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Ohio Equine Affaire Kicks Off the 2016 Riding Season with Some New Features

1/19/2016 Equine Affaire
Are you ready for your pre-season horse fix? North America’s foremost equine exposition and equestrian gathering returns to the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus on April 7-10, 2016, with all of the elements that have made Equine Affaire a legend—plus some exciting new features and opportunities.

Imagine what you could do with four days to devote to your passion for horses? Improve your riding and horse training skills by attending clinics, seminars, and demonstrations by top trainers. Or ride in the clinics through Equine Affaire’s Ride With The Best program. Shop at the largest horse-related trade show in N. America while selling your unwanted equine and equestrian items on consignment at Equine Affaire’s Marketplace. Discover dozens of horse breeds and disciplines at the Rod’s Equestrian Experience Pavilion and Breed Pavilion and develop your basic “horse skills” at the new Equine Fundamentals Forum. Buy a new horse…or market one that you want to sell in the expanded Horse & Farm Exhibits. Sit back and enjoy fabulous entertainment including Equine Affaire’s signature musical celebration of the horse—the Fantasia-- and the ever-popular Versatile Horse & Rider Competition. Meet and mingle with equestrian stars from throughout the worlds of equine competition and media—and enjoy a special pre-season getaway with family and fellow horse-loving friends.

Four Days, Seven Venues, Hundreds of Sessions

Whether you’ve just recently discovered your passion for horses or spoken “horse” since childhood, you’ll find sessions at Equine Affaire that will help you and your horse along the road to better horsemanship and performance and a winning relationship. Equine Affaire’s extensive program of clinics, seminars, and demos will be presented by many of the nation’s premiere coaches, competitors, trainers, TV personalities, authors, judges, and other industry experts.

With literally hundreds of sessions presented in seven venues, there will be something to satisfy almost every equestrian interest and taste—not to mention the need for a little advance planning as to what to do when. The lineup of presenters who will share their knowledge and expertise will include experts offering a range of horse training philosophies and techniques and representing a wide variety of competitive arenas.

Sessions on general horse training and horsemanship topics of interest to all horse people will be presented by Jonathan Field, Ken McNabb, Mark Rashid, Chris Irwin, Warwick Schiller, and Tommy Garland. Each of these individuals will focus on understanding and communicating with horses, building rider confidence, improving horsemanship, addressing training issues, and enhancing the horse-rider partnership.

Olympians, World and National Champions, World Equestrian Games athletes, and other highly-accomplished individuals representing a myriad of disciplines will convene in Columbus, OH, this April to present clinics throughout all four days of Equine Affaire. They will include Warwick Schiller (reining), David Marcus and Angela Jackson (dressage), Lynn McKenzie (barrel racing), Daniel Stewart (jumping), Stephanie Lynn (western pleasure, trail, and hunter under saddle), Julie Winkel (hunters and jumpers), Susan Harris (Centered Riding®), Tommy Garland (western and hunter pleasure for gaited horses), Sterling Graburn (driving), Elizabeth Graves (easy gaited horses), Doug Lindgren (trail), Sylvia Zerbini (liberty horses), and Lisa Dufresne (trick training).

Why Not Bring Your Horse with You to Equine Affaire?

For nearly 20 years Equine Affaire’s Ride With The Best program has been offering riders of all disciplines opportunities to ride with and receive individual instruction and training from leading competitors, coaches, judges, and general horse trainers during the clinics at Equine Affaire. Clinic fees range from $85 to $350 and include clinic participation, event admission, and 24 hours of stabling. Some clinicians seek riders and horses with specific skills and/or problems to participate in their clinics, while others will choose riders interested in improving their relationships with their horses. Equine Affaire clinicians will select participants for their sessions from written applications and videos submitted to Equine Affaire. For detailed information on the wide range of clinics offered at the 2016 Equine Affaire and a clinic application, visit equineaffaire.com or call Equine Affaire, click on the Ohio event, and follow the “Participate” link to the Ride WithThe Best page. But don’t wait—the application deadline is February 16th.

