Horse Expo Pomona Hailed a Success!
Crowds of horse enthusiasts waited patiently until the gates opened for the Horse Expo Pomona three-day event in Southern California, January 31-February 2. Much like a family gathering, friends met at the event full of anticipation — and they weren’t disappointed! Once inside the gates, just like clockwork surges of people filled the stands as the talented and famous clinicians demonstrated skills and gave advice that helped people better achieve their goals with horses.
Resembling a huge county fair, there was something for everyone at the Expo — from Western to English and from recreational rider to top competitors. Friday’s attendees were treated to a free evening performance, “Chris Cox and Friends” that featured Chris Chris (looking rather formal) riding high-level dressage — not such a tough assignment for Chris, since his riding skills are magnificent (have you watched the introduction of his television show where he sits an exquisite dressage seat in a western saddle?). Chris’s dressage expertise wow’ed a very impressed crowd, especially since he then proceeded to chase a cow while still in his English saddle — sort of going from equine ying to equine yang. A cow dog demonstration and a lovely presentation by the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse with exquisite horses and beautifully costumed riders rounded out the evening.
The Book Corral was once again an over-the-moon experience for many attendees, who took the opportunity to meet their favorite authors, have books signed, and snap a photo or two with the writers. What a unique experience, one that lives ‘down memory lane’ for many.
There was even a couple who got engaged at the Expo. During one of Chris Cox’s demonstrations, Chris handed the microphone to a young gentleman who got down on his knees in the arena to propose to a very surprised lovely young lady! The crowd remained hushed until she said “yes” from the stands and then hurried down to the arena into her soon-to-be-husband’s outstretched arms!
If you’ve never seen a Knabstrupper or Azteca horse, the Expo was your big chance. These two exotic breeds, along with Gypsy Vanners, Arabians, Friesians, Peruvian Horses, National Plantation Walking Horses, Missouri Foxtrotters and Shagya Arabians, were handsomely presented for the crowds, often with handlers and riders in magnificent costumes and native dress.
Kids had a great time at the Young Rider Park, where they had lots of crafts and activities to do, and were shown how to throw a rope, hit a ball with a polo mallet, and try their hand at vaulting techniques (not on a live horse!). Encouraging young people to develop their skills and encourage their passion for horses is an important part of the horse industry’s future. Horse Expo Pomona dedicates an entire area to youngsters, with visits from top clinicians, book readings from authors, and lots of activities and lectures that encourage the younger set.
The range of equine demonstrations was almost overwhelming and sometimes it was tough to choose which clinician to watch. Topics included solving head tossing, what to do with the aggressive and pushy horse, cow horse competitions, hunter seat equitation, conformation biomechanics, what to do when your horse colics, horse camping, polo, saddle fit, mounted shooting, endurance riding, lameness exams, lead changes, colt starting, backing, building rider confidence — the list goes on and on! Suffice it to say, there was something for everyone.
“We certainly brought the finest to this year’s Expo,” states Miki Nelsen, president and founder of Horse Expo Pomona. “But wait until next year! Next year’s dates are February 7-9, 2014 — completely away from the Superbowl weekend. And we’re adding a horse sale (never before at this site!) and reined cow horse competition, which is always a blazing, foot-stompin’ event for the audience. This cow horse rivalry attracts the best in the nation, and there are few things finer than watching a great cowboy on a great horse paying homage to the historical ways of the Old West.”
Many of the horse lovers who come to this event bring a shopping list that they’ve been gathering year-long. They weren’t disappointed here! Whether it was a horse trailer on the list or horsey socks, everything horse-related could be found at Horse Expo Pomona. And next year, you can even buy a horse to put into that new trailer! It’s literally one-stop shopping at the Expo (oftentimes with great Expo-only prices), where you can consult with a variety of experts about everything from saddles to bits to helmets. It was all here and the number of vendors will undoubtedly be even more in 2014!
For more information about the 2014 Horse Expo Pomona on February 7-9, visit www.HorseExpoEvents.com.
For information about the 2013 Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento, California, June 7-9, visit www.horsExpo.com or call 800.352.2411.