100 Day Thoroughbred Challenge, Top Clinicians, Theatre Equus
The weather outside may be frightful, but inside the 25-acre climate-controlled Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, tens of thousands of horse enthusiasts will be warm and comfy and dreaming of the warm weather riding season to come. The eleventh annual Pennsylvania Horse World Expo will bring the nation’s leading equestrian clinicians and entertainers, and tens of thousands of horse owners eager to learn from them, to Harrisburg, PA, for four non-stop days of education, entertainment and shopping, February 21-24. Horse World Expo is two events in one. The Expo itself features national and international clinicians teaching riders to train their own horses, and unparalleled shopping with everything imaginable for horses under one roof. Theatre Equus, A Musical Equine Revue is a professionally choreographed and scripted show in which humans and horses partner to perform remarkable feats of daring and beauty. Geared to all ages, Theatre Equus features approximately two hours of family entertainment starring horses -- part circus, part Wild West show, part equestrian ballet. Performances by about thirty of the country’s most highly trained horses are accompanied by music, enhanced lighting and narration. Four off-the-track thoroughbreds will embark on new careers as part of the 100 Day Thoroughbred Challenge. The horses began their training on December 1 at Dodon Farm in Maryland and will appear at Maryland Horse World Expo, January 18-20, and at Pennsylvania Horse World Expo. They will be judged on conformation, movement, jumping ability and trainability by guest riders, judges, and online fans, and some will be offered for sale at the end of the 100 days. One of the thoroughbreds, Declan’s Moon, won an Eclipse Award for his undefeated two year old performance. Forced off the Triple Crown trail by an injury, he went on to race thirteen more times before being retired, and will now embark on a new career.
The Trail Champions Challenge, a timed and judged event in which competitors negotiate a difficult set of obstacles that test athleticism, horsemanship and the communication and bond between horse and rider, will return for the second year. The exciting and entertaining competition features horse and rider combinations from throughout the region that are judged on the quality of horsemanship at each obstacle.
Many of the country’s most accomplished horse trainers present seminars on training by day, and dazzle audiences by night (Friday and Saturday only) with their amazing performances in Theatre Equus. Among them is trick trainer, movie trainer, stuntman and “Equine Extremist” Tommie Turvey, Jr., whose horses trust him so completely they accomplish dangerous stunts no other horse trainer has attempted. Those amazed by Turvey’s performance during Theatre Equus, can, during his Pennsylvania Horse World Expo seminars, watch him teach his horses to do tricks like lying relaxed on their backs, feet in the air, before crowds of thousands.
In addition to top equestrian clinicians and performers, the 11th annual Pennsylvania Horse World Expo will feature hundreds of vendors, and equines of all breeds and disciplines. Vendors will fill more than 500 booths and 180,000 square feet of exhibit space with an overwhelming selection of horse related merchandise for browsing and buying. Visitors can learn about a variety of breeds on Breed Row and during the daily Parade of Breeds, and meet breeding stallions up close in Stallion Avenue. The latest in horsekeeping technology will be featured at the show along with apparel, barns, artwork, books, equestrian vacations, feed, trailers, tack, training, schools, and much more.
Pennsylvania Horse World Expo hours are Thursday, February 21, noon to 8 pm, Friday, February 22, 10 am – 8 pm, Saturday, February 23, 9 am to 8 pm, and Sunday, February 24, 9 am to 5 pm.
Daily admission (cash only) is $12, $6 for
children ages 7-12. Children under 7 are admitted free. Tickets are available at the door, on the website at www.horseworldexpo.com, or by mail.
Reserved seating for Theatre Equus, which begins Friday and Saturday, February 22 and 23 at 8:30 pm, is $12 to $24. Tickets are available at the show (while supplies last) or online at www.horseworldexpo.com. The Farm Show Complex, Cameron and Maclay Sts., Harrisburg, charges $8 per day for parking. For more information, phone (301) 916-0852.
Equestrian Promotions also produces the Maryland Horse World Expo, held January 18-20 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. Check