“Foundation First” Clinic Series Features Jonathan Field and Ken McNabb
No, it’s not a race—it’s not even a competition. The Foundation First clinic series focuses instead on creating the proper foundation in training a horse to be ridden and on progressing at the rate that is appropriate for the individual horse being trained. On Thursday through Sunday at Equine Affaire Jonathan Field and Ken McNabb will present a series of clinics during which they will each train one unbroke horse to be ridden. Attendees will have a chance to gather solid advice on how to prepare a horse to be ridden by watching these top trainers work with young horses. Owners of two halter-broke horses will also have the opportunity to have their horses trained by one of these exceptional trainers. To have your horse participate in the Foundation First clinics consult Equine Affaire’s Ride With the Best Program at equineaffaire.com for details on how to apply.

Introducing the New Equine Fundamentals Forum

If you’re new to the horse world or still developing your basic skills as a rider or horse person, you’ll find plenty of useful information at Equine Affaire’s new Equine Fundamentals Forum in the Celeste Center. The all new forum will feature a demo ring where experts who are quite savvy about horses will share their knowledge on a wide range of “fundamental” topics of use to new riders and horse owners young and old. The forum will also include numerous video presentations and informative, hands-on interactive displays about horses, horse health, and horse management. Youth activities including a trivia quest, stick horse making, and a stick horse rodeo will also be featured to engage the youngest horse fans enjoying the show.

Shop for All Things Horse Related

If it’s something horse-related that you want, you’ll find it in Equine Affaire’s legendary trade show—the largest equine-oriented shopping opportunity in North America. You’ll discover hundreds of the nation's leading equine and equestrian retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and organizations in four exhibit halls and the outdoor areas in between.

Are you looking for tack or grooming supplies? How about riding apparel and gifts? Is it time for a new trailer, tractor, or arena drag? You can evaluate a vast selection of products in person instead of online. Do you need new fencing or are you planning a new barn? Review a wide range of options in one convenient location and meet with informed vendors who can answer your questions, offer advice, and give you quotes on the spot. Research riding vacations and equestrian college and university programs, evaluate all types of feed and supplements, and find jewelry and books, art, photography, and all of your equine and equestrian must-haves in a trade show that offers acres of superb shopping. Online shopping may be quick—but Equine Affaire shopping is intoxicating!

Buy and Sell Quality Consigned Items at The Marketplace at Equine Affaire

Make plans now to sell what you and your horse no longer need at The Marketplace at Equine Affaire. The Marketplace will be a consignment store in the Bricker Annex where you will be able to sell your unwanted equine and equestrian items for up to four days to the tens of thousands of avid horsemen who attend Equine Affaire. Where else can you find more potential buyers for your unwanted tack and riding apparel than North America’s foremost equine exposition and equestrian gathering?

Let the staff at The Marketplace display and sell your consigned items to customers who will be able to see your merchandise first hand and make their purchases on site. Equine Affaire’s staff will take care of selling your consignments while you enjoy Equine Affaire’s fantastic program of clinics, seminars, and demos—and then pay you in cash for sales made at the event! With cash in hand, you’ll have additional spending power to shop for used items at The Marketplace and new merchandise at Equine Affaire’s phenomenal trade show. Best of all, the consignment fees at The Marketplace are lower than those at other consignment venues in the region! Nothing to sell? Then be sure to visit The Marketplace to browse through a wide selection of consigned items and discover bargains on the things on your list for the next riding season.

For information on The Marketplace including consignment guidelines and forms and a list of items that will be accepted for consignment, visit equineaffaire.com, click on the Ohio event, and follow the “Participate” link to the Marketplace page. Or contact Kristen Gump at (740) 845-0085 ext. 104 or kgump@equineaffaire.com.

The Rod’s Equestrian Experience Pavilion
The Rod’s Equestrian Experience Pavilion in the Expo Center’s covered paddock will feature sessions on a broad range of equestrian sports as well as spotlights of breeds that make up the “equestrian experience.” Disciplines as diverse as vaulting, polocrosse, racing, endurance, gymkhana, and western dressage will be showcased through sessions presented by associations and clinicians representing these sports. These clinics will be introductory in nature and designed to complement the more in-depth training clinics conducted in the other arenas at Equine Affaire. Horse breeds will be presented in groups by “types” including gaited horses, easy gaited horses, sport horses, stock horses, drafts, ponies, etc.

