EquiFest Of Kansas Has Spectacular Lineup Of Educational And Fun Activities At Salina

By Frank J. Buchman
While likely not the greatest show on dirt, the biggest horse extravaganza in Kansas is being circled red on calendars.
“This is the 25th anniversary for EquiFest of Kansas and we’re going all out to make it the best ever,” according to Justine Staten.
Serving as executive director of the Kansas Horse Council, Staten said EquiFest of Kansas is at Salina again this year March 18-19-20.
“EquiFest has attractions for everybody with horse interests and is enticing for newcomers eager to learn about horses,” Staten said.
EquiFest of Kansas will again be in the Saline County livestock & Expo Center at 900 Greeley Avenue in Salina.
“A number of improvements have been made at the facilities this year to further enhance our silver anniversary event,” Staten noted.
“We truly appreciate all of the great cooperation provided by the Expo Center officials and the Salina community,” Staten added.
“Since 1992, the Kansas Horse Council has served the state’s equine industry with leadership and direction through education, promotion and public policy advocacy,” Staten explained.
“EquiFest is our major fundraising activity for these services to all Kansas horse owners,” she said. “Main attraction for EquiFest is the many vendors related to the equine industry with booth space still available today.”
Clinicians presenting programs during EquiFest include Chris Cox with general horsemanship demonstrations each day. Phil Haugen will focus his presentation on speed horses, and Michael Gascon is discussing gaited horses and trail riding. Gail Matheus and Marie Maloney will present a program about Western dressage on Saturday only.
An open horse judging contest is planned on Friday. Assistance is provided by the Kansas Paint Horse Association and teams from Cloud County Community College and Kansas State University.
Draft horse owners from Colorado, Iowa, Kanas and Montana have already entered in the head-to-head feed team races Friday and Saturday.
Entries are coming from seven states for the mounted shooting competition on Friday. Ranch rodeos are planned both Friday and Saturday evenings with the Trixie Chicks trick riding for halftime entertainment.
The third annual Legendary Horsemen’s Panel is scheduled on Saturday. Panelists are farrier Richard Clower, photographer Alfred Janssen, trainer Craig Cole, and breeder Frank Higgs.
Opening ceremonies each day will be by the Fort Riley Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard. They will also demonstrate cavalrymen’s tactical skills in afternoon programs.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Nicodemus Buffalo Soldiers will present their historical military march. Founder Barrie Tompkins is to discuss significance and contributions of the soldiers in special workshops.
The American Freedom Drill Team Riders will be on site to pay tribute to the nation’s military forces during patriotic performances. A Kiddies Corral is planned with unique events for young horse enthusiasts.
A number of horse breeds will be on display with several presenting special demonstrations. “Tours will be given daily to get up close with the different horses and mini donkeys for petting,” Staten promised.
“As always, the Kansas rodeo royalty will be on hand to get your picture with or an autograph,” Staten said. “They’ll also help with the Kansas Horse Council Foundation Silent Auction and Raffle funding scholarships for youth pursuing horse careers.”
Sunday activities kick off with church services presented by pastor Steve Stafford and then special entertainment throughout the day.
Highlight is a double sanctioned breakaway roping competition with added prize money. Top Women’s Profession Rodeo Association (WPRA) and World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) ropers in the first go-round qualify for a one-of-a-kind grand finale.
“We look forward to having you at this 25th anniversary EquiFest of Kansas, March 18-19-20, in Salina,” Staten welcomed.
Details can be found on Kansas Horse Council and EquiFest of Kansas websites as well as Facebook.

As executive director of the Kansas Horse Council (KHC), Justine Staten is managing logistics for the EquiFest of Kansas, the main KHC fundraisers.