Kentucky welcomes EQUITANA USA, the world’s largest equine trade and exhibition show
By Rachel Porter
Photos provided by EQUITANA USA & The Kentucky Horse Park
Although it can be hard to imagine a love for horses bigger than the horse capital of the world, there are people as far away as Germany who have been sharing their passion and appreciation for horses for years. Wolf Kröber, a German rider, was one of them. In Essen, Germany in 1972, Kröber saw an opportunity in the market to bring more people in the equestrian industry together by having numerous exhibitors display their knowledge and talent about horses. Therefore, he created his own “One Man Show” known as the famous EQUITANA, to fill in the missing piece he had been looking for. It rapidly became known for introducing new equestrian specialties, but also new international horse breeds to countless numbers of equine riders throughout the world. What started as a small trade fair show over 48 years ago in Essen exhibition halls has now become the world’s largest meeting place and brand for equestrian sports.
This year, the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY has the honor of hosting the newest and in-person edition of EQUITANA USA. The three-day event is an equine exposition that simply celebrates the beauty and sport of horses. Reed Exhibitions North America and the Kentucky Horse Park are very excited to share this high-quality expo with the state in October. Even Former First Lady of Kentucky Jane Beshear cannot wait. She will return as the official spokeswoman to show her love and support for the state and the equestrian industry’s largest event. We spoke with the EQUITANA USA Event Director, Meghan Margewicz, to learn more about what EQUITANA USA will bring to Kentucky and for the attendees and horse enthusiasts.
When choosing what expo was going to be used for EQUITANA USA, Margewicz and her team knew it needed to be the best fit. “There are a lot of other expos, but there wasn’t one at a place like the Kentucky Horse Park that is made for international equestrians. We knew that the right people would be there,” explained Margewicz. “There also aren’t many expos that cater to every aspect like EQUITANA USA will do and after really looking around, we found a pocket of opportunity.”
The new EQUITANA USA provides the experience of shopping, education and entertainment in the hopes of there being something for everyone regardless of a person’s knowledge or skill set for horses.
“We want the feeling of the exclusive expo but one that is more inviting to everyone and will also still give you the wow factor,” Margewicz said.
EQUITANA USA will not only feature 165 exhibitors but also host seminars, clinics, training and the 90-minute EQUUS Evolution evening show each night. Each event is informative and unique in its own way. From the Social Responsibility of Equestrian Influencers Panel to Phillip Dutton, an American Olympic equestrian, hosting a clinic, there will be so many educational opportunities for horse enthusiasts to partake in.
For people who like the arts and history, EQUUS Evolution is a must. “EQUUS Evolution is a scaled-down version of Cirque du Soleil. It incorporates performances of well-known polo riders, dressage and history of horse and man to push through the concept of relationships between a person and a horse in a theatrical way,” described Margewicz. Nicole Forbes, the content manager, with the help of Margewicz and the rest of the team, worked together to discover performers, from equestrian relationships to finding people on Instagram. Tickets for EQUUS Evolution need to be purchased separately from the EQUITANA event and include complimentary parking at the Alltech Arena and assigned seating that is socially distanced.
When it comes to activities for children, Margewicz wanted to make sure there were activities for all ages. “I still want to make adults feel like kids again,” said Margrwicz. There will be the Play Paddock full of nostalgic fun. Families can paint horse figurines together or race in the Bouncy Horse Bash to raise money. For more “mature” parents and their children, they can listen to speakers on how to hold the reins when it comes to buying their child their first horse or pony.
EQUITANA USA is from Oct. 1-3. For more information on ticketing, pricing and who all will be there, visit equitanausa.com. Attendees can also reference the website for COVID-19 regulations or any updated changes.
“Diversity inclusion in the equestrian space has been a struggle, but you don’t have to look a certain way or have money to be in it. We wanted to represent all different types of people and people that others could relate to. EQUITANA USA also covers all different types of education and discipline,” said Margewicz. “We can learn from everyone and anyone.”
4089 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511