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Byers to Host Saddle Seat Equitation Clinic at Illinois Horse Fair

Rob Byers, Simpsonville, KY, trainer of World Champion riders and horses, will host a saddle seat equitation clinic for riders of American Saddlebreds, Arabians, Morgans and National Show Horses at the 20th annual Illinois Horse Fair Feb. 29 to Mar 2 at the state fairgrounds, Springfield. Horse Fair is produced by the Horsemen's Council of Illinois and presented by Purina Mills, Midway Trailer Sales and John Deere.

Known for matching horse to rider and developing the pair into champions, Byers has the proven ability to succeed with junior and amateurs. "It's very important for the riders to get the basics," Byers says in explaining that "if the horse doesn't have the confidence to think ahead, the rider has to think ahead of the horse."

Byers, along with his wife and partner, Sarah, have coached riders to equitation championships on Saddlebred, Arabian and National Show Horses. They also have trained World Champions in every division of saddle horses and ponies.


Their riders include multiple winners of the Saddle Seat Equitation Triple Crown (USEF Medal, UPHA Challenge Cup, Good Hands Finals), as well as Arabian National and National Show Horse Finals Equitation Championships.

Byers also is one of a select group to have won the Saddlebred world's five-gaited triple crown (stake championships at Lexington Junior League, World's Championship Kentucky State Fair, American Royal in Kansas City) in the same season with WC Boucheron.

While Horse Fair runs Friday through Sunday, Byers' clinics will be on Saturday and Sunday only. The fee is $150 for riders who wish to take advantage of this opportunity to work with a proven trainer and coach. Applications are available online at the Horse Fair web site or from Sally Grieme, Saddle Seat Equitation Clinic coordinator at (217) 314-1297 or e-mail
No NAIS Premise ID is required to participate in Illinois Horse Fair.

Illinois Horse Fair is the largest non-racing equine event annually in Illinois and attracts more than 10,000 horsemen. In addition to expert clinicians, this year headed by RFD-TV's Craig Cameron and Richard Shrake, Horse Fair offers more than 140 commercial vendors, up to 100 trailers for sale on site, 25 breed and sport demonstrations, unique HorsesForSale aisles and Stallion Row and Parade.

New this year: a trailer safety and driving school, equestrian lifestyle fashion show, high level dressage demo by Lilo Fore, and Cowboy Church on Sunday morning.

Other nationally known trainers hosting riding clinics include Jon Barry, Western Pleasure; Matt Flarida, Reining; Donna Irvin, Barrel Racing; Liz Graves, gaited horses; as well as Ryan Gingerich, Mark Schwarm, Tim Boyer and others.

Horse Fair opens on Friday Feb 29 when early bird shoppers get access to vendors' full stock of merchandise plus save money on special Friday-only promotions and reduced admission charge and see training demo sessions by Craig Cameron, Richard Shrake and others.


Daily tickets are $12 adults and $6 child/senior. Advance tickets may be purchased online with a charge card at Just click on the Horse Fair icon and locate "tickets" in the index.


Horsemen's Council of Illinois is an affiliate chapter of the American Horse Council and is the statewide "organization of organizations" and individuals providing central leadership and advocacy for Illinois's 77,000 horse owners, 213,000 horses and its diverse $3.8 billion equine industry.


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