“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.”
― William Shakespeare, Henry V
Do you love horses? Just like to watch them move, inhale the scent of an equine, learn something new? Then the 56th Equine Affaire is for you – ongoing to Sunday, Nov. 12 at Eastern States Exposition (home of The Big E), West Springfield, Mass.
The event was created in 1993 to bridge the gaps and bring horse people from all facets of the horse world together in an event focused on education. Dozens of breeds from around the world are on exhibit in the Breed Pavilion (Stroh Building) and Horse & Farm Exhibits in C Barn. Ask about horses that interest you, pick up brochures and information. Clinics throughout the weekend will also showcase a great variety of equestrian sports and horses and their riders honing their skills in those sports. Sessions will be conducted by some of the foremost horse men and women in the equine world including Olympians, World Equestrian Games and Pan Am Games participants, national and world champion competitors, Hall of Fame inductees, top trainers and judges, and well-known TV personalities.
Admission $16; ages 7 to 10, $8; children 6 and younger, free.
Shop for all things equine at the trade show – nearly 400 exhibitors will feature everything from tack, riding apparel, toys for your children or grandchildren, decorative items, fine equestrian art and jewelry, books, equine studies programs, horseback riding vacations.
There are barns, sheds, trailers, saddles, bits, headstalls, skid boots, halters, riding crops, buckets. Custom embroidery representatives with examples of their work.
Cowboy boots galore – from soft booties to fit babies to an array for men and women working stock. Also gorgeous custom-made riding boots if English is your discipline of choice.
Visit C Barn and peruse the many horses that will be on display and for sale at the event. Look for the “For Sale” signs on stalls.
Here’s a feature story from 2015 of just a slice of what was seen and learned.
The mission of the management of the event is worthy and broad: Improve the horse management, training, and riding skills of current horsemen. Promote communication and cooperation within a diverse national horse industry. Provide an introduction to the extraordinary world of horses. Showcase the finest horses and riders representing a variety of horse breeds and equestrian disciplines.
Eugenia Snyder is the founder of Equine Affaire, incorporated in tOhio 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. Equine Affaire was initially produced at the Hara Arena Complex in Dayton, Ohio, in 1994, 1995, 1996. The event outgrew the facility and was relocated to the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus in 1997 where it has been produced on an annual basis ever since.
A second Equine Affaire was introduced at the Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield, Mass., in 1998, and a third was initiated at Fairplex in Pomona, CA, in 2001. Since 1994 the professional management staff of Equine Affaire, Inc. has produced 52 highly successful events that have served the horse industry and horse people nationwide for more than 22 years. (An Equine Affaire was also produced at the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center in Louisville in 2005, but the venue proved to be too close to that of the Ohio Equine Affaire.)
Equine Affaire is national and international in scope as evidenced by the fact that attendees and event participants have traveled to the events from all 50 states, from throughout Canada, and from South America, Europe, and Asia. Over the years more than 50 breeds of horses have participated and most have been represented by their national breed associations. All major equestrian sports from dressage, reining, cutting, jumping, driving, eventing, and barrel racing to team penning and sorting, distance competition, western dressage, trail, polo, and sidesaddle have been featured and represented by their national and/or regional associations.
Note: An American Horse Council (2005; currently being updated with results expected to be announced at the end of 2017.) Economic Impact Study established that the horse industry in all its segments, including racing, showing, and recreation, had a $39 billion effect on the U.S. economy, involved more than 4 million Americans and 9.2 million horses, and supported 1.4 million full-time jobs. The study provided invaluable demographic data and insights into professions and other industries that are impacted by equine ownership.