MN Horse Expo this weekend!

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Shopping for tack and other horse related items is a big draw of the MN Horse Expo.

MN Horse Expo April 27-29!

By Ley Bouchard

It looks like a wonderful weekend in store for the MN Horse Expo! If you are an expo fan, you know one can expect any kind of weather for this 3-day event which starts today and runs through Sunday at the MN State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, MN.

The headliners for this year’s event include Steve Edwards, commonly referred to as the “Mule Guy” because he has been training mules, donkeys and horses for more than 40 years. Edwards will be presenting in the Agstar Arena.

In the Coliseum Dan James will wow the crowd with his incredible training techniques that brought him big wins at the “Way of the Horse” in 2012 and the title of “Road to the Horse International Colt Starting World Champion.”

Phil Odden charging through water.

Dressage driving trainer, Phil Odden, will be presenting in the Coliseum and showing his training techniques with his Norwegian Fjord horses. Check out his booth as he may demonstrate Norwegian wood carving and provide information about the Norwegian tours he and his wife lead. Odden has contributed many articles to the Valley Equestrian News.

In the big circus tent will be Ma’Ceo returning with horse acrobatics, roman riding, and beautifully trained horses that will amaze you! Tickets for this show are in addition to regular admission as is the nightly PRCA Rodeo in the Coliseum including live music with ‘Roadhouse 6.’

If you enjoy the larger horse breeds this may be the year you want to attend.  The

Draft horses on display during the Parade of Breeds at the MN Horse Expo.

Northern Minnesota Draft Horse Association, the Minnesota Horse Breeders Association and the North Star Draft Horse Association members are bringing their best Percherons, Shires, Belgians and other draft breeds to demonstrate in the AgStar Arena.

According to Meg Saxon, of the MN Expo Promotions Committee, “The MN Horse Expo generates funds that are used both for the MN Horse Expo and the MN Horse Council.  The MN Horse Expo Board presents a check to the MN Horse Council each year once all expenses have been paid for the MN Horse Expo.  That amount may vary between $185,000 to $200,000 each year.  Since 1992 the MN Horse Expo has presented over $4,585,000.  A majority of those funds goes back into the MN horse industry in a variety of MN Horse Council programs.”

Those programs include:
1.  Funding for improving horse trails in Minnesota.
2.  Promoting equine-related activities through the MHC grant and direct funding programs.
3.  Promoting education by funding scholarships to students in equine-related studies.
4.  Introducing people to the equine industry through the Aisle of Breeds at the MN State Fair.
5.  Providing disaster relief when horses need immediate space, feed and care due to natural disasters.
6.  Certify qualified stables throughout the state to provide quality and safety in the MN stable industry as well as pride in
ownership.
7.  Provide sponsorships of horse-related activities and events in the MN equine industry.
8.  Provide recognition to outstanding horse people and equine animals through the MHC Awards programs for Horseperson of the Year,
Pioneer Award and Horse of the Year programs.
9.  Work on state and local legislative issues that affect the equine industry in MN.
10.  Promote youth equestrians through the MN High School Equestrian Association.
11.  Take a lead in the state’s response to Unwanted Horses in MN.
12.  Support and manage the MN Horse Council website and the MN Horsemen’s Directory.

Driving mini horses displayed during the Parade of Breeds at the MN Horse Expo.
The Mid America Paso FIno Horse Association put on a great display at the MN Horse Expo Parade of Breeds.
The Northern Lights Peruvian Horse Club comes out in full regalia for the Parade of Breeds at the MN Horse Expo.

So much fun is in store at the MN Horse Expo. A great time to meet up with friends and businesses you may only get to see once a year and opportunity to get out and support the horse industry locally, regionally and nationally along with a terrific time to purchase items for this year’s horse needs. There are often very good bargains and expo specials taking place so bring your wallet and expect to spend your money.  On the other hand, for the price of admission, $13 for adults, $9 for seniors and youth, you can be entertained all day without having to spend another dime, if you so choose.

Phil Odden pictured here driving his fjords at the St. Croix Winter Sleigh Festival, will present at the MN Horse Expo in the Coliseum.

For more information, go to the MN Horse Expo web site at: http://www.mnhorseexpo.org/