Experience the Fantasia . . . sponsored by Absorbine®

Equine Affaire’s signature musical celebration of the horse, the Fantasia, is always the perfect ending to a perfect day at Equine Affaire. The focus shifts from education to entertainment at the Fantasia where horse lovers gather with family and friends to enjoy performances that showcase the qualities of horses that we find most endearing: their beauty, their grace, their intelligence, their talent, their athleticism, and their heart and willingness to do what we ask of them.

The Fantasia will take place at 7:30pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (April 7-9) in the Ohio Expo Center coliseum and be an evening of great entertainment for horse lovers of all ages. “This year’s show will incorporate many of the elements that Fantasia-goers have come to expect at the event including Grand Prix freestyle dressage, freestyle reining, driving, horses at liberty, and drill team performances--but all with a new twist,” explained Eugenia Snyder, President of Equine Affaire. “We have some of the foremost equine and equestrian performers coming from throughout North America to participate, and the 2016 Fantasia promises to be an evening of extraordinary entertainment you will not want to miss.”

The 2016 Fantasia is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Absorbine. Fantasia tickets range in price from $14 to $25, and advance tickets are available online or by calling Equine Affaire at (740) 845-0085 weekdays from 9:00am-5:00pm Eastern. Tickets for this popular event sell quickly, and advance ticket sales end March 30th. Any tickets not sold in advance will be available for purchase at the Information Booth in the Bricker Building beginning at 9:00am on Thursday, April 7th at Equine Affaire. For more information on the show or to purchase tickets, visit equineaffaire.com, click on the Ohio event, and follow the “Features” link to the Fantasia page.

One Round Will Decide the 2016 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Champion

Equine Affaire’s ultimate test of horsemanship, the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition—aka “VHRC”, returns this April with a new format designed to condense the race and heighten the excitement. Instead of including qualifying and final rounds as in past years, the VHRC will consist of just one round on Friday, April 8th, in the Ohio Expo Center’s coliseum. A maximum of only 25 pre-selected horse and rider teams will run the course in pursuit of $5500 in cash and the coveted title of 2016 Versatile Horse & Rider Champion.

The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition is a timed and judged race through an obstacle course created to test communication between horse and rider as well as each competitor’s horsemanship skills and athletic prowess. The competition is open to adult riders of all disciplines and horses of all breeds—literally all breeds, as past competitors have included horses as diverse as Paints, Belgians, Thoroughbreds, Hanoverians, Appaloosas, Fjords, and Morgans. For details on the competition and how to apply to participate, consult equineaffaire.com, click on the Ohio event, and follow the “Participate” link to the VHRC page or call Equine Affaire.

And, if you are not up for the ride yourself, be sure to get to the race early to get a good seat at this very popular event. The VHRC is exciting to watch because you get to see great horses and talented riders tackle real riding challenges. You can learn a lot by observing different approaches to the same obstacles and the horsemanship skills of dozens of outstanding riders and horses.

Explore Horse Breeds, Buy or Sell a Horse, and Market Your Equestrian Business

Dozens of horse breeds from ponies to drafts and stock horses to sport horses will be on exhibit and presented in hand at Equine Affaire. Under saddle demonstrations of a wide range of breeds will be conducted throughout the weekend in the main clinic arenas as well as the Rod’s Equestrian Experience Pavilion, offering you a chance to understand the conformation, movement, and temperament of different breeds as well as the many different disciplines at which they excel.

Visit Equine Affaire’s Breed Pavilion in the Voinovich and the nearby Horse & Farm Exhibits to meet with horse owners and breeders and representatives of various national, regional, and local breed associations. They’ll have plenty of helpful information and be able to answer your questions about their horses and tell you where and how you can get involved with their breeds.

Are you interested in buying a horse, selling a horse, or marketing a stallion, training facility, or other equine-related service? Located in the Ohio Expo Center’s newly-remodeled Gilligan Complex, the Horse & Farm Exhibits is an area within Equine Affaire dedicated to the promotion of horse farms, training facilities, lesson facilities, breeding stallions, and now horses for sale. The Horse & Farm Exhibits area is where horse people connect with horse owners, trainers, and facility managers about horses for sale, stallions at stud, training services, riding instruction, and boarding facilities. Exhibiting in this area is very affordable and is a terrific way to market your farm, stallion, or other service.

