The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Equine Affaire is Here!

Elevate your Equine Affaire experience with these tips. 

Horse lovers, saddle up! North America’s premier equine expo and equestrian gathering returns to the Ohio Expo Center next week, just in time to celebrate our most triumphant milestone yet. This year, Equine Affaire in Ohio commemorates thirty years of elevating the equestrian experience – and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this landmark anniversary with all of you! As you pack your saddle bags and prepare to head out on the ultimate road trip with your barn buddies next week, keep this trail guide handy to help plan your visit! We’ve compiled the ultimate insider’s guide with tips on who to see, where to go, and what to do when, plus added some helpful hints and frequently asked questions. Let’s get ready to ride!


Equine Affaire will take place at the Ohio Expo Center on April 11-14, 2024. The Ohio Expo Center (OEC) is located at 717 East 17th Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. Hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are from 9 am-7 pm (EST), and on Sunday, from 9 am-5 pm (EST). Single day tickets and four-day passes for Equine Affaire are available for purchase here:

You can access the event off I-71 from 17th Avenue on the north side of the Ohio Expo Center. On Thursday through Sunday, you can drive through the main gate (Gate 3) and park on the south side of 17th Avenue. On Friday and Saturday, you can also park in a large lot on the north side of 17th Avenue and walk through pedestrian Gate 2, near the Bricker Annex. For an overview map of the grounds, click here:! We’ll also have this map and all our individual building maps printed in the official event program, included with admission.

The Ohio Expo Center charges for parking, so please be prepared to pay the parking attendants promptly when you arrive. It’s $10/entry or $20/four-day pass. Standard parking will accept cash, credit/debit, Apple pay, and Google pay. Also, please leave your pets at home! We cannot allow any pets in any of the buildings, except for service dogs per Ohio Revised Code § 955.43.

Need more information? Click here:

QUICK TIP: If you plan to come multiple days or would like to enter and leave repeatedly on the same day, purchase a parking pass from the OEC! Parking passes will be available for purchase from the parking attendants at the gate.

FAQ: When can I arrive to park on site? You can arrive and park as early as you wish, but the doors to all the exhibit buildings will remain locked until 9 am.


There are a variety of host hotels near the event. A list is available on our website. Many of our host hotels still have rooms available. Here’s how to find out what’s available and how to receive a special discounted rate on your stay:

Are you coming in an RV or camper? Camping is available on site at the OEC. There is no advance registration. All spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and there are plenty of spaces for all. The current OEC camping rate is $50/day and subject to change without notice. Camping permits can be purchased at the Ohio Expo Center’s main entrance gate (Gate 3), on the south side of 17th Avenue. Pets are welcome in the camping areas. You can learn more about camping at the OEC here:


We’re glad you asked! Fantasia is Equine Affaire’s musical celebration of the horse. Sponsored by Equine Medical and Surgical Associates, Fantasia is unlike any show you’ve ever seen – and that’s because every performance features a wide array of disciplines and styles of riding as well as a variety of breeds of horses. Whether you love the precision and elegance of dressage, the seemingly effortless high-speed turns and stops of reining, the excitement of mounted archery, or the thrill of trick riding, there’s a performance guaranteed to inspire you in this year’s show. Are draft horse hitches, flaming whips, bridleless jumping, liberty, or drill teams more your speed? We’ve got all that, too… and more!

As the perfect end to a perfect, horse-filled day, Fantasia takes place in the Coliseum on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights during Equine Affaire. The doors open at 6:45 pm and the show starts promptly at 7:30 pm. The show typically lasts approximately two hours with one fifteen-minute intermission.

Fantasia requires separate tickets, and tickets sell quickly, so buy yours today! You can purchase Fantasia tickets online at or by calling our office at (740) 845-0085, M-F, 9 am-5 pm (EST). You can also buy tickets on the day of each performance from the Information Booth in the Bricker building until we sell out.

QUICK TIP: Make sure to stay after the event for a special autograph signing session! All the performers come back out into the arena after the show to sign postcards and programs.

FAQ: Do I need to purchase separate tickets for Equine Affaire and Fantasia? Yes, you need to purchase general admission tickets to access Equine Affaire’s daytime activities and a separate ticket to attend Fantasia. However, if you arrive after 6:30 pm EST to attend Fantasia, you will not have to purchase a general admission ticket to Equine Affaire.


In a word, yes! For the past thirty years, Equine Affaire has proudly served as an educational gateway to the world of horses. Our mission is to produce events that help improve the horse management, training, and riding skills of all equestrians. That’s why, year after year, we fill our first-class educational program with hundreds of clinics, seminars, and demonstrations, all presented by talented speakers and presenters who are also dedicated, passionate horse-people.

