By Dianne Finstad
For more than a decade, horse enthusiasts of all kinds have been coming to Chilliwack each fall to broaden their equine experience by visiting the Mane Event Expo. The 12th edition of the popular program October 23-25 at the Chilliwack Heritage Park is also expanding what it offers visitors.
The equine education program offers more than 100 hours of training from a line-up of world renowned clinicians. Kamloops, B.C. based organizer Gail Barker and her husband Ron want to provide a place where various types of horse disciplines can come together to learn, have fun, and do business.
“For the first time ever, Pat Parelli will be at a Mane Event,” noted Gail Barker. “We’re excited to have such a well-known natural horsemanship leader on our Chilliwack program.”
“But we’re just as thrilled to have Jimmy Wofford, a three-time Olympian in jumping, coming to share his experience.”
Wofford is one of the top Eventing trainers in the world, and has been named as one of the “50 Most influential Horseman” of the 21st century, while Parelli has spent more than three decades helping riders better understand their horse.
Also on the program, all the way from Australia, is Sandi Simons, who will focus on Horsemanship and Confidence Building.
Other clinics at the Chilliwack Mane Event cover topics like Cowboy Dressage, and even Cow Dogs!
A headline attraction of the Mane Event is always the Trainer’s Challenge, this year bringing in the talents of Sonny Garguilo, who grew up in Brooklyn, NY; Glenn Stewart, a past winner of the Cowboy Up Challenge at the Calgary Stampede; and David Simons, the first John Lyons accredited trainer in Australia, and husband of clinician Sandi Simons. Each contender for the championship is matched up with an unbroken horse, to see how far they can take it’s training over the course of their Mane Event sessions.
But an intriguing new event added to the program this year will be the Working Ranch Challenge.
“We wanted to showcase the wide range of skills of cowboys from six of B.C.’s historic ranches,” explained Barker. “Some of these working ranches have been operating since the late 1800’s. The competition features six different classes, where cowboys will compete, using their abilities in handling livestock with challenges they’d encounter in their day-to-day work.”
The marketplace at the Main Event is always a big draw, because it’s the best place to find a huge selection of equine products and services available. That ranges from bits to boots, and tack to trailers, from more than 160 vendors.
The doors open for the Mane Event Friday, October 23rd at 9am for three action packed days of unique equine experiences.
For more details or to order tickets, visit www.maneeventexpo.com