Big Wyo Horse Expo set for April 22-24Written by Gayle Smith
Douglas – The Seventh Annual Big Wyoming Horse Expo has something to offer for the entire family. This year’s event will be held in the indoor Wyoming Pepsi Equine Center in Douglas on April 22-24.
During this long weekend, horse lovers can compete in a horse judging contest, stallion row, a parade of horses, a private treaty horse sale, a variety of clinics and a large trade show.
According to co-coordinator Tanna Rodeman, the Big Wyoming Horse Expo is an opportunity for horse lovers to get some one-on-one help with training techniques by some very experienced clinicians.
Admission to this three-day event is free for those auditing the clinics.
If they bring a horse, each session costs $50 or $150 for four sessions.
Stalls are also available at the Expo for $25 a day. Participants in Wyoming bringing horses to the event need a 30-day health certificate. Out-of-state participants need to provide a current Coggins test from within the last six months for their horses.
“If a participant wants to bring a horse, we usually find a way for them to participate,” Rodeman says.
However, if participants are interested in attending a particular session, they should contact Rodeman at 307-351-4275, so she can reserve their spot.
Clinics taking horses and riders include fitting horse tack, horsemanship, ranch horse pleasure, ranch horse trail, reining, roping, two bomb-proofing the horse courses, hitching a single horse, obstacles, and three horse agility courses.
Several clinicians will be teaching at this year’s event.
Sue Apel will teach horse agility classes. Agility is a non-mounted, competitive sport where the horse and handler work together to complete an obstacle course.
Leanne Hoagland, who has professional certificates from the American Riding Instructor’s Association in reining, western pleasure, English and driving, is another clinician slated to present. She is also certified in equine reproduction with Colorado State University (CSU) and with the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association in equine-assisted therapy and learning. She has shown and judged horses most of her life.
During this year’s expo, Hoagland will be teaching classes in bomb-proofing a horse, in hitching a single horse and obstacles.
Jim and Sandy Jirkovsky of J/S Training will be teaching clinics in reining, roping, fitting horse tack, horsemanship and ranch horse pleasure and trail. This couple has judged horses for over 20 years in six different countries and 46 states.
Other clinicians are Krystal Paley giving a demonstration on equine-assisted therapy and confident rider foundation, Mike Anderson on colt starting and ground work, John Blair on saddle fitting, Harry Anderson on equine nutrition, Doug Powers on horseshoeing, Bill Fitzhugh on brand inspection laws regarding horse ownership, Jenna Anderson giving a demonstration on the equine raindrop technique and Sue Schomberg on endurance riding.
On April 22, a youth horse judging contest will be held beginning at 8:30 am. This contest is free and open to all 4-H, FFA and college students.
Students can compete as a team or individually.
For more information on the contest, contact Stacey Etchemendy at Converse County Extension 307-358-2417.
During all three days, horse lovers can watch the Parade of Horses, which includes breed demonstrations, stallions, private treaty sale horses and more.
Miss Rodeo Wyoming Nicki Seckman will take part in the April 22 festivities. She will present the colors during opening ceremonies during the national anthem.
The Wyoming National Guard will present the colors during the opening ceremonies on April 23.
Beyond the horses
According to Rodeman, a 50/50 raffle and drawings for prizes provided by vendors in the show will be held daily.
Currently, more than 40 vendors have signed up to take part in this year’s event. Rodeman says there are a few more openings in the trade show. If someone is interested in setting up a display, they should contact her right away for more information.
The host hotels for this year’s event are the Hampton Inn and the Douglas Inn and Conference Center. Both hotels offer special rates if a participant mentions they are with the Big Wyoming Horse Expo.
Camping spots with electricity are also available at the fairgrounds for $25 a night.