Stephanie Lynn’s Midwest Horse Fair Wrap-Up
AQHA Professional Horsemen David Dellin, Al Dunning, Lance Treptow and Jerry Erickson shared a wealth of knowledge in Wisconsin.
By AQHA Professional Horsewoman and judge Stephanie Lynn | May 4, 2015
Special to The American Quarter Horse Journal
After long winters riding indoors, Wisconsinites are ready to get their horses out when April rolls around. The 36th Annual Midwest Horse Fair kicked off spring April 17-19 for horse enthusiasts in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Iowa.
This year, horse people came out in droves, breaking 2010’s attendance record with 61,000 people coming through the gates at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. It was the first time the event was held in the recently built New Holland Pavilions, a multi-use indoor facility that will host horse shows and other agriculture shows.
The weather couldn’t have been better. With temperatures in the 70s, people walked from arena to arena, shopped with street vendors and browsed thousands of items for sale in the many exhibit halls all between watching their favorite clinicians perform. With more than 100 clinics to choose from over the course of the three days, attendees had plenty of options.
AQHA Professional Horseman and judge David Dellin of Purcell, Oklahoma, presented six clinics over the course of the three days.
“I was honored to be among the long list of knowledgeable horseman at this years' Midwest Horse Fair,” he said. “It was an excellent opportunity for me to be able to explain what judges are looking for in western pleasure and horsemanship classes. There were thousands of interested people who had excellent questions and appreciated the information. Any time you have 60,000 people interested in horses at one location at one time it becomes a really exciting event in the equine industry.”
The Wisconsin Quarter Horse Association represented the American Quarter Horse, adding members and passing out information about AQHA and how to become more involved with AQHA, WQHA and their various programs. AQHA judge and Professional Horseman Lance Treptow of Omro, Wisconsin, presented six showmanship clinics, as well as taking questions both in the arena and at the WQHA booth.
AQHA Professional Horseman and judge Al Dunning presented clinics on hackamore horses and starting young horses for reining. Al brought horses and had a booth in the exhibit hall, where he took questions and talked to people who did not get time to ask questions during his clinics.
Event organizers kept the show rolling. No sooner did one clinician finish than another brought horses in to start the next clinic. Jerry Erickson, an AQHA judge and Professional Horseman, indicated that organizers had everything on a trailer ready to set up, as well as people to set the course for his hunter riders. Participants sent in videos and Jerry chose three horse-and-rider teams to participate in each of his clinics. Over the three days, he worked with two different groups of riders two separate times and also gave lectures on judging hunter under saddle horses.
Jerry, impressed with the amount of information presented to audiences, said, “Participants and audiences are perhaps unaware of just how much information is available – if they want to learn.
“Each clinician provides valuable instruction. Regardless of the discipline, much of the information crosses over and is helpful. If people learned one thing they could take home and try and it helps them with their horse, the clinic was worthwhile,” Jerry added.
It is an amazing event and truly exciting to see so many people interested in horses gather in one spot. General Manager Rhonda Reese said in her follow-up email to participants, "We’re proud that this event has become so successful, and has boosted Wisconsin’s reputation for a strong equine past, present, and future. The Midwest Horse Fair has become the place for horse owners and horse lovers alike to celebrate the many different breeds and disciplines in the horse world.”
Next year’s horse fair is scheduled for April 15-17, with the theme The Sky’s the Limit. One thing is for certain: Wisconsinites love their Quarter Horses. As April has turned to May, WQHA members are ready to get the show season started and will host the first show of the season at the home of the Midwest Horse Fair: the WQHA Lazy Days Circuit May 13-17 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
Stephanie Lynn is a special contributor to The American Quarter Horse Journal. The AQHA Professional Horsewoman, judge and steward from Fall Creek, Wisconsin, serves on the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission, is the chairperson of the AQHA Show Council and was named the 2014 Professional's Choice Professional Horsewoman of the Year. To learn more, visit www.stephanielynn.net or www.stephanielynnsblog.com.