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Everything equestrian to be found at Illinois Horse Fair next weekend

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[February 23, 2013]  SPRINGFIELD -- More than 10,000 Illinois horse owners are expected to attend the 24th annual Illinois Horse Fair next weekend, March 1-3, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

The event is produced by the Horsemen's Council of Illinois and sponsored by Purina Mills and Illinois Farm Bureau.

On of the lead clinicians will be Aussie stockman Guy McLean, who believes that the best tools in horsemanship are "knowledge, compassion, patience and imagination," and in using these, many a fine partnership has been formed. Tracy Porter, a featured clinician across the United States, brings fun, common sense and a sense of humor to foundation training.

Terry Myers is a leading trainer, instructor and national clinician with experience spanning over 40 years. His Ride-in-Sync horsemanship philosophy includes training for both horse and rider to achieve balanced movements. Indy O'Connor, a native of Illinois and clinician throughout the Midwest, believes the horse is his greatest teacher, and he has developed his method to connect with their gentle and noble spirit.

Friday and Saturday evening's entertainment, the Ranch Rodeo, features rodeo thrills and spills as well as the amazing Percheron Thunder. Spectators love the toil and tumble of the team competition, at once finding it humorous and thrilling. It is truly fun and a family event.

In addition, exhibits, educational opportunities and a special Young Riders area will fill the historic Expo Hall on the state fairgrounds. Over 100 commercial vendors cater to a strong preseason retail environment, and HorsesForSale aisles offer horses for private treaty sales. Breed and sport demonstrations exhibit a wide variety of horse and horse-related activities. With a Stallion Row and Parade, a queen contest and the All-Youth Horse Judging Trials, there is something for everyone at the Illinois Horse Fair.

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The fair opens on Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., when commercial exhibitors will be ready to sell their equestrian products. Hours Saturday are 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and the fair concludes on Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights will feature the Ranch Rodeo, "the original rodeo," beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Coliseum with Guy McLean.

Daily admission tickets are $10 each and three-day weekend passes are $25. Children under 8 are admitted free with paid adult. General admission tickets give access to all exhibits, clinics and educational presentations. Gates will be open at 8 a.m., and wristbands can be purchased at the gates. Ranch Rodeo requires separate tickets in addition to the $10 general admission tickets. Reserved seating tickets are $15. Tickets can be purchased by calling 217-529-6503.

The Illinois Horse Fair is produced by Horsemen's Council of Illinois, an affiliate chapter of the American Horse Council. The Horsemen's Council of Illinois provides representative leadership for the horse industry in the state, promoting responsible horse ownership and more interaction with horses.

[Text from file received from Horsemen's Council of Illinois]

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