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Hawaii Horse Expo 2012 (Aug. 11 & 12)

Pukalani Stables (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7)

Lacy Deniz | Hawaii 24/7 Student Reporter

The Hawaii Horse Expo is a meeting of people who are interested in horses. Interested people include: Vetenerians, trainers and residebts who want to learn more about horses and advance their horseman skills.

Nancy Jones started the Horse Expo on the Big Island about five years ago, to help people learn more about horses.

It started off as a small event. The first expo had a round pen, local people participating, vendors were outside, and the expo didn’t have food. Five years later, it’s a major event on the horse lovers’ calendar.

People from not only across the state, but also from around the country plan their summers around Hawaii Horse Expo.

Jones said organizers change things up every year and try to add new events and activities. For example, this year’s slate includes lectures, hands-on demonstrations, and very advanced round pen and training work.

“That way, when people come they can choose what they want to learn,” Jones said.

Featured clinicians include: Charles Wilhelm, Linda Tellington Jones, Dr. Robert Miller, Dr. Brady Bergin, Rick Lamb, Elizabeth Mason, and Richard Winters.

Presenters include: Janice Baxter, Sarah Winters, Susanella Noble, Lisa Wood (D.V.M.), Daniel King (D.V.M.), and Billy Diaz.

No matter what level of horsemanship you are at, Jones said, there will be something new everyone can learn.

Horse owners on the Big Island have a range of experience and knowledge, Jones said, so the expo is an opportunity to meet and learn from the experts, which means they can use those new skills to better the lives of their own horses.

For example, some people move from the mainland and don’t have a ranching background, may buy a horse and not exactly know what to do after that. At that point some horses become neglected, or abandoned, ending up under the care of the Hawaii Island Humane Society.

The Hawaii Horse Expo is a fundraiser for the Hawaii Island Humane Society. All proceeds from the event goes to the “Horse Rescue Fund.”

The budget for the Hawaii Island Humane Society, is largely dedicated to cats and dogs. There is a higher ratio of dogs and cats than horses needing Humane Society services, which is a causing factor for horses not getting a bigger slice of the budget pie.

However, with a small budget, for a large animal, that equation does not always equal out. For example a 1,000-pound horse needs 20 pounds of food a day and hay currently costs about $38 a bail, which can add up quickly.

Funds raised helped to build a new horse shelter in Waimea, expand foster care programs, and get horse owners more involved in learning about how to care for their horses.

The Hawaii Horse Expo has had such a positive affect on not only the Humane Society, but the entire community as well, Jones said. Raising awareness, and educating others in order to save, protect and perpetuate the legacy of equestrian and horse care.

The Hawaii Horse Expo runs Aug. 11 and Aug. 12 at the Paniolo Heritage Center at Pukalani Stables, Waimea.

Tickets are on sale at Hawaii Island animal shelters in Kona, Keaau, and Waimea, and at Parker Ranch Store in Waimea.

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