Inaugural Pomona Expo a Hit with Horse Lovers

By March 1, 2012
Trainer Linda Parelli standing in front of a horse.

Clinician Linda Parelli and husband Pat were highlights of the Expo. (Photo by Paula Parisi)

Equine enthusiasts from all disciplines gathered at the inaugural Pomona Horse Expo Feb. 2-4 at the Fairplex, to take in a wide array of clinics, classes and “shopportunities.” More than 100,000-square-feet of trade show in three buildings showcased wares from saddles to clothing, art pieces to feeding supplements.

“It’s a horse lover’s dream,” All Star Ranch’s Lauren Savord said, waiting in line at the food court. “The clinics have been great. The shopping is amazing. But what I really love is getting to network with all the other horse owners.”
World class trainers from Pat and Linda Parelli to Germany’s Christian Schacht and L.A.’s own Nick Karazicissis offered a non-stop information feed for technique-hungry equine enthusiasts. There were sessions offering pointers on shoeing, acupressure, conformation and gait.

“We’ve had the pleasure of working with Western States Horse Expo folks for more than 14 years,” said Linda Parelli, who along with husband Pat debuted their new “Horsenality” program. Striving to help people “create a better relationship” with their equine partners,” she said “being able to share experiences and knowledge with such a receptive audience as they had in Pomona” was a great experience, and that “Pat really enjoyed helping judge the ‘Project Cowboy’ competition. The whole event was grand!”

That event, taped for RFD-TV, packed the main arena each night as riders fought for the title “Great American Horseman.”

Vendors and shoppers in the exhibit hall.

Shoppers and vendors pack exhibit halls at the Pomona Horse Expo. (Photo by Caroline Craven)

Items from the latest fashion boots, helmets and hats to treeless saddles, specialty pads and grooming products lined the packed exhibit halls. One booth, Rodeo Drive Conchos, glittered with Swarovski crystal-encrusted accessories to clip onto belts, bridles, hats and anywhere else a bit of sparkle is needed.

Title sponsor RAM was showcasing its latest fleet of trucks, and there was all manner of horse trailers, tractors and all-terrain vehicles. “It outperformed my expectations,” Horse Expo founder Miki Nelsen (nee Cohen, she was married in December) said of this new show ― her first foray into Southern California.

Nelson, who turns her attention to the Western States Horse Expo (June 8-10 in Sacramento), now in its 13th year, has already announced the 2013 dates for Pomona ― Jan. 31-Feb. 2. “What makes our shows special is that we don’t only have clinics or only have shopping, we have all that and a whole lot more.

A book corral drew a crowd of nearly 1,000, many of them coming to hear author Kate Chenery Tweedy, who sold 800 copies of Secretariat’s Meadow.

Miki Nelsen (right) talks to Cowgirl Sara Curtis.

Horse Expo founder Miki Nelsen (right) chats with California Cowgirls' Sara Curtis. (Photo coutesy Pomona Horse Expo)

“Whether you’re an endurance rider, a three-day eventer or a trail rider, we all want the same thing: fun in the saddle and safe, healthy, happy horses. Nobody wants their saddle to hurt their horse, everybody wants a good shoeing job,” Nelsen explained. “That’s the gist of these expos, whether you wear a baseball hat or a cowboy hat.”

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