Thank You for Celebrating Equine Affaire’s Big 30th Anniversary With Us

Along with tens of thousands of excited horse lovers, Equine Affaire proudly celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its flagship event in Ohio on April 11-14, 2024. For four days, equestrians and equine enthusiasts gathered to ride, drive, exhibit, compete, shop, and adopt horses, not to mention talk about them, teach about them, and of course, admire them! The Ohio Expo Center in Columbus provided an expansive backdrop for an array of equine-centric activities, from clinics, seminars, and demonstrations to competitions to shopping marathons to the incredible nighttime show, Fantasia, which took place for three nights, April 11-13.

The Ohio Expo Center has been home to Equine Affaire in Ohio since 1997; before that, Equine Affaire was produced at the Hara Arena Complex in Dayton from 1994-1996. That means 2024 marks the thirtieth year that Equine Affaire has served as a mainstay of equestrian culture in the Midwest and beyond.

“We had a wonderful time celebrating such an important anniversary in our home state,” said Coagi Long, president and owner of Equine Affaire. “Equine Affaire means so much to so many people, and our staff members are honored to be part of bringing the joy of horses to our attendees year after year. We’d like to say thank you to everyone who has supported our event over the years. It wouldn’t be Equine Affaire without all of you.”

One of the biggest draws of any Equine Affaire is its educational program, which consists of hundreds of educational clinics, seminars, and demonstrations presented by industry experts. This spring, Equine Affaire was pleased to host headliners Mike Major, Ken McNabb, Pat Parelli, Steve Lantvit, and Chelsea Canedy, as well as a slew of discipline-specific clinicians like seven-time Olympian Phillip Dutton (eventing), Congress champion Kevin Raber (reining), Dave Treharne (roping), Mark Bolender (mountain trail), Cynthia Hankins (hunter/jumper), Lauren Sammis (dressage), Larry Keith (ranch sorting), Stacey Giere (driving), Lynn Newton (Western dressage), Duane Esser (English pleasure), and many more. The educational program also featured presentations by veterinarians, equine business experts, authors, farriers, and lots more.

Equine Affaire also expanded this spring’s clinic program by including a new educational feature, Cowtown in Cooper! Sponsored by Western Life Today, Cowtown in Cooper was an expansive two-day tour of cow-oriented Western disciplines that introduced horses, riders, and audiences to disciplines like ranch riding, ranch sorting, roping, reined cow horse, and others. Cowtown in Cooper provided a fascinating glimpse into cowboy culture for our Ohio audience and met with rave reviews from clinicians and attendees alike. It also marked the first time that cattle were on site for clinic work in ten years! The cattle were provided by Dave Treharne of Treharne’s Training Center in Negley, OH. The Cowtown clinician roster included Steve Lantvit, Dave Treharne, Ken McNabb, Larry Keith, and Kevin Raber.

Another feature that drew rave reviews included the interactive Drive a Draft activity, presented by the owners and horses of Whispery Pines Percherons! Kellie and Sam Rettinger brought six gorgeous Percherons to the event to host Drive a Draft, to exhibit in breed demonstrations, and to perform in Fantasia. The Drive a Draft activity enables attendees to experience ground driving a single Percheron or a pair of Percherons in harness under the expert eye of the Rettingers. Participation is included with general admission, but the time slots for each activity always fill up quickly – and attendees who got to partake in the experience were unanimous in their enjoyment.

“Thank you for including Whispery Pines Percherons and Drive A Draft,” one attendee wrote after the show. “It is a fantastic addition to Equine Affaire! I’ve been coming for 27 years and this was one of the best shows I have attended.”

The Whispery Pines Percherons were also instrumental in helping present a special anniversary celebration surprise this year, teaming up with John May of May Farm Activities to bring in a stately stagecoach and a pair of May Farm Percherons to provide carriage rides to attendees on the grounds. The carriage rides proved to be incredibly popular, especially during the weekend when the weather was bright and sunny.

On Friday of the event, the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition – sponsored by Espana Silk – went off without a hitch in the US Equestrian Coliseum. Twenty-four horses and riders went through a challenging obstacle course that featured drags, jumps, mounted and unmounted maneuvers, gates, and more, but only one pair came out on top: Sidney Hawk and TJ Smokin Silverado! Sidney and TJ won the championship with a score of 64, taking home $2,500 in cash, a rosette, and a special prize pack from Espana Silk Grooming Products. The competition was judged by Steve Lantvit and the master of ceremonies was the official voice of Equine Affaire, Noah Rattner. The president of Equine Affaire, Coagi Long, and the owner and president of Espana Silk Grooming Products, Trudy Midas, presented Sidney and the remainder of the top ten placers with prizes. Adam Black and his gorgeous mule, Just June, came in second with a score of 59, winning $1,750; Randy McStoots and Docs Gay Gold Digger scored third place and received $1,000; and Kristin Fouty and Dun Got It Goin On won fourth place and won $250. For full results, please visit!

