It all started in 1993 as a mission to improve man’s relationship with the horse while showcasing the country’s finest horses and riders. Created “by equestrians for equestrians,” Equine Affaire soon grew by leaps and bounds. Today it continues to be a unique blend of trade show, equestrian education and entertainment in a user-friendly expo format.
By 1998, the Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield, MA, had its own version of this popular event, and there was no looking back.
This year—November 9-12, to be exact—Equine Affaire-Massachussetts, the “nation’s premier equine exposition and equestrian gathering,” invites attendees to help celebrate its 25th anniversary. (For more information, click here.)
By the numbers
“This year’s milestone event in Massachusetts is a memorable one in that we’ve catered to the horse industry for a quarter of a century bringing hundreds of thousands of horse owners, professionals and enthusiasts together through a common link: the horse,” says Coagi Long, president and owner of Equine Affaire.
“When you look at the numbers, we have featured 1,402 presenters representing a wide variety of disciplines, more than 10,000 horses, and nearly 13,000 exhibitors in our Massachusetts trade shows during the past 25 years.
“As a testament to the support of the horse industry, we are proud to uphold our standard as North America’s premier equine exposition and equestrian gathering. We can’t wait to continue what we do best for 25 more years and beyond!”
To celebrate its anniversary, Equine Affaire is rolling out a new award, a new competition and a few new, fun features.
The Best Booth Award gives attendees a new way to support and give back to their favorite trade show exhibitors. During the event, the Equine Affaire staff will select a class of finalists representing the “best booths” in the trade show. Next, attendees will vote for the Best Booth via an online contest on Equine Affaire’s Facebook page. The winner will be declared on Saturday of the event and receive the honor of displaying a special “Best Booth” award banner at their booth for the rest of the trade show and until next year’s winner is declared. The winner will also get a certificate and a credit toward next year’s exhibit space.
The Exceptional Equestrian Educator Award is back. This award recognizes presenters and clinicians who have demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to providing top-tier education to audiences and riders at Equine Affaire. It was last presented in 2008, when Julie Goodnight was the recipient. The award will be made on Saturday night during the “Fantasia” program.
The Great Equestrian Fitness Challenge, sponsored by Boot Barn, is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 11. Ifa Simmonds of Equestrian Fitness Academy emcees the Challenge, which features a barn chores marathon, a bouncy pony race and a horse nugget relay. The top 10 participants in each event will receive prizes. This competition is open to all attendees, and no horse is required.
Drive a Draft returns for the first time since 2019. A crowd favorite, it is hosted by Whispery Pines Percherons Carriages & Logging. Attendees can learn to drive a single draft horse or a pair of draft horses, with supervision and help from the owners of Whispery Pines Percherons. Drive a Draft will be offered three times during the show.
Affaire Wear! In honor of its 25th anniversary, Equine Affaire will be distributing a limited supply of vouchers to the first 2,500 people to come through the gates of the Eastern States Exposition. Each voucher will be good for 25% off one item of Affaire Wear at the Equine Affaire Information Booth.
An Equine Affaire timeline
1993: Eugenia Snyder incorporates Equine Affaire in the state of Ohio. The goal of the event: to create a first-class, education-oriented horsemen’s exposition in which horse people representing all breeds of horses and all equestrian disciplines would convene in a non-competitive environment and share their passion for horses. The event is now both national and international in scope.
1994: Equine Affaire launches in Dayton, OH
1997: Equine Affaire moves to the Ohio Expo Center
1998: Equine Affaire in Massachusetts launches at the Eastern States Expo
2002: The Exceptional Equestrian Educator Award presented to Lendon Gray
2007: The Versatile Horse and Rider Competition introduced
2008: The Exceptional Equestrian Educator Award presented to Julie Goodnight
2014: Youth Pavilion transitions to the Equine Fundamentals Forum
2016: “For Sale” stalls introduced
2017: College/Career Fair debuts
2018: Eugenia retires. Coagi purchases the company
2018: Interactive activities introduced: Ride a Horse
2019: Adoption Affaire introduced
2019: Digital tickets introduced
2020: Equine Affaire pivots to a virtual event during the pandemic
2021: Marketplace Consignment Shop introduced
2023: Equine Affaire-Massachusetts turns 25. The event introduces the Great Equestrian Fitness Challenge and the Best Booth Award. In addition Exceptional Equestrian Educator Award will be awarded to a new recipient. Happy birthday, Equine Affaire!
All photos courtesy of Equine Affaire