The First Ever Liberty Festival

On October 21-23, 2022 at the historic Kentucky Horse Park the first ever Liberty Festival will take place.

“The Liberty Festival is a celebration of all things Liberty,” explained event organizer Dr. Elizabeth James, “The discipline, the methods, the horses, the fans, the possibilities.

“People love Liberty. They love learning about it, talking about it, watching it and practicing it. The 2022 Liberty Festival will offer a way to do all of that and more in one weekend.”

The event will feature educational clinics from top industry trainers including Pat Parelli, Warwick Schiller, Dan James and more. It will also feature an Invitational Liberty Freestyle Show and the International Liberty Horse Association (Youth, Non-pro, Pro and Senior division) Championships. There will be a trade show, a VIP experience and social events for people looking to connect with other Liberty enthusiasts.

“There really is something for everyone at the festival,” said James. “But when it comes to clinicians we went for the best of the best.”

Pat Parelli of Parelli Natural Horsemanship has made a career of teaching people all over the world how to have a relationship with their horse through Liberty before Liberty was even a thing.

“It’s impossible to talk about Liberty, let alone celebrate it, without Pat,” said Dan James, founder of the ILHA. “No matter what expo, what clinic, or what show you watch, if Liberty is mentioned Parelli is sure to follow. We have tremendous respect for Pat as a horseman and an industry leader so getting to feature him at the Liberty Festival is an honor.”

Pat will be doing daily clinics but there will also be an exclusive Breakfast with Pat Parelli for VIP ticket holders on Saturday, October 22.

In addition to Parelli, the Liberty Festival will feature sessions by Warwick Schiller of Attuned Horsemanship.

“Liberty is special because the relationship between horses and humans is special and no one speaks more to the intricacies and complexities of that relationship than Warwick Schiller,” said James. “Warwick is not only an accomplished trainer and competitor but also a thought leader in the industry and anytime people get the chance to listen to or learn from him they (and their horses) are better for it.”

The Liberty Festival will also proudly feature Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship.

“Dan James doesn’t just teach Liberty, he takes it to the next level of performance,” said James of her husband. “Dan has dedicated his career to teaching and helping others to achieve their goals of performing, showing and competing at Liberty.  He is a world champion trainer and competitor in both reining and colt starting but it has been watching his horses perform in high end photo shoots with Versace and Vogue and on hit TV shows like Heartland that he counts among his greatest accomplishments.”

The Liberty Festival is proudly produced by the International Liberty Horse Association (ILHA), the first and only association dedicated to the Liberty discipline. The Liberty Festival was created in fulfillment of the ILHA mission to:

  • Unite al Liberty trainers, fans, enthusiasts & horses
  • Offer competitions for all levels & styles of Liberty
  • Showcase the talents of Liberty competitors, trainers & trainer.
  • Develop & foster interest in the Liberty discipline
  • Create & host competitive opportunities for Liberty enthusiasts
  • Protect the integrity of the Liberty discipline through responsible stewardship

Since its inception in 2019 the ILHA has hosted its Championship show every October at the historic Kentucky Horse Park. But this year it has transformed what was just another Championship show into a true celebration. From those merely interested in Liberty to those competing at the highest levels there will be something for everyone at the 2022 Liberty Festival.

“The most common question we get at the ILHA is ‘How can I get started?’” said James. “People are interested in Liberty but they don’t know where to go to find Liberty trainers, they don’t know how to learn Liberty training methods and they don’t know how to connect with others on the same journey. We designed the Liberty Festival with them in mind.”

  •  For those looking to learn Liberty there will be top clinicians doing demonstrations.
  • For people with questions there will be trainers, clinics, booths and social events for them to get answers.
  • For Liberty enthusiasts wanting to take their Liberty to the next level there will be Youth, Non-pro, Pro and Senior competitors competing in the ILHA Championship classes showcasing first hand what’s possible for all levels and abilities.
  • For trainers who offer Liberty lessons, clinics and other forms of teaching there will be attendees looking for their services.
  • For people wanting more than just an expo there will be exclusive VIP events along with everything central Kentucky has to offer in the fall.
  • For those seeking community there will be ILHA Club representatives and social events including a Happy Hour with Horses from the hit TV series Heartland to connect with other like-minded Liberty fans.
  • For those who love to shop there will be a Liberty Festival Trade Show.
  • For those who want to be entertained – even inspired – there will be an Invitational Liberty Freestyle highlighting what’s possible when you combine top Liberty horses, trainers, music and costumes.

This one-of-a-kind event aims to educate, inspire and connect Liberty fans from all over.

“I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface when it comes to Liberty,” said Dan. “But events like the Liberty Festival give us a glimpse.”

For more information please visit:

Dr. Elizabeth A James, CEO

Images available upon request.