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Equine growth could mean big changes for the Idaho Horse Expo in the future

Posted at 4:20 PM, Apr 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-05 18:20:33-04

The Idaho Horse Council has hosted the Idaho Horse Expo for 38 years. It's the largest equine event in Idaho and it has grown into one of the biggest in the northwest.

"Idaho is one of the fastest growing equine states in American right now, our equine ownership growth is concurrent with the population increase," said Dan Waugh of the Idaho Horse Council. "Last year the horse industry in Idaho was about $1.6 billion."

One of the demonstrations

It takes the Idaho Horse Council more than a year to put together this event and with the growth, they are thinking about expanding it.

"We are hoping to go from a three-day event to a five-day event in the next couple of years," said Waugh.

The Idaho Horse Expo features some of the best clinicians in the world, it has demonstrations, clinics and shows at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa through Sunday. Click here for the schedule.

The expo also features local breeders that showcase the heritage of horses in Idaho. Neil Hinck found the American Blazer Horse in Star, Idaho in 1967. Neil bred these horses to be gentle and smaller in stature.

Two American Blazer horse stallions

There are fewer than 2,000 blazer horses scattered around the world. One is a national champion in equine trail sports, there are barrel racers and they also make excellent family horses according to Neil's daughter.

"Dad bred them to be a true western horse," said Linda Crawford. "They are super intelligent, very versatile and they can do anything you train them to do. We are very proud of our blazers and once people get them they usually don’t ever go to another horse."

The main event happens on Saturday night culminating with a barn dance. However, this family friendly event will also feature the ricochet mounted archers, a grand entry color guard, mustang extravaganza and Nadine Schwartzman from Eagle will demonstrate dressage.

"We have a local equestrian that is competing for the Olympic team which is really cool," said Waugh. "Nadine is a great rider."

There was a breakaway roping clinic going on while we were there

The rainy weather only canceled one event this weekend. Organizers told us they expect more people because of the poor weather this weekend.