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WNY Equifest runs one weekend only, March 16-17


Mon, Feb 19th 2024 07:00 am

WNY Equifest is a two-day event that will take place Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17 at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg, inside both the Showplex and Agricultural Discovery Center. It is a celebration of the horse industry in New York state, and horse enthusiasts, owners, trainers, clinicians, riders and vendors are welcome to attend.

The event will feature vendors with products and services that cater to the horse industry, as well as clinics, seminars and demonstrations presented by trainers, coaches and industry professionals. Each day will start with opening ceremonies.

This year's event includes 10 new clinicians, a roping corral, roping competition, and a daily breed presentation. There will also be interactive and educational activities for children of all ages in the Family Fun Corral. A variety of food and beverages will be available at the event.

Highlighting the 2024 edition of WNY Equifest will be:

•Jillian Stroh of Mountain Thyme Training will present on “What is Combined Driving” and “Harnessing and Hitching Safely.” In these demonstrations, she will explain the sport of combined driving and its requirements and demonstrate each section, as well as how to harness and hitch a horse properly and safely to help anyone from beginner to advanced.

•Riley Minteer of Rose Hill Ranch will present “Wild Mustang Trick Riding and Specialty Acts.” At 13 years old, Riley is a third-generation rodeo athlete who performs exclusively on former wild mustangs that once roamed the west. 

•Kaleigh Marie of Braveheart Beasts will introduce “Let's Explore Liberty” and “Trick Training.” Kaleigh will give a step-by-step guide to starting and advancing horses at liberty, and breaking down popular tricks into safe, manageable steps through clicker training to create a fun and engaging learning environment for horses. 

•Kristen Murray of Red Barn Occupational Therapy PLLC will present “Hippotherapy and Nature Based Interventions In Medicine: Why the Horse? Why the Farm?” Hippotherapy is a treatment strategy used by specially trained occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech-language pathologists. Trained therapists manipulate the horse’s three-dimensional rhythmic, repetitive movement to address underlying causes of functional impairment in their patients, including balance, coordination and strength.

•EquiFirst Aid East Coast will teach how to handle day-to-day care, safety, and emergency response for horses while waiting for a vet to arrive, and will also show the non-equestrian public emergency management techniques with regard to their equine friends and other livestock, as well as disaster planning for farms, stables and other ag-related businesses.

Organizers added, “This year, we added a ranch riding clinic with Shannon Quinlan Hill of Hill Performance Horses. This clinic will provide practical guidance, tips, and a chance for participants to improve their skills in this discipline.

“Ms. Hill is an experienced horsewoman and will offer valuable insights from both a competitor's and a judge’s perspective. Participants will learn about the rules, penalties and essential techniques for successful ranch riding.

“Both the full experience and the group experience slots are full, however, there are unlimited spots available to audit the clinic. The auditor experience consists of auditing the four-hour group clinic from 5-9 p.m. in the heated Showplex Arena (no horse required). The cost is $20. Auditor sales will begin at 4:45 p.m. on March 16.

More information about WNY Equifest and a full schedule is available at www.The-Fairgrounds.com.

The Erie County Fairgrounds is located in Hamburg, accessible by the New York State Thruway (I-90) off exit 56. Admission and parking are both free for this event, which will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Visit www.ECFair.org.

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