Equine Affaire returning to West Springfield

Nov 6 2017

The four-day event begins on Thursday in West Springfield.

Throughout the year, the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield is the site of many horse shows attracting some of the best riders and horses in the country.

Many of those riders just might be returning to the Eastern States Exposition this weekend, but not to compete. Instead, they will be joining horse lovers from throughout the East Coast and beyond as part of the four-day 56th Equine Affaire which opens its doors Thursday.

Equine Affaire offers 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. 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 on the grounds.

“Where else can you find more than 70 professionals eager to share their expertise on all types of disciplines and horse-related topics?” said  Coagi Long, vice president and executive producer of Equine Affaire.

This year’s lineup includes some of the most prestigious names in the industry, including three Olympians – Steffen Peters in dressage, Phillip Dutton in eventing, and Greg Best in jumping. There will also be television personalities including Ken McNabb, Julie Goodnight, and Steve Lantvit, as well as trainers such as Van Hargis, Chris Irwin, and Wendy Murdoch, and many others.

Clinic topics will cover everything 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, collegiate competition, and more.

Last year Equine Affaire introduced the opportunity to purchase a horse at their event.

“The horse sale was a great success in its inaugural year. We have sellers who are returning this year with more horses for sale due to their sales at last year’s event. A great advantage to buying a horse at Equine Affaire is the ability to see how the horse performs in a busy show environment. All sales are private one-on-one sales with the horse owner,” Long said.

She noted there will be a wide range of horses of all breeds available – Friesians, Tennessee Walking Horses, Icelandic ponies, Gypsy Vanners, Quarter Horses, sport horses, and more from a wide range of disciplines. Prices range from $2,500-$20,000 for the approximately 30 horses that are already registered.

New this year is the College/Career Fair Scavenger Hunt on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., where attendees can explore equine-related career paths and college opportunities. There will be a kickoff presentation on matching equine interests with college and career options, followed by the scavenger hunt, which will provide an engaging way to meet a variety of industry professionals and college representatives. Prizes and more will be awarded to those who complete stops on the scavenger hunt during a panel discussion at 4 p.m. in the Equine Fundamentals Forum demo ring.

Equine Affaire is also a one-stop-shop for every horse lover’s needs. From supplements, grooming supplies, apparel, and tack to trailers, farm equipment, and barns, attendees can shop for everything for themselves, their horses, and their farms. The event is also an opportunity to discover newly released products and new brands that may not yet be in local tack shops, and to shop for equine art and home decor.

“A huge advantage to shopping at Equine Affaire is the opportunity to shop a variety of brands in person and all in one place. For instance, a local tack store may carry a few lines of saddles, but at Equine Affaire most major saddle makers are represented. It’s also important to see, feel, try on, and compare the quality of various items in person,  something that can’t be replicated with online shopping. As you can imagine, quality is important when you’re shopping for supplies for a 1,000 plus pound animal,” said.

Other special activities include:

  • Equine Affaire’s Equine Fundamental Forum, located in the Mallary South, where there will be new riders and horse owners–and those still developing basic skills–can 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.
  • Breed Pavilion and Horse and Farm Exhibits – 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 questions. Also, the Horse and Farm Exhibits is where horse and farm owners and horse service providers connect directly with customers and share information.
  • The Versatile Horse and Rider Competition 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.
  • Fantasia, Equine Affaire’s musical celebration of the horse, willl take place at 8 p..m. tonight through Saturday in the Coliseum. The spectacle offers 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, to the theatrical showmanship of pirate-costumed Friesians. Tickets are often sold out in advance, check the Equine Affaire website for availability at equineaffaire.com

Equine Affaire, Inc. was founded by Eugenia Snyder in Ohio in 1993 with the goal of creating a first-class, education-oriented horsemen’s exposition in which horse people representing all breeds of horses and all equestrian disciplines would convene in a non-competitive environment and share their passion for horses.

The first Equine Affaire was produced at the Hara Arena Complex in Dayton, Ohio in 1994. The event quickly outgrew the facility and was relocated to the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, OH in 1997 where it has been produced on an annual basis every since.

In 1998, a second Equine Affaire event was introduced at the Eastern States Exposition.



Nov 2018