Western States Horse Expo: Appreciating the Past, Moving into the Future

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The Western States Horse Expo is “movin’ on up!”


After 20 years at a state-owned facility, the 2019 Expo, Thursday – Sunday May 9-12, is shedding its old digs and moving “down trail” to the country. As one exhibitor said, “The best exposition in the United States is moving to the largest equestrian facility in California.”

Pat Parelli will be one of the judges at the Western States Horse Expo “Equus Masters” event. Parelli says of this competition: “I’m really pleased that this event emphasizes the dignity of the horse.”

“We’ve really grown and evolved over 20 years, and have a solid idea of what our attendees and exhibitors want. Instead of facing the same challenges over and over, we decided to relocate to a facility that is built solely for horses and equestrians. The gorgeous and totally accommodating Murieta Equestrian Center is just that,” notes Expo owner and founder Miki Nelsen. “There are plenty of covered arenas, for one thing, so I don’t have to worry about people and clinicians being uncomfortable in the sun, even though our new May dates are typically an ideal 62º. The facility is huge and so perfect for everything we want to give our attendees and exhibitors. And this year the Expo is four days, which will be even more fun and full of adventure for everyone.”

In just a few miles from Sacramento, green hills open up to the Murieta Equestrian Center. It has five indoor and 12 outdoor arenas, cutting arenas, 900 permanent and portable stalls, and nine expansive spectator-seating areas. And rumor has it that food this year will be over-the-moon delicious! Yearning for Indian fry bread? Yup, it’s here. Get in line…..

The legendary Horse Expo venues that have provided “everything equine” for 20 years will again be featured: Mane Market Mall (a new festival look — Expo shopping has never been this much fun!), the Ranch (barns, corrals, tractors, equipment, ATVs, etc.), Rigs & Digs (horse and livestock trailers) and barns for breeds and associations. Expo attendees will find all the familiar things here — and so much more!

The Expo is excited about innovative additions too. So what’s new?

The “Equus Masters” event features eight unstarted colts and four trainers. But this isn’t your typical “stand-in-the-saddle and crack a whip on a shut-down, exhausted horse” competition. Nor is it a “made for TV” rivalry — it’s about the horse, not the cowboy. Noted horsemen Pat Parelli and Craig Cameron will judge how these four trainers use kindness and patience in starting these colts. Perhaps Pat Parelli said it best: “Equus Masters is about the dignity of the horse.” The Equus Masters audience will be treated to in-the-moment commentary by Chris Cox, allowing people to “see what the experts see” during the four days. Special tickets for Equus Masters are available online or at the gate.

A variety of classes will be offered by fine craftsmen at the Horse Expo, including how to make a mohair cinch.

The Expo’s new educational “HorseInterest” invites people to participate in hands-on Old West workshops taught by master craftsmen in classes such as braiding leather, making mohair cinches, and crafting reins and headstalls — and more.

In a shift of gears, instead of presenting well-known, popular breeds, the Expo’s “Rare Breeds Show” highlights breeds listed on the Equus Survival Trust’s Equine Conservation list. Many of these breeds are on the edge of extinction. Learn about their status and history, as well as what you can do to keep these breeds alive. This is an exceptional opportunity to visit these rare breeds up-close-and-personal.

The Expo is famous for highlighting extraordinary clinicians, and this year continues that tradition. The year 2019 will feature Pat Parelli, Chris Cox, Craig Cameron, Julie Goodnight, Sabine Rijssenbeek, Warwick Schiller, Jim Masterson, Christy Landwehr and a number of other noted clinicians. Learn from the best for just the price of admission!

Is it your dream to ride with one of these clinicians? Well, the Expo is where that dream can come true! Simply visit www.horsexpo.com/clinics for all the details.

For more information about this new and exciting Western States Horse Expo and special ticket and parking prices before the event, visit www.horsexpo.com or call 530.672.7490. Avoid the lines!


About Western States Horse Expo: The 2019 location for the Western States Horse Expo will move to Murieta Equestrian Center, 7200 Lone Pine Drive in Rancho Murieta, CA. The event will celebrate its 21st anniversary May 9-12, 2019. The Western States Horse Expo Pomona, California will celebrate its eighth year in 2019, and Pomona dates are November 8-10. Founded by horsewoman and entrepreneur Miki Nelsen, the Western States Horse Expos are the largest equine expositions in the United States.  

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