March 2017 | 15th Annual Pennsylvania Horse World Expo
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15th Annual Pennsylvania Horse World Expo Features Trail Champions Challenge, Equi-tainment, Top Clinicians, Theatre Equus

March 2017

Pennsylvania Horse World ExpoEmpire Road will appear in the Retired Racehorse Makeover Rematch on Saturday, March 4 at the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo in Harrisburg, PA.  Photo by 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 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.

The Trail Champions Challenge, held Saturday and Sunday mornings, is a timed and judged event in which competitors of all ages 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.

Meet some of the horses and trainers who traveled to Kentucky for the Retired Racehorse Project's $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover. They all began life as racehorses but have launched new careers in ten English and western riding disciplines. With 15,000 Thoroughbreds retiring from American racetracks each year visitors may find themselves inspired to train their own horse for the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover.

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 Arena Racing exhibitions, 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 with their amazing performances in Theatre Equus (Friday and Saturday only). Among them are trainers Guy McLean, Yvonne Barteau and Josh Lyons. Those amazed by the performances during Theatre Equus, can, during their Pennsylvania Horse World Expo seminars, learn how they teach their horse to do tricks before crowds of thousands.

In addition to top equestrian clinicians and performers, the 15th annual Pennsylvania Horse World Expo will feature hundreds of vendors, and equines of many 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, meet breeding stallions up close on Stallion Avenue, and during the daily Parade of Breeds demonstrations. The latest in horse keeping 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 2, noon to 8 pm; Friday, March 3, 10 am – 8 pm; Saturday, March 4, 9 am– 8 pm; Sunday, March 5, 9 am – 5 pm. Daily admission (cash only) is $12 for adults and $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 3 and Saturday, March 4, is $15 to $27. 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 $10 per day for parking. For more information, phone (301) 916-0852.