Midwest Horse Fair: Reaches new heights, sets record for Sunday attendance

With 800+ Horses ‘Taking Flight,’ Event Is Second Best Attended in History

MADISON, Wis. (Thursday, April 28, 2022) –Horse lovers and enthusiasts fully embraced the return of the 2022 Midwest Horse Fair® to the Alliant Energy Center grounds, with the weekend drawing the second-highest attendance in history and setting a new record for Sunday fairgoers.

Total attendance from April 22-24 was 61,497. Saturday drew the biggest crowd, with 23,886 on the grounds; Friday was the second-most popular day, with 22,670; and Sunday broke previous records, with 14,941 in attendance. The fair was the first since 2019 due to COVID-19 forcing the event’s cancellation the last two years.

Although Friday’s temperature was a little cool for spring, Saturday’s 80-degree weather and Sunday’s mid-60s temps helped keep the conditions comfortable for humans and horses. The fair hosted more than 800 horses and 500 vendors in a memorable weekend of world-class entertainment, educational sessions, breed demonstrations, the famed Stallion Avenue, a large exhibitor area and more. Activity highlights included:

·      two nights of PRCA rodeo, with Saturday night sold out

·      more than 300 educational clinics

·      visits by RFD-TV personalities Chris Cox and Julie Goodnight, U.S. Dressage Federation Hall of Famer Anne Gribbons

·      demonstrations by bull jumper Manu Lataste

·      the Celebrity Horse Aisle, where fairgoers could meet Smokey, the horse who made the 3,500-kilometer trek from Alaska to Calgary with his then-owner, Filipe Masetti Leite; Paddyngton’s Mark of Distinction, a Multi World Champion Parade Horse; and King Crash Wimpy, an 18-year-old trick-riding American Paint Horse

·      the rodeo’s Mutton Busting competition for kids as young as 4 who rode a sheep and did their best to hold on for six seconds

·      the Top Hand Showdown Competition, an electrifying display of speed, accuracy, roping and precision by horse handlers of all ages and backgrounds competing for $5,000 in cash prizes

·      the Ladies Breakaway Roping Competition, featuring quick-footed horses with high-powered breaks, and cowgirls with focus, grit and skill

“The Top Hand Showdown and Ladies Breakaway competition really made Sunday the perfect closeout to this year’s fair,” said fair Executive Director Megan Hanuszczak. “With more than $5,000 in prizes, it was very exciting to watch.”

The Midwest Horse Fair® has an estimated $11 million economic impact on the Madison area each year, resulting from spending at local hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses.

The 42nd Midwest Horse Fair® will take place April 14-16, 2023, and the theme will be “Branded in History.” Visit MidwestHorseFair.com in the coming year to learn more. Like the fair’s Facebook page or follow the fair on Twitter (@MWHorseFair) for up-to-the-minute fair information.