Equitana USA
Kentucky Horse Park

General History and Brand Overview

EQUITANA: The worldbrand of equestrian sports

EQUITANA (Essen, Germany) – The beginning

As the mother of all horse fairs and the world's largest meeting place for equestrian sports, EQUITANA has been setting standards since 1972. The idea came 48 years ago from a passionate rider from Germany, Wolf Kröber. The first EQUITANA took place as a small trade fair in 1972 in the Essen exhibition halls and made a big impact in the equestrian sport industry: 180 exhibitors came to the first event, with 48,000 visitors the premiere was a complete success.

One of the first exhibitors was from America, Alan M. Jacob, who brought a horse to EQUITANA in 1972 that had been widely unknown in Europe until then: the Quarter Horse. Over the years more and more Quarter Horses came to EQUITANA, Alan M. Jacob became the pioneer of Western riding in Germany.

EQUITANA (Essen, Germany) brought more and more equestrian disciplines and new international horse breeds to Germany and thus brought whole generations of young riders to the horse. The Quarter Horses were followed by Icelanders, Frisians, Andalusians, Lusitanos, Kladruber, Noriker, Maremmas, Mangalarga Marchadores, Pony of the Americas and Murgesen. Today, a visit to EQUITANA (Essen) is like a trip around the world when it comes to horse breeds.

In addition, EQUITANA (Essen) has always been a unique opportunity to meet the greats of international equestrian sport - Olympic champions, world champions, national trainers or horsemanship experts. The list ranges from dressage legends like Josef Neckermann and Reiner Klimke to "horse whisperers" like Monty Roberts or horsemanship pioneers Pat Parelli. Today EQUITANA is a must for international top riders.

From the "One Man Show" to a global brand

Over the years, the "One Man Show" of 1972 has transformed into a world trade fair with huge dimensions. The idea of an international fair all about equestrian sport has developed into the most important international event of its kind. Since 1991, EQUITANA (Essen) has been organized by Reed Exhibitions, one of the largest exhibition production companies in the world.

Today, the fair in Essen / Germany counts about 850 exhibitors from 30 nations and more than 200,000 visitors every two years. More than 40,000 of the total of 200,000 visitors are now trade visitors such as breeders or operators of professional horse farms. This makes EQUITANA (Essen) not only the largest trade fair for the general public, but also the largest trade fair for equestrian sports.

Since 1972 more than 4 million people have visited EQUITANA (Essen). In these 48 years, the fair has made a decisive contribution to the fact that equestrian sport can now call itself a real popular sport.

Germany, USA, Australia. New Zealand: EQUITANA around the world

Previously in 1996-2001 a first EQUITANA branded licensing event took place in the US.

The latest edition of EQUITANA USA, which took place October 1-3, 2021, followed the successful example of EQUITANA AUSTRALIA, which has been held since 1999 as the largest equestrian fair in Australia. In 2017, EQUITANA AUCKLAND was the first event in New Zealand to join the EQUITANA family.

EQUITANA USA will be produced by Reed Exhibitions North America.  The Reed Exhibitions Germany office produces the show in Essen.  Each year, Reed Exhibitions as an organization produces more than 500 events globally, in more than 40 countries, in 43 industry sections, and has more than 7 million annual visitors across these events.  

EQUITANA Open Air: leisure sports festival

In order to offer the many hobby and tournament riders their own event, Reed Exhibitions created another event in 1998: the EQUITANA Open Air. There are now two events in Germany - in the cities of Neuss and Mannheim - at which around 1,000 amateur sports riders meet with their horses to compete in dressage and western competitions or competitions for Icelandic horses up to 40,000 visitors. 

Education at EQUITANAUSA

The education program at EQUITANA USA will feature a wide range of learning experiences for riders of all ages, levels, and disciplines. 

There will be in hand demos for breeds, training, emergency handling, veterinary care, and nutrition, classes for young equestrians in philanthropy and leadership, seminars highlighting topics like changes and transformations in the industry, up and coming riders, and building a business, and more. Attendees will even have the opportunity to participate in dressage, eventing, and jumping clinics featuring high-level Olympic and professional trainers. 

Whether you are a professional and are interested in the latest healthcare, or are a junior rider that wants to audit an Olympic rider’s training session, there will be something at EQUITANA USA for you.  

Exhibitors at EQUITANA USA

At EQUITANA USA, you will find well-known brands like Dubarry, Majyk Equipe, Equitack, Schleese Saddlery, and Hound & Hare alongside newer companies that you may not be able to shop at other expos like Cavali Club, Dreamers & Schemers, Oaklyn, Tucker Tweed, and The TackHack, and international companies like Theo Sommer GmbH, Peter Horobin, and PerformaRide.

Areas of the show floor will also feature Breed Associations (with live horse exhibits), sustainable companies, stable management and accessories, and much more.

Lexington & the Kentucky Horse Park

With its rich equestrian heritage, outstanding hotel offerings, vibrant culinary scene, bourbon distilleries, music and an award-winning airport, there is no better home for EQUITANA USA than Lexington, KY - the horse capital of the world. The Kentucky Horse Park is North America’s premier equestrian facility, located minutes from downtown Lexington. The park is home to the famous Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, Breyerfest, USEF Pony Finals, the Thoroughbred Makeover, the National Horse Show, and endless horse shows of all disciplines. 

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