The world of horses comes to the 25-acre climate-controlled Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, PA March 2-5. Pennsylvania Horse World Expo, the mid-Atlantic region’s largest equestrian expo, features four days of non-stop education, entertainment and shopping. Scores of horses of all breeds and types and the nation’s leading equestrian clinicians and entertainers draw tens of thousands of horse enthusiasts from across the eastern United States.
Horse World Expo is two events in one. The Expo itself features national and international clinicians covering every conceivable topic of interest to horse owners and enthusiasts, competitions and showcases for regional horses and riders, and unparalleled shopping with everything imaginable for horses under one roof. Theatre Equus, A Musical Equine Revue, is a professionally choreographed and scripted show in which humans and horses partner to perform remarkable feats of daring and beauty. Theatre Equus will be held the evenings of March 3 and 4 in conjunction with the Expo.
Geared to all ages, Theatre Equus is an evening of family entertainment starring horses -- part Wild West show, part equestrian ballet and part equestrian theater. Performances by about thirty of the country’s most highly trained horses are accompanied by music, enhanced lighting and narration.
A few years back Henry "Hank" Nothhaft wrote the popular business book "Great Again" about how America can revitalize its innovation leadership and kick-start the economy again.
It captured the wisdom of his 35 years in California's Silicon Valley where the serial entrepreneur fashioned a career of taking high-tech start-up companies and transforming them into highly touted, businesses. Nothhaft showed how small technological companies with manufacturing and engineering skills can survive, and even hit the winner's circle if they take the right risks.
Born and raised in Sharon, Pa. in the western part of the state, several years ago, Nothhaft (pronounced note-off) saw retirement staring him in the eye. Not a sit around kind of guy, Nothhaft began researching opportunities that would continue his lifelong entrepreneurial quest.
"I landed on the thoroughbred industry-- big rewards if you take the right risks, " he explained in a telephone interview from his home in Saratoga, Calif.
"I took my usual analytical approach. I love the competitive, data driven field of racing and breeding. You acquire instant feedback and have a limited number of employees. I jumped in. I treated it as a start-up, a boot-strap operation that could be self-sustaining, generate cash flow and reinvesting the capital."
A majority of Lancaster County, PA police are now better armed to take on animal cruelty.
Last month, Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman followed through on his promise to provide local law enforcement with guidance and resources to effectively investigate and prosecute animal cruelty.
In the wake of the fatal beating of a cart horse who had broken down on a rural road and a botched case against a horse rescue, Stedman vowed to step up enforcement and crack down on abusers.
He started by tasking local police with the responsibility of enforcing cruelty laws due to a shortage of humane law enforcement officers and launching an animal abuse tip line in his office.
In February, with the support of the Humane Society of the United States, he held the first countywide humane law enforcement training session for local police in Pennsylvania.
For many historical reasons, February 3 is a date of…what…infamy? Oddball events? Celebration? In 1959 it was the day the music died, when a plane crash claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and others in Iowa. At the other end of the emotional spectrum in 1982 an Englishman, John Sharples, finished nearly 400 hours of disco dancing. In 1990 an athlete who defined resilience, Billy Shoemaker retired from horseracing at the age of 58, after an incredible career in the saddle, and 40,350 races.
And then in 2017, February 3 rolled around and the staid United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) deleted reports on animal welfare inspections and enforcement from its website. Animal welfare organizations relied on these reports for information on animal breeders and others that had been cited for abuse, or for violating laws like the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act.
When the website deleted this information with no warning, consternation ensued. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has threatened to sue USDA-APHIS “to challenge this outrageous action that undermines longstanding consensus about public access to information concerning these laws, and frustrates state, local, and industry efforts to help enforce them.”