Equine expo: the ideal winter break

Sask. Equine ExpoHorse enthusiasts on the Prairies can shake off their mid-winter blues during the inaugural Saskatchewan Equine Expo that will be held at Saskatoon Prairieland Park from February 17-19, 2012.

Plans for the three-day event include a variety of educational seminars, hands-on clinics, demonstrations and an industry trade show. Prairieland Park, along with the Saskatchewan Horse Federation, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) and a number of volunteers, are working together to organize the Expo’s exciting schedule of events.

One sure highlight of the weekend will be the Saskatchewan Equine Expo Trainers’ Challenge where three western Canadian horse trainers will face off against each other in a colt starting competition. During this popular event, Kade Mills of Olds, Alta. (winner of Red Deer’s 2011 Trainer Challenge), Cain Quam of Kendal, Sask. (winner of Brandon’s H3 2010 Trainer Challenge), and Dale Clearwater of Hanley, Sask., will have three days to gentle and train three green horses in front of judges as well as a live audience.

Plus, local riders and their mounts will have the chance to work with three Canadian clinicians who are internationally known in their respective fields. The lineup includes Gina Smith of Brockville, Ont., one of Canada’s most accomplished dressage riders; international reining champion Shawna Sapergia of Cochrane, Alta.; and Sue Leffler of Stittsville, Ont., an accomplished rider and senior level IV instructor of Centered Riding (CR). Leffler teaches CR courses and conducts Balimo clinics across Canada, U.S., and Europe.

During the Expo, WCVM veterinarians and veterinary students will present seminars covering horse health topics such as first aid, nutrition, reproduction and horse care basics for new horse owners. The WCVM team will also give a variety of demonstrations showing techniques in dentistry, acupuncture, bandaging and other equine-related procedures.

As well, WCVM representatives will talk about some of the equine clinical services and resources available at the WCVM’s Veterinary Medical Centre and through its Field Service. The list includes technologies such as digital radiography, ultrasonography, overground endoscopy, computed tomography (CT) and nuclear scintigraphy. WCVM clinicians will also give an update on the medical centre’s expanded equine performance centre that’s scheduled for completion in early 2012.

Throughout the weekend, there will be a trade show component featuring specific equine-related products and services as well as breed associations and clubs on display. Saturday evening will feature a Parade of Breeds as well as several demonstrations. The Expo will conclude on Sunday afternoon with the finals of the trainer challenge.

For more details about the 2012 Saskatchewan Equine Expo, check for updates at www.saskatchewanequineexpo.ca or contact Prairieland Park (306-931-7149; agmanager@saskatoonex.com).


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