EquiFest, where horses reign

02/09/2012 5:00 AM

02/10/2012 7:36 AM

It’ll be horsey heaven this weekend at the Kansas Pavilions, which will be filled with horses, horse lovers, horse breeders and more as part of EquiFest of Kansas.

The annual event, now in its 15th year, runs Friday through Sunday and offers a long list of equestrian events designed for horse owners as well as horse enthusiasts.

It will include seminars by world-class clinicians, breed showcases, stallion reviews, lectures and demonstrations.

“We also have shopping,” said show promoter Debbie Beam, who produces the show with her husband, Jared. “We have vendors selling everything from jewelry and gifts to books and farm supplies. There’s really something for everyone.”

Visitors can learn from some of the nation’s leading horse experts during the event, Ream said.

The schedule includes a presentation by barrel racing champion Sharon Camarillo, whose book “Barrel Racing for Fun and Fast Times” is in its second printing.

Famous cowboy Chase Dodd, known for his “Extreme Mustang Makeovers,” will offer an unusual EquiFest event. The “Chase the Equine Dream” Challenge will feature eight non-professional riders and horses that have been rescued or adopted. The riders will complete an obstacle course against Dodd, who will be working with an unbroken horse he just met.

Also appearing: Wichita native and Wichita State University graduate Rick Lamb, an accomplished author, educator and host of the award-winning television and radio series “The Horse Show.”

Two highlights of the event are Friday’s Equine Extravaganza, featuring driving, jumping, cowboy shooting and more, and Saturday night’s EquiFest Ranch Rodeo, which will showcase 12 of the top ranch rodeo teams in the country competing in events such as wild cow milking and trailer loading.

Organizers expect a crowd of around 10,000 during the course of the weekend, including horse owners from Oklahoma, Missouri and beyond.

But the show is not only for horse owners, Beam said. Many of the people who come each year are interested just in being around the animals.

“It’s not necessarily just for people who have horses,” Beam said. “I got an e-mail from a woman whose daughter is fascinated with Clydesdales, and she wants to come and learn everything she can about them.”

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