The first Western Horse Expo of the year was held at the beginning of February in Pomona, Calif., with the second to take place this June in Sacramento. The two shows are some of the biggest horse expos in the USA and demonstrate that even during tough financial times the equine industry is still strong.
In their article on last year’s Pomona expo, Ride Magazine stated that the reason the equine industry stays strong is due to horse enthusiasts and their passion for horses. Miki Nelson, owner and founder of Horse Expo Events Western States Horse Expo told the magazine, “when I created the first expo in 1998, it was my dream to bring people together and provide them with just about everything they wanted.” Nelson talks about his strong bond with his own horse and how he came to realize “that there wasn’t one equine place to go for education, demonstrations, entertainment, contests, shopping – everything to do with horses.” Like all great expos Nelson made sure that there was something for everyone and brought in experts from various equine fields, including Olympic medalists, to talk.
This year’s event at Pomona was no different and featured many of the best equine brands in the USA. Everything a horse lover could want or need was available at the expo from horse trailers and equine equipment to proper cowboy boots. Events included a lesson and demonstration from renowned horse trainer John Lyons and his son Josh (both will be at the Sacramento event in June). The official Western State Horse Expo Sacramento website informs that at the upcoming Sacramento event in June there will be a show that celebrates art based around horses. Artists will be able to submit their work for judging with many different categories to win including a junior competition.
Equine culture in the US is seen as part of the American tradition and is celebrated in many ways. Events such as the Kentucky Derby are an American institution that is enjoyed and celebrated around the world. UK horse racing experts Betfair, who cover major racing events including the famous Cheltenham Festival, also placed importance on the Kentucky Derby because it is a global event.
Other popular events include the rodeo circuit that takes the public back to the frontier days of America. All of this is celebrated in the two Western State Horse Expos.
At the end of his interview with Ride Magazine, Miki Nelson spoke of the importance of these expos. He said “we need to have dialogues with each other so we can keep the horse industry healthy and vibrant for generations to come.” Like many expos around the world the events are not only a celebration of an industry but an important measure in which to carry the industry forward. The Western States Horse Shows are the perfect example of how the American love of equine culture is embraced through expos. The Pomona Western Horse Expo ran from Feb 5- 9 and the Western State Horse Expo Sacramento will run from Jun 9 – 11 at the Cal Expo in Sacramento. For more info, visit Western State Horse Expo Sacramento.