Clinton G. Depew, Schultz, Bruce | 3/17/2007 1:17:22 AM
News Release Distributed 03/16/07
Organizers of the state's first Equine Expo last weekend (March 9-11) are calling the event a success and say plans are under way for next year.
"It turned out to be as good, or even better, than expected," said Ruby Halter of Lafayette, who served as coordinator for the expo.
The event, organized by the Louisiana Equine Council, was held at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center at Gonzales.
Halter said she was pleased with attendance, which she estimated at 3,000 people.
She also said the Parade of Breeds held Saturday (March 10) was a well-attended ceremony, and the crowd appeared to be listening attentively to the description of each breed of horse.
Lectures organized by Dr. Clint Depew, LSU AgCenter equine specialist, were packed, she said.
That didn’t surprise Johnny Boudreaux, vice president of the state Equine Council.
"People are just hungry for information about horses," Boudreaux said.
Boudreaux said a meeting will be held later this month to analyze what worked and what needs to be changed for next year’s expo. He said one change that might be made is moving the barrel racing, held this year on a Friday, to the weekend to increase participation.
Howard Cormier, LSU AgCenter county agent in Vermilion Parish, said the event appealed to horse enthusiasts interested in various aspects from western style to dressage.
"It opened up a whole new window into the horse world," he said. "This was a springboard, and there’s no doubt we’re going to do it again next year."
Boudreaux and Cormier said the ranch horse competition was the highlight of the weekend – with Texas horse expert Joe Wolter as the judge.
The LSU AgCenter and the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation helped to form the Louisiana Equine Council as a result of a Horse Forum conducted by the groups several years ago, Depew said. The council is intended to serve individual horse owners and enthusiasts and the state’s equine industry.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture