One of the additions to this year’s Mane Event in Red Deer is a youth essay contest with a big prize — a young filly from the renowned Rocking Heart Ranch.
“Mark Garner approached me and said the ranch would be interested in doing something like this,” said Gail Barker. “They raise foundation quarter-horses, and he wants to encourage youth in horses.”
Young people between the ages of 13 and 18 have been asked to describe in 500 words or less how winning a filly would impact them as a person and future leader in the equine industry. Essays must be submitted by April 17, and the winner will be announced at the finale of the Trainer’s Challenge on the Sunday of the Mane Event.
The popular challenge is back, where a trio of trainers works with young untrained horses, to see how much progress they can make over the course of the show.
For the first time, a female Alberta trainer is being featured.
Kateri Cowley grew up on the Rafter 6 Guest Ranch in the Rocky Mountains, took the Olds College’s equestrian sciences program, and spent time interning in Texas. The former Calgary Stampede princess and 2014 winner of the Stampede’s Cowboy Up Challenge has done extensive colt starting work. She’ll be showcasing her skills alongside Australian-born TJ Clibborn of Wisconsin and Patrick King of Pennsylvania.
Linda Parelli will be conducting a clinic for the first time in Western Canada, and she’ll be working with Parelli-trained locals such as Don Halliday and the Cardinals.
Mane Event organizer Gail Barker also expects Terry McKinney’s new session to be a popular addition to the varied clinicians program. McKinney will talk about having fun while horse packing in the back country.
The Equine Experience runs both Friday and Saturday evenings, and features drill teams, liberty training and roman riding demonstrations, and fjord horses. The trade show will have close to 280 vendors, and The Mane Event offers over 100 hours of equine education.
For more details, visit maneeventexpo.com.