Elissa Ogburn (left) on her OTTB Governor Jack and Sara Sopher on her OTTB Thane are two of the competitors vying to become Pennsylvania’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred. The competition, held at 3 pm Saturday, March 7 in the Equine Arena, is one of the scores of lectures and demonstrations held at the 13th annual Pennsylvania Horse World Expo, March 5-8 at the Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, PA.
Photo credit Sarah K. Andrew.
The world of horses comes to the 25-acre climate-controlled Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, PA March 5-8. Pennsylvania Horse World Expo, the mid-Atlantic region’s largest and longest running 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, a professionally choreographed and scripted show in which humans and horses partner to perform remarkable feats of daring and beauty, will be held the evenings of March 6 and 7 in conjunction with the Expo. Geared to all ages, Theatre Equus is an evening 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.
The Trail Champions Challenge is a timed and judged event in which competitors ages 10 and up negotiate a difficult 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, competing for cash prizes, which are judged on the quality of horsemanship at each obstacle.
Four Pennsylvania-bred ex-racehorses, each representing a different discipline, will battle for a $500 purse and the title of Pennsylvania’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred. Their mission is to inspire the next generation of horse buyers to choose a horse off the track.
Equi-Tainment! A Musical Equine Variety Show presents drill teams, freestyle dressage, western dressage, tricks and other exciting and entertaining displays of horsemanship. Other featured exhibitions are the Parade of Breeds, Carriage Racing, and Stallion Avenue Demonstration, each held daily.
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, learn how he teaches his horses to do tricks like lying relaxed on their backs, feet in the air, before crowds of thousands.
In addition to top equestrian clinicians and performers, the 13th 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.
Horse World Expo hours are: Thursday, March 5, noon to 8 pm; Friday, March 6, 10 am – 8 pm; Saturday, March 7, 9 am – 8 pm; Sunday, March 8, 9 am – 5 pm. Daily admission (cash only) is $12, $6 for children ages 6-12. Children under 6 are admitted free. Tickets are available at the door, on the website at www.horseworldexpo.com, or by mail.
Reserved seating for Theatre Equus, which begins at 8:30 pm and runs about 100 minutes on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7, is $14 to $26. 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.
For those looking for even more to do, the second annual National Pet Expo will be held in conjunction with Horse World Expo March 6-8 at the Farm Show Complex. Hours are 2-8 pm Friday, March 6, 9 am to 8 pm Saturday, March 7 and 9 am to 5 pm Sunday, March 8. Tickets are $10, $5 for ages 6-12, and a discounted combination ticket with Horse World Expo is available. For more information visit NationalPetExpo.com.