Equine Extremist Tommie Turvey preforms his comedy act, The Riding Instructor, in Theatre Equus at night, and by day teaches Horse World Expo attendees how he teaches his horses the amazing tricks.
The weather outside may be frightful, but inside the 25-acre climate-controlled Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, tens of thousands of horse enthusiasts will be warm and comfy and dreaming of the warm weather riding season to come. The ninth annual Pennsylvania Horse World Expo will bring the nation’s leading equestrian clinicians and entertainers, and tens of thousands of horse owners eager to learn from them, to Harrisburg, PA, for four non-stop days of education, entertainment and shopping, February 24-27.
Horse World Expo is two events in one. The Expo itself features national clinicians training riders to train their own horses, 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. Geared to all ages, Theatre Equus features approximately two hours of family entertainment starring horses -- part circus, part Wild West show, part equestrian ballet. Performances by about thirty of the country’s most highly trained horses are accompanied by music, enhanced lighting and narration.
A new addition to this year’s Pennsylvania Horse World Expo is Craig Cameron’s Extreme Cowboy Race. The Extreme Cowboy Race is a timed and judged race through a challenging set of obstacles that test athleticism, horsemanship and the communication and bond between horse and rider. The exciting and entertaining competition features horse and rider combinations from throughout the region. The timed event is judged on the quality of horsemanship at each obstacle, which can include such challenges as saddling the horse, dragging logs, jumping obstacles, loading into a trailer, backing up through a pattern, pole bending or roll backs, navigating a log jumble, penning cattle and working gates, and gait/lead changes.
Many of the country’s most accomplished horse trainers present seminars on training by day, and dazzle audiences by night (Friday and Saturday only) with their amazing performances in Theatre Equus. Among them is trick trainer, movie trainer, stuntman and “Equine Extremist” Tommie Turvey, Jr., whose horses trust him so completely they accomplish dangerous stunts no other horse trainer has attempted. Those amazed by Turvey’s performance during Theatre Equus, can, during his Pennsylvania Horse World Expo seminars, watch him teach his horses to do tricks like lying relaxed on their backs, feet in the air, before crowds of thousands.
New to Pennsylvania Horse World Expo this year is Bruce Davidson, America’s most celebrated eventer and winner of two gold and two silver Olympic medals and two gold and two silver Pan Am Games medals. He was the first American to win the World Championships at Burghley, which allowed the 1978 World Championships to be held in the US for the first time at the Kentucky Horse Park, where a statue of Davidson now stands. He was the US Eventing Association’s leading rider for fifteen years in a row.
In addition to top equestrian clinicians and performers, the 9th annual Pennsylvania Horse World Expo will feature hundreds of vendors, and equines of all breeds and disciplines. Vendors will fill more than 500 booths and 180,000 square feet of exhibit space with an overwhelming selection of horse related merchandise for browsing and buying. Visitors can learn about a variety of breeds on Breed Row and during the daily Parade of Breeds, and meet breeding stallions up close in Stallion Avenue. The latest in horsekeeping technology will be featured at the show along with apparel, barns, artwork, books, equestrian vacations, feed, trailers, tack, training, schools, and much more.
Equestrian Promotions also produces the Maryland Horse World Expo, held January 20-23 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.
Pennsylvania Horse World Expo hours are Thursday, February 24, noon to 8 pm, Friday, February 25, 10 am – 8 pm, Saturday, February 26, 9 am to 8 pm, and Sunday, February 27, 9 am to 6 pm. Daily admission (cash only) is $12, $6 for children ages 7-12. Children under 7 are admitted free. Tickets are available at the door, on the website at www.horseworldexpo.com, or by mail (through February 2).
Reserved seating for Theatre Equus, which begins Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26 at 8:30 pm, is $12 to $24. Tickets are available at the show (while supplies last) or online at www.horseworldexpo.com. The Farm Show Complex, Cameron and Maclay Sts., Harrisburg, charges $8 per day for parking. For more information, phone (301) 916-0852.