A beautiful, sunny Good Friday dawned early as I headed up to the Markham Fairgrounds north of Toronto to hang with all the horsies, courtesy of publisher Barry Finn (pictured below) of The Rider newspaper and Barnmice.com. The annual Can-Am Equine Expo features stars from the horse world such as horse-whisperer Guy McLean (my Aussie mate) and his four-legged friends, Amber Marshall, star of Canada’s most successful teen/young adult TV series Heartland and the Encore Trick Riders along with leading clinicians and champion equestrians.
Needless to say, one has to start the day off with a fully tummy so I grabbed a bacon, egg & cheese sandwich from the friendly folks in the show cafe (below).
I started off walking thru the various vendor barns and met up with old friends from The Edge (below) http://theedgeup.ca/index.html a super blue-green algae supplement that promotes wellness & nutrition.
Also ran into Sarah Bohan from KOOL Designs who makes fashionable & functional totes, purses, wallets (pictured below) from recycled animal feed bags. http://on.fb.me/1FrKTDD
I hit the Dirt Road Denim store pretty darn quick for western fashions and bling…boy those cowgirls know their sparklies! http://www.dirtroaddenim.com/
I was suddenly blinded by the Bling It Girls booth (below) with lots of shiny conchos, earrings, belts & buckles. Annie Oakley would be proud! http://blingitgirls.com/
Wanna get your boots buffed? Best place is the Leather Better crew who did such a great job, I was tempted to ship them ALL my boots and shoes.
The ladies “manning” the booth at Equine Guelph (www.EquineGuelph.ca) were happy to pose for a few snaps, especially as they have a new horse health tracker App to promote to all horse owners. And if you see a horse in distress or being abused, they encourage you to call the OSPCA hotline: 310-SPCA or report online at www.ontariospca.ca
The Ontario Equine Federation (below) was well represented, too, and they gave away copies of their wonderful magazine, Whoa! https://horse.on.ca/
We all love farmers, right? Without them, we wouldn’t eat and neither would our wee beastie companions. Check out the Ontario Federation of Agriculture website and support Ontario farm families. http://ofa.on.ca/
Speaking of good works, the ladies from the Cdn Breast Cancer Foundation handed out Easter treats to the crowds coming thru the entrance, along with information.
Did you know Cavalia is bringing back its stunning Odysseo show to Toronto? I’ll be covering media day events next Tuesday so you can read more on my blog next week. http://www.cavalia.net/en/odysseo
I met the lovely lady from the Horse Country Campground, a 5,000 acre wilderness property in the Ottawa Valley that offers riding vacations, camping and trail rides. She told me all about the tons of choices and great family-friendly prices so check their website for all the horsey things you and your family can enjoy there. www.horsecountrycampground.com
I then met my new BFFs, Deb and Danielle (below) from Pony Express Girls, Canada’s only equine-themed subscription service that delivers a box of hand picked premium products for you & your pony every month. You can spoil your horse with items from the best grooming products to gourmet treats plus goodies for humans, too! http://www.ponyexpressgirls.ca/
The PEGs were kind enough to give me one of their sample boxes which included a great grooming brush, a pair of horsey socks (cashmere ones, too!), a big pack of apple treats that I passed on to a young friend who had just acquired a new pony (and she squealed with delight saying her new stable mate just loves apples), also there was a pretty silver purse charm, a fabulous avocado-based hand lotion “for barn hands” (it worked immediately on my dry winter elbows) plus a stunning, silky dark blue scarf decorated with cute red foxes. Thank you, D&D.
The Country Girl Canada booth was hosted by the cutest young ladies (below) who were so enthusiastic about their fashions and accessories. http://on.fb.me/1GT3n1C Don’t ya just love ’em?
As many of you know, I’m a big supporter of local artists but this one really amazed me – horse painters. Yes, actual horses painting on board and canvas. Wow!
Winsong Farm hosted a whole herd of painters and I found one horse, Kai, in the barn hard at work painting another masterpiece (below) www.winsongfarm.com
RODEO! Yeehaaa….I love rodeo and I used to do promotions with the Ontario Rodeo Assoc. back in the 90’s. Great to reconnect and say howdy. www.ORArodeo.com
The talented sculptor, Ann Clifford, displayed many of her beautifully cast “trophy” pieces and well as showcasing illustrations of her large format corporate and commissioned pieces (below) www.acliffordsculpture.com
If you enjoy the sport of kings, here’s Racing Under Saddle Ontario – below. Check the website for races near you www.rusontario.com
Now into the barns and main show ring to watch Guy McLean, horse whisperer extraordinaire! probably the most popular special guest at the show; as I walked around the ring, I heard all sorts of ooo’s, aaah’s and complimentary comments from the audience. Nice to know my Aussie mate’s horsemanship is so well received and appreciated. He’s a great ambassador for horses and DownUnder http://www.guymcleanusatour.com/
Check out some of the breeds showcased today…gorgeous horses…I so want one but I doubt I could pee-pad train a Clydesdale for my downtown apartment, eh? LOL. First, here’s a miniature horse going thru his paces, and a Clydesdale called Spencer who was so gentle and sweet.
Then the Icelandic horses…wish I had their hair! www.onicehorsefarm.ca
Then the Kiger mustang (below) www.clearviewkigers.com
And a horse who possesses the best blonde mane in the barn, the Rocky Mountain Gaited Horse http://www.bonnieviewfarms.ca/
So it was time to make my way back into the vendor barns to hang out with The Rider and promote the subscription show special ($25/yr) – anyone signing up during Can-Am is entered into a draw for 2 Gold tickets to Odysseo valued at $250 (wow!) or a bucket o’ books valued at around $150. If you go to the show, you MUST visit The Rider booth (#222) and subscribe – you could win! Here’s Barry with Kelley (top pic) and with realtor Michael Webb, who specializes in prestige rural property sales (www.michaelstuartwebb.com) – he had a special promo insert in this double issue of the newspaper. Then I snapped John (bottom photo) chatting to our friendly neighbour.
What a fun and exhausting day, hangin’ with the horsey set. Thanks to John for being my taxi this morning, and to Barry for making sure I was safely deposited at the subway for my return trip back to the big city. And thanks to all the horses for welcoming me with whinnnies, neighs and snorts.
The family-friendly show runs throughout the Easter weekend http://canamequine.com/