May 2017 - Western States Horse Expo

Supercharged horsemanship exposition returns to Sacramento June 9-11.

The most elite equine exposition in the United States, California’s Western States Horse Expo, is a must-attend event for any horse owner. In three short days, June 9-11, attendees can catch up on the latest training and education, shop the nation’s premier equine vendors and connect with horse friends.

See clinicians like Kalley Krickeberg, who will be colt starting all three days.

See clinicians like Eitan Beth-Halachmy, a pioneer of Cowboy Dressage, which will be showcased in an on-site competition during the Expo.

Held at Cal Expo in Sacramento, the expo is more than a weekend away, it’s a yearly pilgrimage with friends, a way to stay engaged in the horse industry and to ensure you have the tools, knowledge and products to help make the most of the investment in the horse owning lifestyle year round.

The best equine experts grace the stages and arenas of Western States Horse Expo each year. One ticket price provides access to unlimited learning, whether you’re a competitor looking for an edge, or a recreational rider looking for a relaxing ride!

Special events abound. One is “Art of the Horse,” a juried art show and sale that features the magnificent world of horses in various art mediums. Categories for the show include acrylic, colored pencil, mixed media, sculpture, wearable art, oil, pastel, pencil/charcoal, photography, and watercolor. To encourage young people to participate in expressing their love of horses, there are junior art categories. Each division is judged by professionals, with top honor going to Best of Show. Expo attendees are encouraged to vote for their favorite piece of art, and the most popular vote will be presented with the “People’s Choice Award.”

A three-day clinic with dressage master Charles deKnuffy is new this year, and there will be a Cowboy Dressage show on site.

Top clinicians and presenters are the conduit for most of that learning and Pat Parelli and John and his son Josh Lyons top this year’s slate of superstar horsemen.

Since his first seminar in 1982, Pat Parelli has revolutionized the horse world by introducing a philosophy, a concept and a program called Natural Horsemanship. Pat has presented in front of over two million people in 27 countries, has been in over 1,000 magazine articles and has presented privately for the Queen of England, President Reagan, Tony Robbins, Gene Autry and Tom Selleck.

He has over 200,000 students in his long distance online learning program, called the Savvy Club. With 400 instructors world wide in his Professionals Program Pat is set out to help make the world a better place for horses and the humans who love them.

Experience “Art of the Horse” and vote for your favorite piece of art!

You’re sure to stay busy and learn new things!

John Lyons is one of the most respected trainers around the world. He is known as “America’s Most Trusted Horseman” and he has earned that title through 30 years of dedication to horses and horse owners. His ideas and concepts in horse training have influenced every level of performance, every style of riding and every breed of horse throughout the world. His ideas and work have directly changed thousands of lives. John’s sincere regard for people and the horses they love has remained unchanged throughout his career.

John has been honored by many facets of the horse industry, including universities, breed associations, horse clubs, magazines, cities and states for his contributions and dedication to the horse and the industry. John has touched the lives of millions of people throughout the years.

John continues to be one of the most sought after trainers, speakers, demonstrators and clinicians in the United States and abroad. There is hardly an expo in the country or around the world where you will not find John, his children Josh, Brandi, and Michael or one of their certified trainers as a guest clinician.

Fourteen years ago John developed his certified trainer program that has graduated almost 300 trainers. This program had grown to be one of the top programs in the country for producing great clinicians, trainers and teachers. Today, this training program is taught by one of the top trainers in the world, John’s son, Josh Lyons.

Josh grew up on a cattle ranch in western Colorado. Training horses was not the family focus at the time; rather, it was earning a living from livestock. Soon his dad switched gears from working cattle to training horses. When John decided to share his training methods with others, Josh was there with him traveling the country and riding in the clinics. At age 16, Josh gave weekend clinics, trained horses and conducted private instruction at a facility in Minnesota. It was then he realized that he too had a passion for training horses and a gift for teaching people. After graduating high school, Josh worked full time with his dad. Some years, more than 30 weeks were spent on the road conducting symposiums, clinics and expos. At home, Josh assisted with the John Lyons Certification Program, a program he now conducts, manages and owns. The Lyons’ Legacy had begun.

The long list of presenters signed up to share their knowledge includes Back Country Wilderness Rider Jerry Heitzler, horse packing expert George Archer; Dutch Oven cooking whiz Debra Mason; and Carolyn Gilmore, a Wilderness rider, breeder and an expert on disaster preparedness for horsekeepers. And these horsemen represent just a few of the many areas of knowledge covered by various presenters during the Horse Expo’s run.

Horse Expo University offers morning learning through lectures from leading experts in equine research, health, nutrition, breeding training and behavior. A Trail Symposium offers the latest in preserving land for equestrian use and tips on ensuring a terrific trail experience, whether it’s a day ride or a longer horse camping adventure. 

A three-day pass is $45; a one-day pass is $18; and Young Riders ages 7-17 are $10, and kids under 6 are free. Local tack & feed stores have $3 discount “Expo Bucks.” For tickets and more information, visit