Kentucky Horse Park Debut of Global Event Pushes Industry Forward, Capped by Marriage Proposal
A marriage proposal was the icing on a huge cake celebrating the horse at EQUITANA USA this weekend. Thousands of fans poured into the Kentucky Horse Park Friday, Saturday and Sunday to experience the first North American iteration of the event in almost two decades. The premier horse industry event finally happened for in-person fans after moving all-virtual last year due to COVID-19.
Fans and professionals of all riding levels, disciplines, and breeds, as well as enthusiasts of all ages celebrated the horse during the three-day event.
Saturday afternoon saw the most unexpected highlight for EQUITANA USA 2021. Lindsay Partridge’s Confidence Building session worked on Suffolk, Va., trainer and owner Joe Musicaro as well as the horses. He dropped to one knee and proposed to Jennifer Rose, Partridge’s exhibition rider, as she prepared to dismount following the session. She said yes.
The engagement only added to the successful event.
“Getting back to in-person events has been a relief and celebration for everyone this year,” said Meghan Margewicz, the event director. “Since this was our debut for EQUITANA USA here, the excitement had a bit of an extra happy edge to it. The wedding proposal was a brilliant exclamation point for the weekend.”
“From the clinics and seminars to the activities and shopping, our attendees got a lot out of the weekend,” she continued. “We know we’re only going to grow in years to come.”
From the opening ribbon cutting by Margewicz and event spokesperson Jane Beshear, former First Lady of Kentucky, to the closing keynote from paralympian Sydney Collier, attendees basked in the love of the horse.
“We’ve really enjoyed getting to see the other breeds,” said Chris Hazlewood of Chapel Hill, Tenn., who attended with his daughter Georgia. “It’s been exciting to see horses that we’ve never seen before.”
Reality television star Carson Kressley not only attended, but participated in the BraveHearts “Trail to Zero” ride to honor veterans who lose their mental health battle to suicide. BraveHearts works to solve that problem by offering equine assisted therapy and activities to veterans that would benefit. Kressley, most recently a judge on the Food Networks BBQ Brawl and Rupal’s Drag Race, is perhaps most known for one of the original cast members of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
Attendees packed sessions and clinics featuring U.S. Olympians Lauren Graves and Phillip Dutton. Legendary trainer Pat Parelli’s multiple sessions were also full of people and education. Top U.S. Polo player Nic Roldan not only presented, but exhibited his new Roldan Lifestyle brand of clothing.
Exhibitors were pleased with the new opportunity to connect with customers and equine enthusiasts who came from all around North America.
“This has been a fantastic show,” said Mike Stradiot of Denver, Colo.-based Drinking Post, a self-cleaning watering mechanism for the horse. “Personally, my favorite part of the show has been the opportunity to meet a ton of new people and interact with the market that traditionally we haven’t had an opportunity to get engaged with. It’s been a fantastic show, phenomenal people and it’s been a really good time.”
“I love EQUITANA because it brings a lot of different types of trainers all into one space,” said Kara Musgrave of Green Guard Equine. “So you can see a really big variety of some of the best horsemanship in the nation.”
2016 and 2021 Paralympian Sydney Collier closed out the weekend with a compelling closing keynote talk entitled, “Learning to Love the Lindas in Your Life.” She shared her experience with always resenting her immobile left arm (Linda) to reframe that resentment which improved her competitive performances.
“It’s not something I could order on late night television,” she quipped. “It’s actually something that’s taken a long time and it has taken a lot of surrounding myself with people who actually don’t see Linda as a lost cause.”
Collier used Linda as a metaphor to tell the audience they could overcome their own challenges in competition and in life.
“Let’s face it, there are no improvements to be made without taking that initial leap of faith, in starting the process,” she explained. “That’s where it’s so intimidating … to take that first step in whatever you’re trying to do.”
EQUITANA USA will return to the Kentucky Horse Park in September 2022. Official dates will be announced soon.
PHOTO & CAPTIONS (All credited as “EQUITANA USA” please):
BraveHearts-Carson-Kressley.jpeg — LINK: https://cornett.online/eq-kressley
CAPTION: Reality television star Carson Kressley helped finish the Bravehearts “Trail to Zero” ride for veteran suicide awareness on Friday at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Lost_Art_of_Horsemanship.jpeg — LINK: https://cornett.online/eq-horsemanship
CAPTION: The Lost Art of Horsemanship panel featured (l to r): Pat Parelli, Max Cororan, Ronny Riemer and Karen Rohlf.
Wedding-Proposal.jpeg — LINK: https://cornett.online/eq-proposal
CAPTION: Joe Musicaro surprised exhibition rider Jennifer Rose with a wedding proposal during Saturday’s sessions at EQUITANA USA.
Dan-James-Training.jpeg — LINK: https://cornett.online/eq-danjames
CAPTION: Dan James from Double Dan Horsemanship illustrates the tricks of the training trade at EQUITANA USA.
Kids-activities.jpeg — LINK: https://cornett.online/eq-kids-paint
CAPTION: Children participated in several fun horse-theme activities at EQUITANA USA, including painting Breyer Model Horses.
PhillipDutton-FridayMorning.jpeg — LINK: https://cornett.online/eq-phillipdutton
CAPTION: Dual Olympic Gold Medalist Phillip Dutton teaches the nuances of equestrian competition at EQUITANA USA.
About EQUITANA USA & RX: EQUITANA USA is a three-day celebration of the horse that invites equestrian professionals and enthusiasts of all riding levels and ages, disciplines and breeds to gather for education, entertainment, instruction and shopping. RX is the producer of EQUITANA USA and in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. We elevate the power of face-to-face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors. RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people. RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.rxglobal.com
About The Kentucky Horse Park:
The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse. The park is an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet that showcases the many equestrian breeds and disciplines of the American horse industry, and hosts a number of high profile horse shows and special events each year attracting visitors, competitors and horses from across the United States and all around the world. The park is home to the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate, dedicated to exploring the history of horses and their impact on human civilization, as well as the National Horse Center, comprising national, regional and state equine organizations and associations. Information about the park’s programs and activities may be found online at www.KyHorsePark.com, and on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Periscope.
Jason Falls, Public Relations Manager
D: (502) 619-3285 | email@example.com