Another successful show has just concluded at The Mane Event, and organizers estimate that approximately 45,000 people attended the equine expo.
“We’ve had an amazing time here in Red Deer,” said Gail Barker, president of The Mane Event. “The crowd was made up of knowledgeable and enthused horse people, so it makes for a really exciting event.”
Barker attributes the show’s success to the multi-disciplined nature of the expo, as the public can watch clinics, see demonstrations and purchase products for all aspects of the horse world. “When you go to a regular show, you’re only exposed to one part of the horse industry,” said Barker. “At The Mane Event, you can enjoy learning about any discipline and breed. It’s an exciting opportunity for people, and they often travel for hours to come here.”
Throughout the weekend, the public packed three arenas, a lecture hall and a demonstration area to watch over 100 hours of clinics provided by 14 world-class instructors. Canadian clinician Jonathan Field, who has presented at each Mane Event, was impressed with the Albertan attendance. “I’ve seen this show grow every year, and it’s incredible to have such a large group of horse-loving people together,” he said. “When people come to the clinics, they have their notepads in hand and they’re ready to learn.”
Clinic riders are a key element in The Mane Event and, while learning from top-level clinicians, the participants also benefit from riding in front of an audience. “It’s such a non-competitive and supportive environment,” Field said. “As the riders are working on different tasks, the audience is riding stride for stride with them. It makes for a very powerful learning experience.”
When not attending clinics or the Trainer’s Challenge, the public filled the Trade Show area, where over 240 exhibitors had booths featuring everything from horse trailers to clothing. Jim Townshend, a regular trade show exhibitor, feels The Mane Event organizers have developed an excellent show. “Red Deer is a great location for this event, because it has a small town feeling but you’re getting a big town product,” he said. “People come to enjoy themselves and learn and have fun – that’s really reflected in the positive and neighbourly feel throughout the weekend.”
The Trade Show offered the public a chance to see and purchase products, and it was also an important event for the exhibitors, who rely on sales to support their businesses. “We were very pleased because we substantially exceeded our goals for this show,” said Townshend. “Overall, this is the best run show that I’ve ever been to, period. The organizers, the Westerner staff and the public were all great to work with. That tells me that they’re really onto something special here.”
The Mane Event organizers are looking to their next show, which will be held from October 22 to 24, 2010, in Chilliwack, BC. In 2011, the expo will be returning to celebrate its 5th anniversary in Red Deer. The Red Deer show will run from April 29 to May 1, 2011.