Colorado Celebrates the Horse at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo and the Mane Event |

Colorado Celebrates the Horse at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo and the Mane Event

Story & Photos by Tony Bruguiere | Ft. Collins, Colo.
Erik Martonovich brought his Big Horse Productions equine show from Las Vegas to wow the fans at the Mane Event during the 2013 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo.
Tony Bruguiere |

If you want to show off your horse and be a part of the Mane Event next year, contact Bill Scebbi at (303) 292-4981. If you would like to see more pictures from the Mane Event, please visit

Horse lovers from across Colorado came to Denver to celebrate the horse at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo. The Horse Expo is put on annually by the Colorado Horse Council. The purpose of the Horse Council is described by its Board President, Dennis Kuehl, as “a grass-roots, all-breed, non-discipline specific organization dedicated to linking the horse owners and the horse industry of the State of Colorado into a powerful, common voice in order to protect their common equine interests through legislation and education.”

The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo is the public face of the Horse Council and has been so for over two decades. “The Horse Expo is actually celebrating its 21st anniversary. The Horse Expo started in 1972, and it started as the Colorado Horse Fair. It was the dream of a few people that wanted to have a time for all horse people to come together to celebrate the horse and to show people what they do with their horses,” said Bill Scebbi. “It has had its evolution and ups and downs, and it’s gone through a developmental stage. For the last four years, we have really turned the Horse Expo over to the owners of horses and the horse lover people that are passionate about horses.”

The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo has over the years grown to the point where there is something that almost every horse lover will find interesting. The fact that there is a long list of clinicians such as Julie Goodnight, Mike Major, Debbie Bibb, and Rich Scott, whose presentations are included in the price of admission, makes the Hose Expo an exceptional value. Besides the expected clinics on becoming a better rider, there are many clinics with varied subjects such as vaulting, horse massage, dressage, trail riding, horse shoeing or going barefoot, or even life coaching with horses.

“We have a lot of well-rounded clinicians from all over the United States and 60 percent of our current clinicians are from Colorado, because we are here to promote and develop the Colorado horse industry. That’s what we are all about here at the Expo,” said Bill Scebbi, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo.

And if you need to buy something for you or your horse, there are over 250 vendors that are more than willing to help you. If you need tack, saddles, clothing, feed, blankets, fences, art, jewelry, horseshoes, books, sheds, or horse carriages, there is someone waiting to sell it to you. Need a horse? There are 32, health checked, tried and true, horses to be sold in the first ever Expo Horse Sale.

If you are interested in different breeds of horses, the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo has that covered too. Horses at the Expo range from Miniature Horses that are a little over knee-high to giant Percherons that stand 21 hands at the withers. There are Arabians, Gypsy Vanner, Friesian, Lusitanos, Quarter Horses, Warmbloods, Fjords, Walkers, Appaloosas, Belgians, Pintos, and many more breeds. There is even an accidental, and hard to imagine, cross between a Miniature Horse and an Andalusian stallion that produced Milo, who is a little bigger than a mini and has the power, gait and athleticism of his sire. Milo was shown at The Mane Event by Karen Oberlohr and was a tremendous hit with the crowd.

The Mane Event is the crown jewel in the Horse Expo’s celebration of the horse. The Mane Event includes an alphabet of breeds, disciplines and talents, showcasing horses at the top of their form. Over 90 horses performed under the lights in the Event Center at the National Western Stock Show Complex. “This is the greatest display of horsemanship, entertainment and excitement ever presented at the Horse Expo,” says Bill Scebbi, Executive Director. “Each act exemplifies the joy and beauty derived from witnessing human and horse coming together in this fun filled, two hours of pure entertainment.”

The Mane Event has seen tremendous growth over the years. Last year, over 5,000 people attended. Every year sees more people wanting to be a part of the Mane Event and show the audience what their horses can do. This year the world famous Westernaires from Golden, Colo., showcased their fast paced trick and roman riding. Erik Martonovich brought his Big Horse Production show direct from Las Vegas to the Event Center arena floor. The acrobatic troupe and the two Belgian Draft Horses wowed the crowd with two routines from their Las Vegas show.

“The Mane Event gives horse owners and horse riders an opportunity to really show off and showcase their animal. They’re not going to win a blue ribbon. They are not going to win any prize money, but they truly have a passion to be out there and perform with their animals in front of the crowd,” said Bill Scebbi. “I think the Main Event ties in very nicely with the Horse Expo from the standpoint that we are celebrating the companionship and the partnership that horses have with people.” ❖


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