutive nights, November 9-11, of its blockbuster “musical celebration of the horse” known and loved as the Fantasia at the Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield, MA.  The Fantasia is a choreographed spectacle of showmanship that never fails to leave Standing Room Only audiences singing along to musical scores from country to classical to contemporary, and leaving with full hearts and renewed conviction in the beauty, nobility, strength and devotion of the horses and ponies that share our lives.

From the exhilarating derring-do of Bobby Kerr and his mustangs to mesmerizing Lusitanos taking flight in airs above the ground, the theatrical showmanship of Pirate-costumed Friesians, and the natural beauty of horses performing at liberty with world-renowned trainer and entertainer Sylvia Zerbini, the 2017 Fantasia will be a two-hour feast for the senses that will be the perfect way to cap off a day of shopping at the largest all-horse trade show of its kind and taking in Equine Affaire’s array of educational forums, clinics and demonstrations.

Historically drawing sold-out crowds nightly to the Eastern States Exposition’s historic Coliseum, the Fantasia is the equestrian entertainment cornerstone of Equine Affaire.  The show is again generously underwritten by Absorbine®, aka the W.F. Young Company, which was founded in 1892 in nearby East Longmeadow by Mary Ida and Wilbur Young as they developed a humane method of treating lameness in their own beloved horses. Absorbine® celebrates its own milestone this season with 125 years of caring for animals.

The Fantasia will start nightly at 8:00pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with doors opening at 7:15pm. Tickets are just $14 to $25 and are available online at www.equineaffaire.com or by contacting Equine Affaire. Advance tickets are on sale through November 7; any remaining tickets are then available for purchase at Equine Affaire starting at 9:00am, Thursday, November 9, at the Information Booth in the Better Living Center.

Bookmark equineaffaire.com for upcoming announcements about the 2017 Fantasia celebrity guests and performers, as well as updates about all of Equine Affaire’s speakers, seminars and demonstrations. As always, Equine Affaire in W. Springfield, MA, will host 100’s of retailers (just in time for the holidays) for the largest horse-related trade show on the East Coast; plus an engaging and often hands-on Breed Pavilion; Horse & Farm Exhibits; Equine Fundamentals Forums; and popular Versatile Horse & Rider Competition. Find complete event schedules, ticket information, and discounts to Equine Affaire host hotels at equineaffaire.com.  Or contact Equine Affaire’s friendly staff of fellow horse people at (740) 845-0085 from 9:00am-5:00pm ET for personal assistance.

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