Today, Mel and I had the Equine Affaire scheduled.
We got up early to head over to the State Fair grounds. Last time we’ve been here, it was 1999, the Equine Affaire was a relatively new trade show and, well, what can I say, it was interesting, lots of clinics, not many vendors, and not that many visitors, just the way I like it.
Mmmmkay. Apparently, the fair took a turn down popularity lane while we were in the old world. The parking lot turned into parking lots, and we weren’t quite the only people going, in fact, there were treks of people wandering up to the ticket booths. Hmmm. First thing I noticed was the huge amount of Mennonites in the lines. Yeah, in Harrisonburg I was more or less used to them. Coming from Europe, I notice them, a lot, because, well, to me they stick out as they don’t fit into my…let’s call them familiar sights. Something looks out of place, it sticks out and you notice. Totally normal to have them around, especially on a trade show like this, still, it was interesting to see.
When we got in, we first wanted to kinda repeat experiences. ‘Back then’, we had started without breakfast, and the only food stand open back then was this one place selling biscuits’n’gravy. Now when we got there, a whole ROW of foodstands was there, trying to outbid competition with dishes they offered for rather reasonable prices. Just as a quick FYI, a similar trade show in Germany, the Equitana, charges roughly 45 Dollars for one days of attendance. Equine Affaire goes for 13 Dollars a person. Even without this rather favourable exchange rate this’d be a bargain. But back to the biscuits…we found one (ONLY ONE!) stand with that on the menu…and when I ordered it, the guy looked at me, then took a glance at the menu, went ‘hmmm’ and then informed us that no, he wouldn’t have that, it’d be a mistake on the menu unfortunately. Good start.
All in all, the show was crowded. Tons of vendors, too. Wrangler, among other brands, was out in force, tons of stuff to be bought, bridles, bits by the ton, it was…definitely pretty much like the German Equitana and as for the prices…just nice. Unfortunately, there’s only so much we can take with us, which kinda limited the amount of stuff we could purchase to, well, about zero. Ok, I did get a t-shirt (Husband of a Horseowner – This shirt is financed) I liked and Mel and I got another print of an artist we like, nine years ago we got one of her artworks which still hangs in our livingroom. The fun thing was that we got to talk with the artist. She is rather interested to go to Germany for one of the bigger tradeshows so talking to us was rather informative. She actually asked Mel for her contact details to get in touch with us after the trade show. Hmmmhmmmhmmm, yanno, I think this could get fun and considering how much we like her art, getting her across the pond kinda around the corner would make transporting a few more of her things to our place MUCH easier 😉
Next, we checked out the Ohio Hafliner Association, naturally because of Henry, pardon, Semper Fi H., another of our family members. If we really move back to the US, he might be problematic. Yes, he is 14 and gelded, nevertheless though, he is family. Unfortunately he’s got no papers, and it might be difficult obtaining any for him. Yeah, we did have pictures with us and the people we talked to seemed to rather like him. There are many open tournaments where Mel could start him though, just the Haflinger specific tournaments would be closed to her unless she WOULD get papers for him. Importing him though would be expensive, they no longer import Haflingers in force as by now they seem to have enough breeding stock, although that’s only for Ohio, we now have contact addresses for the whole AHA, American Haflinger Association, so getting the necesary information and connections shouldn’t be a problem anymore.
Anyhow, in summary, the show was huge and interesting but more popular than we knew it to be, read: it was crowded, there actually was the occasional shoving, especially in the vendor areas. Heh. As the last item on our schedule though was too crowded to watch, we decided to call it a day and head home to the DaysInn as it was going on 6 pm, we started at 9 AM…and frankly our feet hurt.
Tomorrow, we’ll explore German Village in Columbus and likely finally make it to ‘Horton Hears A Who’. Stay tuned.