Farm Horizons, February 2008

A horse festival for horse lovers

Central Minnesota Spring Horse Fest comes to St. Cloud April 5-6

Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Horse lovers may be interested in the eighth annual Central Minnesota Spring Horse Fest coming to the St. Cloud Civic Center, Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, 6.

More than 300 vendors from 11 states are expected, selling everything horse-related including trucks, trailers, feed, riding gear, and much more.

“This is one of the largest shows the Civic Center has,” said Tim Johnson, the show organizer.

Johnson is also the owner of Excalibur Enterprises, a horse breeding farm in Deerwood. (16 miles west of Brainerd).

Heidi Froeming of Hutchinson, the 2006-07 Western Saddle Clubs Association’s queen, has attended and worked at the Central Minnesota Horse Fest for several years.

“People who like fishing go to fishing expos, those who like horses go to horse expos,” Froeming said.

Horse enthusiasts get to see what’s new and available each year.

“It breaks up winter. It’s fun to have something to do before the showing season starts,” Froeming said.

Although smaller than the Minnesota Horse Expo at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, Froeming likes it that way – it’s big, but not too big, she said.

Attendees can also learn some tricks from top horse trainers in the state such as Dennis Auslam and Bethany Bernatsky.

Auslam, owner of Redwood Stables in Morton, is a long-time professional horse trainer. He specializes in starting colts and also works with advance performance, halter, pleasure, and trail horses. He believes in the “overall focus through techniques that eliminate the rough handling of horses.”

“It gives me joy as a trainer and instructor to be able to expand people’s knowledge of the potential of their horses and the relationship between horse and owner,” Auslam wrote on his web site.

Bernatsky is an operator, coach, and trainer at Four Winds Horse Center in Brainerd. She has more than 25 years of experience with horses. Bernatsky has been coached by a variety of master-level coaches including Wolfgang May and Mykola Pawlenko, who won an Olympic gold medal for Germany. Other trainers include Ulrich Schmitz, Dominique Barbier, Jan Ebeling, Charles DeKunfy, and Bill Woods.

Most of Bernatsky’s career has been focused on dressage including several regional championships, one including Intermediare. Throughout her years, Bernatsky has worked with several different breeds such as Andalusians, Lipizzaners, Thoroughbreds, Warmbloods, Quarter Horses, Arabians, Fresians, and a variety of crossbred and grade horses.

New this year to the event will be live horses of many breeds, a used tack sale, and door prizes. Also available will be pony rides for the kids.

For more information on the Central Minnesota Spring Horse Fest and to get up-to-date speaker information, check out www.centralmnhorsefest.com. Show hours are Saturday, April 5 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the St. Cloud Civic Center, located in downtown St. Cloud, next to the Kelly Inn. Admission is $5 for adults and children under 10 are free. For booth space, contact Excalibur Enterprises at (218) 678-4125.

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