By Frank J. Buchman
Just about everything anybody would want to know about horses is set for Salina.
It’s the 24th annual Equifest of Kansas, according to Justine Staten, executive director of the Kansas Horse Council (KHC).
The “Kansas’ Premier All-Breed Horse Fair & Exposition” will be at Tony’s Pizza Events Center and Saline County Expo Center March 5-6-7.
“No stretch of the imagination there’ll be educational and fun activities for everybody with the slightest affection for horses,” Staten assured. “Equifest serves as the main fundraiser for the KHC serving all levels and interests of horse enthusiasts.”
Featured clinicians are Chris Cox, Robin Groves, and Jackie Jatzlau. “We are so excited to have such a top lineup of clinicians,” Staten pointed out.
However, probably anticipated most of all is the wall-to-wall shopping for anything to do with horses and the Western way of life. Silent auction of donated artwork, tack and horse-related specialties will be ongoing as an additional KHC fundraising.
Also on the tightly packed three-day schedule will be the second annual Legendary Kansas Horsemen’s Panel along with cowboy poetry and music. Tom and Pat Seay representing Best of America by Horseback will present one of several special workshops.
The Nicodemus Buffalo Soldiers Association formed in 1995, by Commander Barrie Tomkins, plans to present re-enactments.
“Everybody anticipates the Breed Challenge,” Staten said. “There’ll be horses of all sizes and colors with an educational and fun review of their breed history.”
Children are the future of everything horses and with that in mind the Kid’s Corral is an annual attraction.
Competitions seem to highlight interests of horse enthusiasts so a number of special events are being planned. Included are state 4-H horse judging, draft teams, light horse and pony driving, ranch rodeo, horseshoeing contests, and barrel racing.
The Grand Finale of Music And Horses is an anticipated Equifest climax on Sunday.
“As a leading clinician, Chris Cox has lifetime learning from the greatest teacher of all, the horse,” Staten said. Influenced by both English and Western traditions, Cox has implemented a proven style and technique applicable to all disciplines.
“With his practical, straightforward approach, Chris teaches horse people how to achieve results,” Staten added.
Having successfully competed in riding and driving disciplines, Robin Groves is a two-time national champion in combined driving. She was a member of combined driving teams competing at world championships in Poland and Italy.
“Both Robin and husband Wilson compete at the advanced level in combined driving,” Staten said. “They are knowledgeable in dressage, eventing, jumping, competitive trail, endurance and pleasure show driving.”
Jackie Jatzlau is a two-time National Finals Rodeo (NFR) qualifier winning nearly a half million dollars barrel racing. “With her husband Lane, their kids and many horses, they have a podcast called Married With Horses,” Staten said. “It connects everyone with rodeo greats and highlights key equine nutrition and helpful product information.”
Training her own horses, Jatzlau gained the nickname “Wild Child” for her NFR riding style rating first place several times. Jatzlau will share her expertise in a private clinic on Thursday, March 4th, before Equifest with participants invited back for a barrel bash on Sunday.
Complete schedule and details about the Equifest of Kansas can be found at www.equifestofks.com.
Justine Staten is executive director of the Kansas Horse Council sponsoring the Equifest Of Kansas at Salina March 5-6-7. Chris Cox will be a featured clinician at the Equifest Of Kansas.
With nationwide success in driving competitions, Robin Groves will share her knowledge at the Equifest Of Kansas. A world renowned professional barrel racer, Jackie Jatzlau is also to be a clinician at the 24th annual Equifest Of Kansas.