Whether you love riding, jumping, liberty, reining, ranch work, roping, dressage, pole bending, driving, learning about horse health care and husbandry, or any number of other horse-related topics, there’s a clinic, seminar, or demonstration on our schedule for you.

And if riding Western or working with cattle is of interest to you, we’ve added a brand-new educational feature at Equine Affaire this spring: Cowtown in Cooper! Sponsored by Western Life Today, Cowtown in Cooper is a two-day educational tour through the world of cow-oriented Western events, such as boxing, ranch riding, sorting, breakaway roping, and more. Cowtown in Cooper will take place on Friday and Saturday of the event. Wear your cowboy boots and hats and come prepared to see some incredible clinicians and riders work with real, live cattle.

Check out our clinic schedule and a full list of presenters at this link to find the best clinics to attend for you and your area of interest:

If you’re brand new to the horse world, make sure to stop by the Equine Affaire Information Booth in the Bricker Building and tell our friendly staff. They’ll have extra tips and info for you to help get you started! That’s also where you can pick up your official event program. And while you’re there, ask for directions to the Equine Fundamentals Forum in the Celeste Center, which is the perfect place to start learning about horses from the ground up.

FAQ: How can I ride in a clinic at a future Equine Affaire? Equine Affaire’s Ride with a Pro clinic program is a popular and affordable way to ride with and learn from one of your idols at Equine Affaire! Applications are available online starting in January and the deadline to apply is typically in early February. Learn more about Ride with a Pro here:


Equine Affaire is home to the largest horse-related trade show in North America. Featuring hundreds of exhibitors spread out across several buildings, you’re virtually guaranteed to find what you’re looking for! Make sure to visit the Bricker Annex, the Celeste Center, and the Voinovich Center, as well as outdoor areas between buildings, to see all the exhibitors. See a full list of this year’s vendors here:

While you’re shopping, make sure to check out our Facebook (@equineaffaire) starting at noon on Thursday, April 11, so you can cast your vote for the Best Booth Award! On Thursday morning, our staff will select five outstanding exhibitor booths and post photos on our Facebook page by noon. Then it’s up to you to vote for your favorite booth until noon on Saturday, April 13. The booth with the most votes will win the contest! Participating in the Best Booth Award voting is the perfect way to support your favorite exhibitors. Watch our Facebook feed for details on how to vote and to see who wins!

Love shopping for bargains? Located in the Voinovich, the Marketplace at Equine Affaire is a consignment shop where people just like you can drop off their gently used equestrian items for sale, or browse for bargains among quality used equestrian goods. Learn more about consigning and shopping at the Marketplace here:

QUICK TIP: Many exhibitors host raffles at their booths during the show. Make sure to take business cards or little slips of paper pre-filled with your name, mailing address, and email addresses to make entering raffles quick and easy! You can find a list of all the exhibitors holding raffles in the event program, too. You never know what you might win! (And for that matter, don’t forget to enter Equine Affaire’s free online raffle: Entries are accepted through April 15!)


There are not one, but two competitions taking place at Equine Affaire!

The Versatile Horse & Rider Competition will take place on Friday, April 12, 2024, in the Coliseum. Sponsored by Espana Silk, this exciting competition features horses and riders riding an obstacle course created to test communication between horse and rider, as well as each competitor’s horsemanship skills and athletic prowess. Riders are competing for $5,500 in cash and other prizes. It’s one exciting race! Check it out here: and bookmark that page for the future to learn more about applying to compete!

Added as part of our special anniversary celebrations, the Great Equestrian Fitness Challenge is a brand-new addition to Equine Affaire in Ohio! Sponsored by Boot Barn, the GEFC is your opportunity to compete for fun prizes and bragging rights – no  horses needed. If you’re the king or queen of the barn chore list, love mucking stalls, or excel at stacking hay, we want you! This fun new competition is happening Saturday, April13 at 3:00 pm in the GGT Arena in the Voinovich Livestock & Trade Center during Equine Affaire. Show off your hard-earned barn rat muscles in one of three fun barnyard Olympic events: the Barn Chores Marathon, the Bouncy Pony Race, or the Horse Nugget Relay. It’s free to sign up. Just visit the Information Booth in the Bricker Building prior to the competition to sign up. The number of competitor slots is limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Limit one event entry per person.

FAQ: Is admittance to both competitions included with my general admission ticket? That’s correct. No extra tickets are required to attend the VHRC or the GEFC, or to compete in the GEFC!


