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Pennsylvania Horse World Expo Brings Top Trainers to Harrisburg, PA Feb. 21-24

Wherever man has left his footprint in the long ascent from barbarism to civilization we will find the hoofprints of the horse beside it. – John Trotwood Moore

(Harrisburg, PA) Horse wizardry has been a human fascination since long before Robert Redford gentled a frightened rogue in The Horse Whisperer. Humans have needed horses since the beginning of time. It’s probably in our genes to admire a 175-pound person who can turn a half-ton of wild muscle, bone, hoof and will into a gentle compliant partner—and do it in an impressively short amount of time.

Until the blink of an eye that is modern times, life without horses was unthinkable. All the great early civilizations arose among horse-breeding and -using nations; those without horses remained backward. Even our own nation was built on horseback. For more than 6,000 years, until the development of railroads, the horse was the only rapid transit, farm machinery, tractor-trailer and moving van.

Probably since prehistoric times, people have searched for ways to achieve a more harmonious relationship with the horse—an animal that is at once timid and courageous, affectionate and unfriendly, docile and ungovernable, hot-headed and placid, teachable and obtuse. Horses are extraordinarily sensitive, able to instantly discriminate between friend and foe, have very long memories and are given to developing seemingly unbreakable habits. In short—horses are often difficult and even mysterious.

February 21-24, many of the greatest practitioners of the art of horse whispering will gather at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA for Pennsylvania Horse World Expo.

Among the more than 40 clinicians who will present over a hundred demonstrations and lectures are:

* Trick trainer and "Equine Extremist" Tommie Turvey, Jr., whose horses trust him so completely they accomplish dangerous stunts no other horse trainer has attempted. Those amazed by Turvey’s performance during Theatre Equus, can, during his Pennsylvania Horse World Expo seminar, watch him teach his horses to do tricks like lying relaxed on their backs, feet in the air, before crowds of thousands.

* Lynn Palm

* , winner of 34 World and Reserve World Champions, named one of the top clinicians in the US by Horse and Rider Magazine. Josh Lyons,

son of 'America's Most Trusted Horseman,' who began teaching the John & Josh Lyons Certification Program at age 16 and who in 2002, won the "In a Whisper" challenge competing against veteran trainers.

The accumulated knowledge of these and many other highly accomplished equestrian professionals will draw tens of thousands of people to the Farm Show Complex for a weekend of non-stop seminars and demonstrations.

New for 2008 is the Wind Rider Equestrian Challenge™, presented by Bob Jeffreys & Suzanne Sheppard. The Challenge, which will take place over three days, Friday through Sunday, February 22-24, is open to riders 14+ from all disciplines. Up to 36 riders will compete with their own horses on a course that features four to five elements, including a 2 foot jump, trotting or gaiting while balancing an object in one hand, backing through and around barrels, open and close a gate, and a ring joust, among others. The three top scoring participants will be paired with an internationally-known clinician, who will help finalists prepare for the final challenge course and ride with them in a two to four minute musical freestyle they have only 24 hours to develop and perfect.

You needn’t be a horse owner to enjoy the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo, but if you are, there are more than just seminars to entertain and educate you. Vendors will fill more than 500 booths and 180,000 square feet of exhibit space with an overwhelming selection of horse related merchandise, from fifty cent hoof picks to $100,000 trailers, for browsing and buying. The latest in horsekeeping technology will be featured along with apparel, barns, artwork, books, equestrian vacations, feed, trailers, tack, training, schools, associations, breeding stallions and much more.

Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 8:30 pm, Pennsylvania Horse World Expo will present Theatre Equus, A Musical Equine Revue. The two hour, choreographed musical show will feature the nation’s top professional equine entertainers, including trick riders, reining, classical dressage, Native American dancing, a military salute, trick shooting and comedy, capped off by an unforgettable finale. All seating is reserved and a separate admission is required.

Pennsylvania Horse World Expo hours are Thursday, February 21, noon to 8 pm, Friday, February 22, 10 am to 8 pm, Saturday, February 23, 9 am to 8 pm, and Sunday, February 24, 9 am to 6 pm. Daily admission is $12, $6 for children ages 7-12. Children under 7 are admitted free. Tickets are available at the door, on the website at http://www.horseworldexpo.com (through February 19 only), or by mail.

Reserved seating for Theatre Equus, which begins Friday and Saturday, February 22 and 23 at 8:30 pm, is $12 to $24 and is available at the show (while supplies last) or online at http://www.horseworldexpo.com (through February 19) only. The Farm Show Complex, Cameron and Maclay Sts., Harrisburg, charges $5 per day for parking. For more information, phone (301) 916-0852.

Equestrian Promotions, which produces Pennsylvania Horse World Expo, also produces Maryland Horse World Expo, held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

 

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