Elevating the Equestrian Experience in Ohio

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Horse lovers everywhere flocked to Columbus for the return of Equine Affaire on April 7-10, 2022.

Earlier in April, Equine Affaire made a triumphant return to the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, hosting happy crowds of horse lovers and equine enthusiasts for four days of equine-themed education, entertainment, and enjoyment. This year’s event was especially momentous because it was the first time Equine Affaire had taken place in the state of Ohio since 2019. After three long years away, excited fans, presenters, exhibitors, vendors, volunteers and Equine Affaire staff welcomed the return of their favorite equine exposition and equestrian gathering with open arms.

“Our staff members have missed putting on this event the past two years. We conducted a successful in-person event in Massachusetts this past November, but it felt especially wonderful to return to the Ohio Expo Center this year since it’s so close to our London office,” said Coagi Long, president of Equine Affaire. “We also experienced a 7% increase in ticket sales compared to previous years. That was a great welcome back!”

On April 7-10, 2022, tens of thousands of eager visitors streamed through the gates of the Ohio Expo Center to attend North America’s premier equine exposition and equestrian gathering. Crowds enjoyed attending more than 150 educational sessions, clinics, and demonstrations presented by some of the nation’s most renowned horsemen and horsewomen, including Craig Cameron, Jim Thomas, J.R. Robles, Lynn Palm, and Warwick Schiller. They also experienced the joy of meeting a variety of different breeds of horses in the Breed Pavilion, including Akhal-Tekes, International Drum Horses, and more, as well as networking with dozens of equine professionals in the popular Horse & Farm Exhibits. Equine Affaire’s trade show, which is hailed as the largest horse-themed trade show in the east, filled several buildings with vendors selling everything from horse trailers to tack to horse show apparel to toys, jewelry, clothing, and more. Visitors also flocked to the Marketplace Consignment Shop all weekend long to sell and to purchase quality used goods. Special immersive activities and competitions were also a highlight each day. From shopping to networking to riding and learning, visitors of all ages were able to elevate their equestrian experience through the 2022 Equine Affaire in Ohio.

Several exciting competitions took place throughout the weekend, including the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition; the Mustang Trainers’ Incentive Program Challenge; and the International Liberty Horse Association Freestyle Invitational. The VHRC took place on Friday, April 8, with clinician Kevin Oliver as judge and clinician Lynn Palm as emcee. Twenty-five horse and rider pairs competed for $5,500 in cash and other prizes, including special product prize packages provided by Farnam for the top ten finishers. The first-place winners were Brenda Hanson and PVF Frosted Ace, who won $2,500 in cash, a Champion rosette, a Farnam product prize package, and the coveted title of Equine Affaire Versatile Horse & Rider Champion. The Mustang TIP Challenge took place in three parts on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9, and featured both youth and adults who competed for $20,000 in prize money. For these competitors, the Mustang TIP Challenge was the culmination of 100 days spent gentling a feral mustang and preparing each horse to compete in a pattern class, a handling and conditioning class and a trail class.  The overall winner of the finals was Garrett Shanks and his mustang, Dreamin of Amazing Grace. Finally, the ILHA Invitational Freestyle took place on Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9, featuring horses and handlers who performed liberty routines. The winners of the ILHA Invitational Freestyle were Melissa Barnett and Jamaican Me Marley. For full results, photos, or other details for all three competitions, please email arehnborg@equineaffaire.com.

Equine Affaire’s signature musical celebration of the horse, Fantasia, returned as a major highlight of the event, and enthusiastic crowds filled the coliseum each night for the two-hour musical variety equestrian show. Attendance on Thursday night doubled compared to 2019, while the Friday and Saturday night performances sold out completely! Sponsored by Absorbine, Fantasia featured equestrian performers of all shapes, sizes and talents, including the Mini Doves, a group of miniature horses expertly handled by a team of youths; the 2nd Cavalry Brigade Band and the 6th Ohio Mounted Buglers; the Young Guns Drill Team; liberty rider Luke Gingerich and his horse, Tinseltowns Whizard; the Drentwett family of performers in multiple acts; Jenny Vidbel O’Donnell with a 16-horse liberty act; and many more.

Equine Affaire wouldn’t be possible without the support of its sponsors, including Absorbine, sponsor of Fantasia; Farnam, sponsor of the Courtesy Shopping Bag and prizes for the 2022 Versatile Horse & Rider Competition; Rod’s Western Palace, sponsor of the Rod’s Arena; US Equestrian, sponsor of the US Equestrian Arena; and Wahl, sponsor of the Wahl demo ring.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 2022 Equine Affaire in Massachusetts, which will take place November 10-13, 2022, at the Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield, Massachusetts. Save the dates for the 2023 Equine Affaire in Ohio, which will take place April 13-16, 2023, at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio.

To learn more about Equine Affaire and how to participate, attend, sponsor, or exhibit in one of our events, visit www.equineaffaire.com. You can also call our main office at (740) 845-0085, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST, Monday through Friday, for information. Follow Equine Affaire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram via @equineaffaire, and bookmark equineaffaire.com/home/podcast to catch every episode of the official Equine Affaire podcast, released monthly.


Allison Rehnborg, Marketing Coordinator
Equine Affaire, Inc.
Phone: (740) 845-0085 ext. 103

*Pictures Available Upon Request