Countdown to province’s first equine expo

Horses on the Goodale FarmJudging by the number of phone calls and emails that Brenda Sapergia has been fielding in the past few weeks, many horse enthusiasts on the Prairies are planning to attend the inaugural Saskatchewan Equine Expo that runs from February 17-19 at Saskatoon Prairieland Park.

“The first-ever Saskatchewan Equine Expo has exceeded all of our expectations with the number of booths in our trade show now at over 120,” says Sapergia, livestock manager at Saskatoon Prairieland Park.

“The number of inquiries about our Trainer Challenge, clinics, demonstrations, admission fees and our schedule is just increasing daily.”

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.

As Sapergia points out, the three-day event is worthy of horsepeople’s keen interest. The Expo’s schedule includes a variety of seminars, demonstrations, hands-on clinics, an entertaining trainers’ challenge and a fully-booked trade show.

One of the Saskatchewan Equine Expo’s unique features is the show’s focus on horse health and equine management practices — valuable information that will be mainly provided by WCVM faculty, clinicians and students through seminars and demonstrations.

“Whether you’ve been around horses for years or for only a few months, this is the ideal opportunity to learn more about how you can optimize your horse’s health by preventing disease and injury — and by knowing what to do in an emergency,” says WCVM associate professor Dr. Steve Manning, leader of the veterinary college’s team of volunteers.

WCVM speakers will cover a wide range of topics including basic nutrition, elder horse care, equine dentistry, acupuncture, respiratory conditions, parasite control, emergency first aid and caring for the pregnant mare.

The WCVM team will also give demonstrations of bandaging, endoscopies, ultrasound, dentistry, restraining horses and others.

What’s ideal for horse enthusiasts is that the horse health seminars and demonstrations run continuously on Saturday and Sunday so people can catch a particular seminar on either day. That flexibility allows horse owners to check out all of the other exciting activities at the Expo:

  • Trainer challenge: Always a crowd favourite, three of Western Canada’s finest horse trainers will square off against each other in this three-day colt starting competition. The Expo’s competitors include Kade Mills of Olds, Alta. (winner of both 2011 Mane Event Trainer Challenges in Red Deer, Alta., and Chilliwack, B.C.); Cain Quam of Kendal, Sask. (winner of Brandon’s H3 2010 Trainer Challenge) and Dale Clearwater of Hanley, Sask. All three trainers will have three days to gentle and train three green horses in front of judges as well as a live audience. They then vie for the top spot in the final competition on Sunday.
  • Feature clinicians: Local riders and their horses will have the opportunity 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).
  • Feature demonstrations: A parade of breeds as well as demonstrations of heavy horse hitch, mounted shooting, cutting and reining will take place in Prairieland’s arena on Saturday evening during the Equine Extravaganza.
  • Trade show: The variety-packed trade show features displays of equine suppliers, breed associations and local clubs.

For more information about the Saskatchewan Equine Expo’s schedule of events, profiles of clinicians and trainers and admission, please visit Questions? Email or call 306-931-7149.


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