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Iowa Horse Fair will celebrate 25 years

By Staff | Apr 3, 2009

DES MOINES – Equine excitement will abound at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Tuesday through Thursday when the Iowa Horse Fair comes to town.

“We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary and are proud to continue the tradition of offering major clinicians,” said Bill Paynter, of New Virginia, who serves as president of the Iowa Horse Council.

This year’s event features John Lyons, one of America’s most well known and respected horse trainers. Other presenters include Camie Stockhausen, an English clinician who will discuss saddle fitting and clipping; Cindy Branham, a trainer in the “Extreme Mustang Makeover;” Bill Brazelton, of Powell, Wyo., with hands-on lessons in packing a mule and tying knots; and Jennifer Sorenson, who will offer a horse showmanship lecture.

Throughout the weekend, representatives of the various horse breeds will offer demonstrations at the pavilion. The Des Moines Mounted Police will provide demonstrations and a separate presentation will cover Department of Transportation rules for pulling horse trailers.

“We want to provide lots of fun and educational events, and we want to double our attendance this year,” said Paynter, who notes that attendance in recent years has ranged between 5,000 and 6,000 people.

Living the Western lifestyle

To reach this goal, the Iowa Horse Fair will include a Bulls ‘N Barrels Extravaganza on Friday and Saturday nights, stick horse races for children and a variety of events related to the Western lifestyle. In addition, there will be cowboy poetry, an equestrian attire fashion show and country music performed by Nashville songwriter Terry Smith.

Iowa’s largest equine trade show will include 110 to 120 vendors. “This year’s trade show doesn’t seem to be affected much by the economy,” said Paynter, who added that local celebrities like Miss Rodeo Iowa will be present during the Iowa Horse Fair. “When there have been openings, smaller tack shops and breed associations have filled in the gaps.”

“We’re offering a lot of exciting events this year, and we like to hear people say, ‘There’s so much going on at the Iowa Horse Fair that I didn’t get to see it all,'” Paynter said.

For more information, log onto www.iowahorsecouncil.org.

Contact Darcy Dougherty Maulsby by e-mail at yettergirl@yahoo.com.

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