Horse Expo returns to Minot | News, Sports, Jobs

Horse Expo returns to Minot |  News, Sports, Jobs

Photo Submitted A member of Pegasus Riders performs a trick-riding routine.



Equi-Ganza is coming to the North Dakota State Fairgrounds next weekend.

The annual North Dakota Equine Association Fair will be held June 3-5 with clinics, competitions, children’s activities, vendors and more.

The event’s nightly Equi-Ganza show features dynamic numbers that will entertain audiences whether they have a connection to horses or not.

The Canadian Cowgirls Precision Drill Team is an elite rodeo-style drill team that performs synchronized routines on horses. The Ontario-based Cowgirls are acclaimed for their musical performances, dazzling audiences with their precision driving, stunning costumes and dangerous, daring maneuvers.

Pegasus Riders consists of two award-winning 11-year-old girls, Maddy Gatrel and Liberty Cunningham, who practice mounted gymnastics. They specialize in Freestyle Riding, Roman Riding, Dance, Aerial Hammock, and Freedom Riding. They have performed alongside the greatest equestrian artists in the country and offer refined and fast numbers.

Gatrel was the 2019 International Liberty Horse Association Youth Freestyle Division Champion. Liberty was the 2021 Dusti Dickerson Trick Riding Competition Youth Division Champion. As a team, the girls won the Showcase of the 2021 3-C arena and were the top performing riding act during the 2021 International Finals Rodeo Contract Act Showcase.

Kaycee Wilen, president of the North Dakota Equine Association, said the girls will also teach a class during the Expo for Kids, telling them how to train their horses to compete in the types of tricks performed by Pegasus Riders.

A third act features Francesca Carson with Dally and Spanky, a Jack Russell Terrier and a miniature horse. The rescued dog and horse’s true animal friendship inspired the 2019 film, “The Adventures of Dally & Spanky.” The dog and pony duo entertain audiences with their special brand of tricks and have been featured in a number of publications including National Geographic.

Also at the show, South Dakota’s Rodney Yost, a popular clinician returning from Expo 2019, will show off his coaching skills in an arena performance with his horse. The equine quiz will take place during intermission.

Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children ages 6-12. A limited number of discounted tickets are available online at

As a prelude to the Expo, the equine association has programmed a parade of Expo entertainers. They will leave the south side of the fairgrounds at 5 p.m. Thursday to take the Burdick Highway and pass through Roosevelt Park before returning to the fairgrounds via a northern route. Wilen said people are welcome to watch the parade in Roosevelt Park.

The Roosevelt Park Zoo is hosting a horse-themed scavenger hunt called Horses Gone Wild, starting at 1 p.m. Thursday. Children who participate will receive a free ticket to the Expo.

The North Dakota Equine Association Expo opens at 9 a.m. each of the three days and closes at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the Expo is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 and under are admitted free.

Scheduled clinics and demonstrations include Craig Cameron, a world-renowned riding expert; North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Famer Phil Haugen, who will also present on horseback riding; Elisabeth Crabtree, who will present on first aid and equine nutrition; Elizabeth James, who will speak about social media marketing, equine careers and the appropriate ages to start children with horses; and Yost, which will offer horseback riding clinics, including a livestock work clinic on Fridays.

Other presentations include Clarissa Goldsack, Search and Rescue by Equine Scent; The Vogts, riding; Francesca Carson, Training the Miniature Horse and the Art of Freedom; Joe Reum, horse psychology; Schaefer Veterinary Services, Equine Acupuncture and Chiropractic; and Cameron Thornberg, herbal and natural horse products. Wonderland Equine Sports Therapy will perform demonstrations.

Throughout the Expo, several events will take place in several places. There will be live farrier demonstrations and free wagon rides provided by the North Dakota Draft Horse Association. The American Sidesaddle Association will give a presentation on the history of the saddle, and there will be saddle fit demonstrations.

There will be a juried horse art show for adults with youth divisions for children ages 5-10 and 11-17.

Also on the program, games for children, a mini-farm and clinics for children on first aid on Friday and Saturday and introduction to rope on Saturday and Sunday. There will also be other educational opportunities for young people.

Wilen said meeting Dally and Spanky would give the kids a chance to take pictures with the animals.

A youth ranch rodeo is scheduled for Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Youth up to 18 will compete for prizes and buckles.

A Show-De-O will take place on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. for young people up to 18, who will compete on horseback in barrels, poles, keyholes and flag races for prizes and loops . The youngest can participate in a stick horse race.

A 4-D barrel race will take place on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

More details on the schedule and events can be found at

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