Expo attracts equine experts, enthusiasts

Participants compete in an event during the 2012 Horse Expo, sponsored by Colorado West Paint Horse Club, at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. The second annual expo is scheduled March 23 and 24 at the fairgrounds.

Stallions, reining and ranch sorting, dressage riders and driving demonstrations, colt-starting clinics and a tack swap are part of the second annual Horse Expo scheduled March 23 and 24 at Mesa County Fairgrounds.

Sponsored by the Colorado West Paint Horse Club, the show is free to the public and. Although the Paint Club is sponsoring it, all breeds of horses and all types of equine enthusiasts are welcome. There is no entrance fee or charge to view the demonstrations.

“One thing I like about the Paint Club is that its motto is that it’s open to all breeds,” said Ray Stephenson, vice president of the Paint Club. “Anything you can do with horses, we want people to know about. We want to show them opportunities for how they can use their horses, other than just having them stand in a pasture.”

The feature presentations will be colt-starting clinics by Aaron Ralston, beginning Friday, March 22, and continuing Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24.

Ralston is a well-known horse trainer from Garfield County who is the star of “The Ride with Aaron Ralston” on RFD-TV.

At the Expo, horse owners pay to have Ralston start their young horses, but the public may watch the demonstrations for free.

Stallions of various breeds will be shown off during the Stallion Parade, both Saturday and Sunday beginning at noon. They will also be on display in Stallion Alley, in the main horse barn north of the covered arena at the fairgrounds.

“We’ll get the stallions out and let people do a little shopping” if they have mares they are interested in breeding, Stephenson said.

At Breed Alley, different horse breeds found in this region will be showcased.

In the pavilion south of the arena, veterinarians and other equine experts will offer educational presentations on subjects such as lameness, breeding, tack fitting and “How to Read Your Horse.”

The Frontier Belles precision horse troop will have a demonstration Saturday, and a clinic is planned on desensitizing horses to things that can make them spook.

Demonstrations both Saturday and Sunday will be given on the sports of ranch sorting, dressage and reining. Another demonstration will focuse on driving fundamentals for young horses.

Businesses and nonprofit groups will have booths, and local bands will perform in the grassy area west of the covered arena.

This year’s Horse Expo includes many more groups, demonstrations and presentations than last year’s and it should attract many attendees.

“We’re trying to open up the horse community a little, because everybody tends to be in their own little silo,” Stephenson said.

The Horse Expo is an opportunity for people involved in — or interested in — many different horse disciplines to come together to learn more about other disciplines and what’s available for horses here.

“They have a horse expo in Denver that’s been very successful,” he added.

“We think an expo here can be, too.”

For information about times of various events, visit the Colorado West Paint Horse Club website at www. 
coloradowestpainthorseclub.com and click on the Horse Expo banner.


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