And, if you have a horse to sell, the Horse & Farms Exhibits will be the place to do it this April! You can rent a “For Sale” stall in the area for just $125 for the four event days and receive with your stall a free for sale ad for your horse pre-event on equineaffaire.com! For all of the details on exhibiting in the Horse & Farm Exhibits and renting a “For Sale” stall, visit equineaffaire.com, click on the Ohio page, and follow the “Exhibit” link to the Horse & Farm Exhibits and Sell Horses pages…or call Equine Affaire.

Enter the New Horse Video Challenge

Do you have a truly humorous horse video...or one that is more “touching” in nature? Enter your horse video in Equine Affaire’s new Horse Video Challenge to earn a cash prize of up to $500 and the chance to have your home video showcased at future Equine Affaires. Visit equineaffaire.com and follow the “Participate” link to the Horse Video Challenge page for details on video categories, cash prizes, and the easy video submission process. The submission deadline is September 9th, so keep your cell phone and video camera handy in the months ahead to capture a home video of your horse, your friend’s horse…or just any horse doing what horses do best….being horses!

A Free Raffle with Plenty of Great Prizes

Equine Affaire’s latest raffle offers a variety of prizes designed to suit almost any equestrian taste including a Jameson Southern Charm collection complete saddle/headstall/breastplate package from J.T. International Dist, Inc., a pair of custom made English riding boots from La Mundial, a pair of custom show chaps from Berry Fit, a supplement package provided by Uckele Health & Nutrition, official 2016 Equine Affaire prints, and four-day tickets to the 2017 Equine Affaire. The raffle is free, it’s easy to enter, and you need not be present to win. Go to equineaffaire.com, click on the Ohio event, and follow the “Participate” link to the raffle page. You can enter online before the show and visit the Raffle Center in the Bricker Building at Equine Affaire to see the prizes in person and enter the raffle on site. Winners will be announced at 4:30 on Sunday.

Join Our Team

Would you be interested in earning free admission by helping out as a volunteer at Equine Affaire? Volunteers assist our full time staff; sign up for specific “jobs,” work two-hour shifts, and earn free admission and an event souvenir. For information on volunteering, visit equineaffaire.com or call Equine Affaire. Apply soon--volunteers are scheduled in the order in which applications are received.

Equine Affaire 2016: A Great Value for Horse Lovers!

Equine Affaire will be up and running from 9:00am-7:00pm on Thursday-Saturday, April 7-9, and from 9:00am-5:00pm on Sunday, April 10th. 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 $15/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 $10 from the daily rate. Kids 6 and under attend for free.

Advance tickets to Equine Affaire are available for purchase through March 20th online at equineaffaire.com or by phone at (740) 845-0085 Monday through Friday from 9:00am-5:00pm Eastern. You may also download a mail-in ticket order form from the site to send with a check. Tickets will go on sale at 8:30am at event entrances each show day; cash only at the gates.

Equine Affaire makes your trip even more affordable with special room blocks and discount rates at dozens of area host hotels. But make your hotel reservations soon—room blocks and special rates at our host hotels will expire in early March. Camping with hookups is also available at the Ohio Expo Center on a first-come, first-served basis.

Everything You Need to Know to Go

Round up your horse-loving friends and barn mates and plan your getaway.

Equineaffaire.com contains everything you need to know to make your visit a fun and successful one. Click on the Ohio event and follow tabs for: admission details, directions, hotel information, a complete roster of presenters, daily schedules, maps, details on how to participate in the Ride With The Best program and Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, a volunteer application, facility information, and tips for making the most of your Equine Affaire experience. And if you’re not Web-savvy, not to worry: call Equine Affaire at (740) 845-0085 and speak to a member of our friendly, horse-loving staff, Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm Eastern.

Generous Sponsors Make Equine Affaire Affordable

Equine Affaire’s exceptional program of educational activities and entertainment and the event’s modest admission fees are made possible through generous sponsorships by dozens of equine-related companies and organizations. We all extend our gratitude to Absorbine®, Rod’s Western Palace, Farnam, Cosequin®, Wahl Clipper, and the dozens of other companies who have endorsed the educational mission of Equine Affaire through their sponsorships!

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