If it has anything to do with horses there’ll most likely be something there about it some way shape or form.

That’s not a short description but surely a most accurate one for the upcoming EquiFest of Kansas.

Furthermore, often days gone by more than today, certain prejudices have existed among horse folks, despite common affection all things equine. Maybe, the rodeo jocks snide halter leaders, barrel racers shun flat seat riders, all race horses do is run. Doesn’t seem that way nowadays as everybody’s eager for what’s best of the horse doing everything the best as possible.

“Well, EquiFest has three full days of everything, horse February 22-23-24, at the ExpoCentre in Topeka,” according to Justine Staten. “It’ll sure be the greatest Kansas horse extravaganza yet.

            Justine Staten

Serving as executive director of the Kansas Horse Council in Manhattan, Staten said EquiFest is the Council’s main fundraising effort. She’s the event manager working diligently nearly nonstop coordinating 2019 attractions starting immediately when since last year’s EquiFest concluded.

                Dan James

“In its 26th year, KHC provides Kansas’ equine industry leadership direction through education, promotion, and public policy advocacy” Staten said.

“EquiFest of Kansas in its 22nd year is certainly Kansas’ All-breed, all-discipline horse fair and exposition,” Staten exclaimed.

So what’s on the schedule? Just about too much to list everything. Briefly, there’ll be clinicians, workshop speakers, shopping, art, poetry, kiddie corral, horse shoeing, a painting horse station and much more.

Four of the country’s top equine clinicians are to be featured. They include Dan James, natural horsemanship; Mustang Maddy, mustang trainer; Tami Burklund, barrel racing; and Kip Rosenthal, hunter-jumper trainer.

Premier presenters are Ben Masters, documentary film maker; Tom Seay, trail riding across America; and Elizabeth James,  University of Kentucky, equine management.

                          Mustang Maddy

The Tim Trabon Memorial Ranch Rodeo Friday and Saturday evenings will feature 14 teams of working ranch cowboys. “They’ll be competing in events simulating what they do every day in their cowboy profession. There’ll be roping, tying, sorting, loading and milking,” Staten said.

R Bar B Saddles, Tack & Trailers, Topeka, will sponsor a daily Top Horse Challenge. “It’ll feature cattle sorting, cowboy jumping, a timed event, an obstacles challenge and a freestyle finale,” Staten explained

                       Tami Purcell Burkhard

Equestrian drill team demonstrations and competitions are scheduled. “Three teams are to compete in a precision pattern, a patriotic demonstration and also a freestyle finale,” Stated verified.

The Carriage and Driving Society of Greater Kansas City will sponsor the EquiFest Driving Derby. “Ten competitors will vey for fastest time on the course,” Staten commented. “They’ll sport colorful attire for the speedy action driving several different breeds of horses from Miniatures to giant Percherons.”

Horse shoe forging demonstrations, competitions and live horse shoeing are to be presented by the Kansas Farrier Association.

Again, a horse judging contest has been planned for youth teams with competition typically drawn from around the state.

                              Kip Rosenthal

What makes EquiFest especially appealing for everyone is that many equine breeds will be in attendance. “Each breed organization will have will display in the Breed Showcase and present daily public demonstrations,” Staten related.

With all the attractions, shopping is still often considered the biggest part of EquiFest, Staten admitted. “If it can be used for a horse, or by any equine enthusiast, there’ll be commercial displays,” she said.

Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship is the headliner clinician. “Featuring natural training,” Staten said, “Dan will simplify lead changes, developing the spin, improving showing skills and starting young horses.”

Mustang Maddy is renowned for her work with mustangs. “She’ll present steps of communicating with horses to work at liberty,” Staten said. “Her trained zebra is also always a highlight of Maddy’s programs.”

Former track jockey, Tami Purcell Burkhard was complimentary described by Staten as “the winningest female jockey” in patterned Quarter Horse racing. She’s also a two time National Finals Rodeo champion. “Tami will share her life experiences relating tips and tricks learned at the top in both competitions,” Staten added.

An accomplished rider of hunter and jumping horses, has a background in education and sports psychology. “She’ll take the audience through steps to achieve confidence while managing mind over matter,” Staten said.

“Remember children 12 and under are admitted free to all EquiFest features,” Staten said. “It costs for adults to attend, but advance wristband purchases offer generous savings over buying at the EquiFest door.”

Complete details and program lineup can be found at www.equifestofks.com.