Thousands of horse lovers gathered in Albany, Oregon for the twentieth annual Northwest Horse Fair and Expo, presented by Akins Trailers Sales, March 22nd through 24th, at the Linn County Fair and Expo Center. John Cloe, event founder and manager said, “Our Twentieth Anniversary celebration of the Northwest Horse Fair and Expo was a rousing success! We’ve been blessed over the past twenty years, with tremendous support from horse owners and horse lovers from all over the Northwest!” Mr. Cloe noted, “We had horse enthusiasts of all ages, who enjoyed horses at their finest, in our breed demos, clinics, workshops, equine entertainment and the Colt Starting Challenge USA!”
Excitement built as the first Colt Starting Challenge USA got underway during the expo, and continued all three days! Six horse trainers from Oregon, Washington and Idaho applied their training skills to six young unbroken colts. Trainers each drew a colt to work with, and had just three days to gentle, saddle, and ride the young horses! The third day of the expo, trainers competed with their colt through a demanding obstacle course! According to Cristy Beatty, spokesperson for the Colt Starting Challenge USA, “The obstacle course was a big hit as the audience cheered for each accomplishment that the trainers and horses completed! Overall it was a great event! All six horses got a great start on them and were all ridden with only 3.5 hours of training!” When the competition was complete, the top-ranked trainer was Patrick Priest of Terrebonne Oregon, who took first place, and was awarded a custom Event Buckle. Patrick also qualified for the National Colt Starting Challenge USA Finals at the end of 2019. Second place honors went to Kyle Churchill of Arlington, Washington, and the third place award went to Cody Abatie of Estacada, Oregon.
BreyerWest®, had its best year ever, in its fourth year running at the 2019 Northwest Horse Fair and Expo! The BreyerWest model Open horse show was sold out, and the Novice/Youth model horse show was the largest ever! Horse show entrants came from as far away as Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Alberta, Canada. BreyerWest workshops and activities for model horse hobbyists and enthusiasts were also sold out! And the free Stablemates painting for kids was very popular among attendees, as were the hands-on workshops and free demos by hobby experts.
A dynamic group of horse trainers and instructors from across the United States provided first-class education in daily clinics and demos during the expo. The equine experts were: Josh Lyons, of Lyons Legacy, featuring General Horsemanship clinics; Mette Rosencrantz presenting Dressage; Heidi McLaughlin teaching how to be a Fearless Rider; Marcia Moore-Harrison featuring Cowboy Dressage; Steve Lantvit conducting Horsemanship & Ranch Versatility clinics; and Tom Seay from Best of America by Horseback gave Trail Riding lectures. Plus, on Friday, Lukas Bardue from the BlackPearl Friesian Dance Troupe presented a clinic on Liberty & Trick Training; on Saturday, Randal Walker of Satus Stockdogs, featured Working Dogs; and on Sunday Ian Jones gave a presentation on Equine Trail Sports.
Twenty-seven different horse breeds demonstrated their strengths and athletic abilities, in the Breed Demos, Stallion Reviews, and equine entertainment. American breeds of horses, such as Quarter Horses, Missouri Fox Trotters, Mustangs, Tennessee Walking Horses; and international breeds such as Arabians, Canadians, Hanoverians, Gypsy Horses, Dale and Fell Ponies, and Peruvian Horses, gave audiences an inside look at the diversity of equine, in conformation, color, movement and use. Mr. Cloe noted, “Among the unusual breeds on display, we had the hypoallergenic Curly Horses, whose hair coats are wavy! And The Canadian horse demo included “Emir”, the Canadian horse who was in attendance as part of the Cavalry demo at the very first Northwest Horse Fair in 2000!”
Endo the Blind horse, stole the hearts of the crowd when his owner and trainer, Morgan Wagner rode him, demonstrating his advanced training, graceful maneuvers, and amazing trust in his rider! The BlackPearl Friesian Dance Troupe provided an engaging performance of elegant entertainment, including a kaleidoscope of long brightly colored scarves carried by costumed riders on sophisticated horses! The Rhinestone Cowgirls Precision Drill Team presented high-action precision drills to music, as well as presenting the nation’s colors for the national anthem each day. The Oregon Mounted Shooting Association members showed amazing accuracy at speed, shooting out a line of balloons with black-powder pistols, from the back of a galloping horse!
Expo attendees visited horses up close, in the stall barn and in the courtyards. Kids enjoyed the pony rides, and were enchanted with the appearance of a “unicorn” Sunday, in the courtyard! The horse barn was decorated in vivid colors, as breed groups and stallions displayed imaginative stall decorations, and vied for stall decorating honors, in two divisions. Stall Decoration Winners were: In the Stallion Category: the first place honor went to Wild Horse Mountain Ranch; the second place award went to Horse Springs Kiger Ranch; and third place was presented to Premier New World Gypsy Cobs. In the Breed Category: first place honors were awarded to the Oregon Foxtrotter Club; second place was presented to Cascade Icelandic Horse Club; and the third place award went to the Canadian Horse Heritage & Preservation Society.
Two large trade show buildings housed vendors from all over the United States, selling a broad variety of products for horse enthusiasts. “We had a number of vendors who have been in the trade show for the full twenty years that the Northwest Horse Fair has been in existence! We thank them for their consistent support of us, since 2000!”, said Mr. Cloe.
Expo attendees supported a worthy cause, by bringing non-perishable food items to the entrance gate on Friday, in exchange for a dollar off their admission ticket. Food donations went to the Albany Helping Hands Homeless Shelter. “We thank the BlackPearl Friesian Dance Troupe for their substantial donation of a barrel of food, plus we gathered two additional barrels of food collected from individual attendees!” said Mr. Cloe. “We really appreciate these generous donations for Albany Helping Hands!”
The Northwest Horse Fair will be held next year, on March 20 through 22, 2020. For more details about the Northwest Horse Fair and Expo, go to: http://www.equinepromotions.net/northwest-horse-fair, call 765-655-2107, or join us for late breaking details and excitement, on Facebook (Northwest Horse Fair & Expo (NWHF)) and Twitter (@NWHorseFair).
Sponsors for the Northwest Horse Fair and Expo 2019 were: Akins Trailer Sales, the presenting sponsor; Beelart Embroidery, the official event embroiderer; Fitzgerald Corrals; KMTR-TV, the Youth Day sponsor; KRKT; Logan Coach Trailers; The Northwest Horse Source, the official publication of the Northwest Horse Fair and Expo; Phoenix Inn & Suites, the hosting hotel for the Northwest Horse Fair and Expo; and Wilco.