Competitive horse judging returns to the Midwest Horse Fair, coming to Madison in April. This horse fair highlight has drawn equestrian entries for many years, according to Kathy Freidel, Midwest Horse Fair event coordinator. “This is the ninth event this current staff has planned, and there has been one every year,” Freidel said (in direct correspondence). Horse judging competitions were held in various years previously as well.
The Midwest Horse Fair Horse Judging Competition is set to take place on Friday, April 15, followed by the awards presentation on Saturday, April 16. Tia Kohler, an equestrian clinician and multi-carded horse show judge from Appleton, Wisconsin, will be the official judge. Some 25 team entries and 40 individual entries are expected.
Participating horses will include existing exhibitor equines for the 2016 Midwest Horse Fair. Horse judging contestants do not bring their own equines.
“We will be using a variety of breeds,” Freidel recounted. “One for certain is the Arabian group. They have been wonderful supporters of the judging competition for years. [We] hope to get a variety of stallion owners to participate too.”
The event features several age divisions, ranging from Tiny Tot (nine years old and younger) to Senior (18 years and older), with individual and team categories. Competition, which covers both halter and performance, includes a written test for all but the youngest group. Awards will be presented in each category, based on accumulated points for evaluating horses according to ideals for their breeds and disciplines.
“Awards are a combination of trophies, medals, Noble Outfitters prizes, and Midwest Horse Fair Gift Shop certificates,” Freidal explained. (Noble Outfitters is a 2016 Midwest Horse Fair premier clothing sponsor.)
Early registration closed April 1 for this year’s Horse Judging Competition, but sign-ups will be available on-site at the fair, if space permits. The cost is $13, plus fair admission.
The 37th Annual Midwest Horse Fair, themed “The Sky’s the Limit,” runs from Friday, April 15, through Sunday, April 17, 2016, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
Midwest Horse Fair highlights for 2016 include dozens of equine breed and discipline demonstrations, a full slate of expert clinicians and skilled equine entertainers, horse-themed activities for children, a hunter derby, liberty presentations, a horse and equestrian fashion show, the Slot Youth Team Challenge, Stallion Avenue, two nights of professional rodeo, the World Championship Blacksmiths Competition, and lots of equine-related shopping attractions throughout the three-day horse expo.