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2008 Illinois Horse Fair Officially Canceled



Springfield, IL – Due to concern for public safety, the Illinois Horse Fair, scheduled for Feb. 29 – Mar. 2 at the State Fairgrounds in Springfield, has been canceled.

 

In a phone call Thursday afternoon (February 21) to Horsemen’s Council of Illinois, Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke explained that public safety issues associated with high voltage electrical distribution problems at the Fairgrounds prompted the State’s decision to cancel all use of the state facilities for the event.

 

“Until the source of our electrical problems is determined, we will continue to proceed in a manner that ensures the public’s safety,” Hartke said. All events scheduled through March 2 at the Fairgrounds were canceled.

 

Illinois Horse Fair is beginning the process of alerting vendors, participating exhibitors and prospective attendees through email, its web sites and press releases.

 

Vendors and exhibitors are being offered options for refunds or applying 2008 fees to the 2009 Illinois Horse Fair, March 6-8 at the Fairgrounds.

 

Thousands of dollars in advanced tickets already have been sold, according to Joy Meierhans, Horse Fair manager. Most ticket purchasers used a credit card through Pay Pal, and they will be offered refunds, Meierhans said.

 

“We’re extremely disappointed by the cancellation,” Meierhans said, “but the safety of more than 10,000 horsemen who annually attend our three-day all-breed expo is paramount. Sadly, there is not another location available that can accommodate the event.”

 

“Attendees will miss their pre-season shopping this year with Horse Fair’s more than 140 vendors, riders will miss opportunities to train with renowned clinicians, and more than 25 breeds and disciplines will not be able to present their distinguishing characteristics,” Meierhans said, “but we’ll be back next year with an even stronger program.”

 

“Craig Cameron, RFD-TV’s ‘Defender of the Horse,’ who was to be our lead clinician, already has accepted a contract for our 2009 event,” Meierhans said. Also re-programmed into 2009 will be All-Breed Gaited Clinician Liz Graves.

 

Meierhans expects that as the rest of the advertised clinicians and presenters can be reached, many will commit to a 2009 appearance.

 

Editor’s note: Also canceled is the Saddle Seat Clinic with Rob Byers as clinician.


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