I spent the last week in Essen, Germany attending Equitana, a huge event that pulls in some of the most talented riders, dedicated trainers, and innovative equestrian companies.
With 12 exhibitor halls, 7 arenas, and over 200,000 visitors, it is the largest equine trade fair in the world.
This was also my first trip to Europe, so I was excited to experience the event and the “horse culture” of another country.
Unfortunately for me, all the demonstrations and lectures were in German, so while I couldn’t understand what most of the presenters were teaching, I could still learn simply by watching their riding. Plus with my press pass, I was able to get a front row seat for much of the action.
The entire event was impressive, from the clean and modern Messe Center to incredible exhibitor displays and most of all, the overall skill and dedication to riding and good care of the horse.
There were many highlights of the event. One of my favorite displays was Dr. Engle’s Veterinary Anatomy, which displayed preserved equines from unborn foals to brain cross-sections.
Next was Ingrid Klimke Live, an evening show featuring the German eventing and dressage star, as she entertained with impressive riding and shared how she works with young horses and students at home.
Then there was meeting Linda Tellington Jones, an amazing horsewoman who has given so much to the horse industry and continues to be passionate about traveling and teaching, even at 79.
And of course, spending time at Wendy Murdoch’s booth as she demonstrated the exciting possibilities of helping horses with Sure Foot.
My favorite part of the event may have been attending the Hop Top Show – an evening of entertainment by a group of incredible performers with very talented and well trained horses in dressage, liberty work, driving, vaulting, trick riding, and topped off with a French Horseman I have followed for years – Lorenzo.
Last, but not least, I greatly appreciated the German cuisine of delicious breads, the best cheeses I’ve eaten, and of course, some tasty Bratwurst!
I have more to share with you from Equitana in the coming weeks, but for now, I complied some of the best pics and video clips in a highlight video for you.