Rocky Mountain Horse Expo showcases best in the business |

Rocky Mountain Horse Expo showcases best in the business

Story & Photos by Robyn Scherer, M.Agr.
Kiowa, Colo.
Live horse demonstrations take place in the trade show area as well as the arena.

Horse enthusiasts from around the state will converge at the National Western complex in Denver on March 8-10 to celebrate their love of the horse, learn about new and exciting techniques, and gather for grand events.

The 21st annual Rocky Mountain Horse Expo spans three days, and offers attendees the chance to work with clinicians, gain valuable insight into the horse industry, shop the trade show, browse equine art and attend family entertainment events.

The Expo, produced by the Colorado Horse Council, is the largest horse industry trade show in the Western United States. Every type of horse is featured, including dancing, working and driving horses.

There are over 45 clinics per day featuring horsemanship workshops, riding, extreme trail, dressage and jumping demonstrations, a holistic horse fair, and nationally known equestrian artists.

Training expert Julie Goodnight will headline the event. She will be presenting and sharing her more than a quarter-century of horse training experience. Her varied background ranges from dressage and jumping to racing, reining, colt-starting, and wilderness riding.

Other trainers include Debbie Bibb, Anna Twinney, Yossi Martonovich, Melisa Pearch, Dan Craig, Johnathan Field, Charles Wilhelm and newcomer Van Hargis.

Other presenters at the event include Teri Wagner, who will speak about mules, Sherry Baker, who will teach attendees how to draw animals, Dan Craig, who will speak about the benefits of keeping a horse barefoot, and a presentation from the Rocky Mountain Stock Dog Association.

This team event showcases the man, horse and dog relationship as they heard cattle and maneuver them through and around the arena. This evening event takes place on Friday the 9th, and is free to the general public.

The Mane Event, the biggest show at the expo, will be held on Friday and Saturday night. The first performance will have an amateur feel, and Saturday night will feature professional riders and entertaining acts. This event will feature reining horses, cow horses, vaulter, dressage riders, draft horses and miniature horses. Over 90 horses will perform during the show.

This is a great display of horsemanship, entertainment and excitement ever presented at the Expo,” says Bill Scebbi, Expo Manager and 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.”

Saturday the Select Sale Horse Sale, organized by Jared Florell and the Colorado Horse Company, will be held from 5-9 p.m., in the Stadium Arena.

One new event for this year is the Western Pleasure and Trail class. Returning events include Cowboy Trails, the Holistic Horse Fair, Art in the Park, Rocky Mountain Challenge and the Polo Sporting Event.

This event will feature the polo teams of Colorado State University and the University of Kentucky, who will compete in front of the crowd. The match will take place at 2 p.m., on Saturday, in the Event Center arena.

Art in the Park showcases artists from the region including a variety of media. The Holistic Horse Fair will celebrate its third year at the expo.

This is the second year for the Cowboy Trails event. The event showcases the Western way of life, including a sample of traditional cowboy fare with Patty Ruwoldt, story telling with Red Tail and his burro Bambino, roping, mounted shooting, square dancing and live horses.

For attendees who want hands on experience with their horses, the horse expo is offering the Ride with the Expert program, which will be held with some of the clinicians. On Thursday, before the expo begins, attendees can come to the pre-expo clinics and train with Dolly Hannon, who teaches dressage, Christoph Lensing, who teaches vaulting and Larry Whitesell, who teaches gaited horsemanship.

The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo is put together by the Colorado Horse Council. The Colorado Horse Council, Inc. is 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. It also employs a full-time contract lobbyist, who works with the State Legislature on horse and agriculture-related issues.

For more information on the Expo and these and other presenters, visit ❖