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What's New at Mid-America Mane Event Show

Some things have been changed for the 12th annual Mid-America Mane Event Show, October 23-26 (Thursday-Sunday), at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield:

New Schedule for “Good Hands” Finals

There’s new exhibitor-friendly scheduling for competitors and coaches for the NHS “Good Hands” Finals, part of the saddle seat equitation triple crown, now in its sixth year at Mane Event.

The Finals will be held over two days this year, instead of all on the same day as in the past, and the morning session will start two hours later.  Preliminary rail and workout phases for all Finals riders will be 10 A.M. Friday morning, October 24, and the Championship phases for Top 10 riders, on the next day, at the end of the Saturday afternoon session.  The Finals awards ceremony again will be held at the beginning of the Saturday evening session. National Horseman is official sponsor of NHS “Good Hands” Finals.

Seven New Classes Added

Seven new classes include a never-before-held “Jackpot” Equitation Stake on Saturday night that requires no qualification and is open to saddle seat riders 17 years and under on a suitable horse of any breed; Park Three Gaited Junior Exhibitor qualifier and championship; Show Pleasure Walk/Trot 12 & Under qualifier and championship; and Road Horse to Bike Amateur qualifier and championship.

$500-Added “Jackpot” Five Gaited, Three Gaited, Fine Harness Stakes

The three “Jackpot” Stakes require no qualification, are open to all and scheduled for Saturday night.

Mid-West Hackney Sale Returns

With the return of the pony sale, none of Mane Event’s 21 Hackney classes are scheduled for Saturday afternoon to accommodate its pony exhibitors.  Those classes include five AHHS Youth Medallions and four $250-added Junior UPHA Classics, all qualifying for their own Finals at this year’s American Royal, plus open and amateur classes for Hackney cob tails, long tails, show pleasure and road ponies.

Celebration Honoring “Good Hands” Riders on Friday Night

A new Friday night party will honor all the riders in the “Good Hands” Finals.  Held in the Artisans Building, where Mane Event’s famous exhibitors party is held on Saturday night, the new celebration will have a completely different vibe, and include music, dancing and food.  All exhibitors are invited to attend both the new Friday celebration as well as the Saturday night party considered by many to be the best on the show circuit with multiple gourmet food stations (including the famous Lobster Bisque) and no long waiting lines.

Remaining the same is the show’s expansive class list with excellent options for amateurs showing performance (Amateur, Ladies and Junior Exhibitor Five and Three Gaited qualifiers and championships) and pleasure (Show, Country, Western and Hunter), and the ideal facilities – and classes -- for showing young horses. Everyone likes showing in the Coliseum’s banked oval arena with its excellent footing. The facilities are totally “horse-friendly” and widely recognized as the country’s best.  Horsemen especially like them in the fall because ALL stabling is in enclosed barns convenient to the Coliseum plus there are three warm-up rings – two indoors and a huge covered arena that includes a 50-ft. round pen – all next to the in-gate and available 24/7.

Judges this year are Rob Byers, Adam Clauson and Marsha Shepard.  To request a printed entry booklet call Show Manager Joy Meierhans at 630/557-2575; or email  An electronic version can be downloaded and printed from   Mane Event is produced by Mid-America Horse Show Association, one of the ASHA’s largest charter clubs.

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