First introduced at the 2023 Equine Affaire in Massachusetts, the Great Equestrian Fitness Challenge debuted in Ohio this spring on Saturday of the event and proved to be a tremendous hit. Attendees loved the opportunity to compete in the Bouncy Pony Race, the Horse Nugget Relay, and the Barn Chores Marathon, winning both medals and bragging rights. Sponsored by Boot Barn, the Great Equestrian Fitness Challenge is a fun and exciting competition that’s open to all attendees, no horses needed, and challenges competitors to flex their barn muscles and show off their talents at everyday barn chores like hauling hay, mucking stalls, carrying buckets, and more.

The Equine Affaire Best Booth Award Contest also debuted in Ohio. The Best Booth Award Contest was designed to reward especially innovative or interesting booth designs of trade show, Breed Pavilion, and Horse and Farm exhibitors. The staff of Equine Affaire toured the show on Thursday to select the top five finalists, which were then posted on Equine Affaire’s official Facebook and Instagram profiles for audiences to vote for their favorites until Saturday of the show. When the votes were tallied, this year’s winner was Stable Riding at Horsehaven Stables, which was located in the Bricker Building. This booth inspired attendees to learn how to “ride more, fall less” with Solange’s Stable Riding System. Solange and her team demonstrated the basics of her Stable Riding System by inviting attendees into the booth to practice riding on Equicizers. Stable Riding at Horsehaven Stables’ booth was crowned with a Best Booth Award Banner, and they also received a credit toward next year’s exhibit space. Second place in the Best Booth Award Contest went to the US Trotting Association and Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association booth in the Breed Pavilion, which featured a harness cart and a virtual reality headset that literally enabled attendees to “take the reins” and experience harness racing from the driver’s seat. Congratulations to all our finalists and honorable mentions!

Over the course of the show, the ASPCA hosted its annual Adoption Affaire event for 32 horses from eight ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Partner organizations as well as from the ASPCA Equine Transition and Adoption Center in Oklahoma. Each group brought along several adoptable horses, including riding horses, ponies, minis and companion horses and the ASPCA was present to support them and answer the public’s questions about equine adoption. The Adoption Affaire event resulted in 30 horses being adopted, including a special adoption by the owners of Equine Affaire adopting two sweet senior ponies Cookie and Abrilla, with pending adoptions for the two remaining horses.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the 30 successful adoptions from this year’s Equine Affaire and are grateful for our ongoing collaboration with Equine Affaire to find loving homes for many more incredible horses,” said Cailin Caldwell, director of the ASPCA Right Horse program. “We encourage the horse-loving public to visit the Adoption Affaire at future events and in the meantime, meet adoptable horses nationwide at, the ASPCA’s online adoption platform for equines.”

Fantasia, Equine Affaire’s musical celebration of the horse, returned for three nights only and showcased an incredible variety of performances by some of the nation’s top riders and performers. Sponsored by Equine Medical & Surgical Associates, Fantasia featured a stunning dressage freestyle by Lauren Sammis, an exciting and patriotic drill performance by the Young Guns Equestrian Drill Team, a reining freestyle by Kevin Raber, a spectacular driving act with the Whispery Pines Percherons and John Squibb’s miniature horse hitch, a beautiful pas de deux act with Brendan Wise of Unbridled Wings and Kaleigh Marie of Braveheart Beasts, bridleless jumping by Brendan Wise, and a heart-stopping trick riding, trick roping, and gun spinning act by seven-time NFR performers and 2020 PRCA Dress Act of the Year Rider and Bethany Kiesner. The show also featured a jaw-dropping mounted archery performance by Equestrian Chaos, who were newcomers to Fantasia! This team of female mounted archers from Mobile, AL, channel the traditions and costumes of warriors of old while wowing audiences with their skills at shooting arrows upside down and backwards on horseback. Sergeants Jerry Paulsen and Nathan Lolley, accompanied by Bauke K of Miley Friesians, also opened each evening with a moving tribute to fallen soldiers, including prisoners of war and those missing in action. Just as it has been for decades, Fantasia proved to be the perfect way to end a horse-filled day spent at Equine Affaire for thousands of our attendees!

If you missed this year’s event, we invite you to save the dates for our next two Equine Affaires. Equine Affaire will be at the Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield, MA, on November 7-10, 2024, and at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, OH, on April 10-13, 2025.

Equine Affaire gratefully acknowledges the sponsors that help make this event possible: Equine Medical & Surgical Associates, Rod’s, GGT Footing, US Equestrian, Western Life Today, Boot Barn, Pro Earth Animal Health, Espana Silk Grooming Products, and Best Sand Equestrian Sand. For more information about Equine Affaire, please visit or follow us on Facebook and Instagram @equineaffaire. We’ll see you at Equine Affaire!

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

*Pictures Available Upon Request