April 23, 2007

Horse Expo has local touch

Local horse lovers can attend an equine bonanza this weekend at State Fairgrounds

By Bonnie Eberle
New Germany

Thousands of horse lovers will converge at the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, to enjoy three days of equine bliss, Friday through Sunday, April 27-29 for the annual Horse Expo.

Three hundred horses, representing 50 breeds and registries, will be there for public enjoyment to observe and appreciate for free.

Eight buildings, including the coliseum, are packed full of information, with more than 600 booths of vendors from all over the country, covering almost every aspect of the horse industry.

The Horse Expo was started 25 years ago in 1982, by a few members of the Minnesota Horse Council. It began using only the horse barn and coliseum.

Now, it uses eight buildings and all the outside space around them. It is one of the largest Horse Council sponsored Expos in the country.

Last year, even with three days of rain, more than 49,000 people attended.

There will be eight speakers, professionals in the horse industry, lecturing and demons~rating throughout the Expo.

Everyday at noon, you can watch the Parade of Breeds in the coliseum and Suillion Presentations in the judging arena each morning.

Three PRCA rodeos are scheduled for Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, with special admission prices for kids 12 and under Sunday.

One of the presentations, Texas Thunder, is a spectacular team of eight black Percheron draft horses that have come all the way from Mt. Pleasant, Texas. These horses originated in France and have been used as workhorses in the United States for generations.

Each horse weighs an average of 2000 pounds and stands approximately 18.2 hands (about six feet) at the shoulder. They’re called the gentle giants. Watching them maneuver in the coliseum is an unforgettable experience.

The Minnesota 4-H Horse Association, with its volunteers, run a huge tack sale, where anyone can buy or consign equipment, saddles, western clothing, etc.

The money raised from this sale is used for 4-H horse events in Minnesota including the State 4-H Horse Show held in September at the state fairgrounds

One can spend a whole day at the Expo, shopping, learning, dreaming, being right there in the middle of this fascinating industry and still not have the time to see everything.

For more information on the Expo visit www.mnhorseexpo.org.

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