Visit the Breed Pavilion in the Voinovich Center and the Horse & Farm Exhibits in the Gilligan Complex! First, the Breed Pavilion will showcase dozens of horse breeds and registries with origins in North America, Europe, and beyond. You can network with horse owners, research breeds, learn about national, regional, and local breed associations and their activities, and so much more. Association representatives will be on hand to provide helpful information and answer questions about their breeds and horses, and equines from miniatures to drafts and from stock horses to sport horses will be on exhibit and presented in hand for your consideration. Under saddle demonstrations of the breeds featured in the Breed Pavilion will also be conducted throughout the weekend in the main clinic arenas, offering you a chance to understand and appreciate the conformation, characteristics, and aptitudes of horses of different breeds.

Plus, we’re hosting a special Celebrity Horse Showcase this spring! Meet GG Kiss Me Kate of Gypsy Gold Horse Farm, a gorgeous Gypsy Vanner mare who has won 42 Supreme Champion titles, including 3 National Supreme titles. No other mare has won a National Supreme title, and no other horse has won a National Supreme title more than once. You can meet Kiss Me Kate in the Breed Pavilion and see her in action during our daily Celebrity Horse Showcase (for specific ring times and locations to see Kate, see our event schedule:

After you’re done in the Breed Pavilion, take a stroll through the Gilligan Complex and visit the Horse and Farm Exhibits. You can chat with barn and equine business owners, visit with industry professionals offering horses for sale, and plenty more. The Adoption Affaire, in partnership with the ASPCA Right Horse program, will also be going on in the Gilligan Complex all weekend. Make sure to visit the Adoption Affaire stalls (marked with green signs) to learn about the mission of various rescues and sanctuaries and meet horses up for adoption.

Have you ever dreamed of driving a pair of giant draft horses? At Equine Affaire in Ohio, we are delighted to offer you the chance for a fascinating experience with the gentle giants of Whispery Pines Percherons! Free for all Equine Affaire attendees, the Drive A Draft activity will take place on Friday and Saturday in Rod’s Arena. Sign up by visiting the Whispery Pines Percherons’ stalls in the Gilligan Complex near the green wall. Learn more here:

The Whispery Pines Percherons are also helping us celebrate our anniversary in an extra-special way by offering stagecoach rides! See the Ohio Expo Center grounds like never before by enjoying a scenic stagecoach ride during Equine Affaire. The rides will be offered daily from 12 pm to 4 pm, east of the Voinovich Livestock & Trade Center. The cost will be $10/person or $50 for 6 people in a private ride. Children 5 years and under are free with an adult.

Are you a veteran? Meet Operation Horses and Heroes at Equine Affaire. We’ve partnered with Operation Horses and Heroes to offer A Horse for Heroes, where veterans, active duty, and first responders can experience the benefits of equine-assisted therapies and activities. This activity will take place on Friday and Sunday in Rod’s Arena. You can learn more here:

QUICK TIP: Ask all the questions! Our exhibitors love to share and showcase their equestrian experiences. Make sure to ask for business cards or pamphlets, too, especially if you’re interested in taking lessons, purchasing a horse, or asking for training services.


Equine Affaire is a great place to take kids of all ages, especially horse-crazy ones. The Equine Fundamentals Forum has lots of fun activities, including an arts and crafts project and a fun stick horse rodeo (3 pm daily!).

For young adults prepping for college, check out the College & Career Fair presentations. There will be special presentations about pursuing equine-related careers and college degrees on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, as well as the opportunity to sign up for a one-on-one mentoring session with Dr. Karin Bump. You can sign up for the one-on-one sessions in advance, or on site in the Equine Fundamentals Forum in the Celeste Center. Here’s more information about this opportunity:

Equine Affaire is partnering with the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) in hosting the Western 5S Finals Show on Sunday, April 14 from 9:00am to 5:00pm in Cooper Arena. Youth competitors from throughout the region will compete in reining and horsemanship, vying for a spot to compete at the national championships. IEA is a nonprofit organization that promotes and improves the quality of equestrian competition and instruction for middle and secondary school students. Best of all, kids don’t have to own a horse to compete with IEA! Learn more about IEA by attending the competition at Equine Affaire.


You can learn more about how to volunteer, exhibit, advertise, or participate with Equine Affaire in the future by visiting


If you have more questions or need to get in touch with our staff, there are plenty of ways to reach out to us! Bookmark our website (, follow us on Facebook and Instagram @equineaffaire, or call our office at (740) 845-0085, 9:00am-5:00pm EST (M-F). We can’t wait to see you at Equine Affaire!

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

*Pictures Available Upon Request