Horses can play soccer, too.
And they’ll prove it during EquiFest of Kansas, an annual three-day event that organizers promise will deliver almost anything horse-loving humans can dream up – including horse soccer games.
The event is among the many unusual, interesting and practical attractions at the 17th annual show, which runs Friday through Sunday at the Kansas Pavilions, 1229 E. 85th St. North in Park City, and is expected to draw 15,000 people.
“The horses actually move the ball,” said Tom Frey, the show’s new producer. “They kick the ball and move it from one end of the field to the other. They pretty much play a game of soccer.”
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And that’s not all the horses will do.
The show will feature two heated, indoor arenas that will be filled with horse demonstrations all three days.
In addition to soccer, horses and their riders will perform fast moving tricks, participate in breed showcases and demonstrate polo.
A big attraction this year also will be a demonstration of campdrafting, a popular Australian event in which a horse and his rider herd a cow quickly through an obstacle course.
“The sport is done with yearlings, and it’s highly entertaining,” Frey said.
The show tends to attract both serious equestrians, who come to meet and listen to seminars by master clinicians, and casual horse fans, who bring their families for pony rides and up-close horse meet-and-greets. To appeal more to the latter group, the show instituted a new perk this year: Children 12 and under will be admitted free on Sunday.
The show also will feature more than 130 vendors selling horse accessories, apparel decorated with horses, horse riding lessons and more.
“Anything you want pertaining to a horse, you can find in the trade show,” Frey said.