California Shelter: Western States Horse Expo

We know that many of our fans in the California area have enjoyed seeing us at the Western States Horse Expo for years.  Year after year people would come up to us, saying they were in love with Macho Man and so happy to see him again.  Sadly, Macho Man passed away due to colic, but we know that a lot of Western States Horse Expo goers loved the little guy.

4-8-16-0After Macho Man’s passing, we started bringing Parcey, who was an instant celebrity.  People loved meeting Parcey.  He is such a gentle steer who is trained to ride.  Western States Horse Expo posted him on their Facebook page in 2014.  To see the post, click here.  This year, when we were getting ready to sign up for the booth, they told us Parcey is not allowed on the grounds because the Horse Expo owner did not want him there.  We tried to reason with them, but they would not allow him on the property at all, even in a paneled pen in an outdoor booth.  It seems they would rather eat cows than see a rescued cow getting love and attention.  The booth is very expensive at the Expo, and without having rescued animals present, there is no way we could recoup the cost of having the booth.  Horse Expo attendance, and vendors, have dropped dramatically over the last few years and it just doesn’t make sense financially to be at the Expo.  We do invite anyone that wanted to visit our booth to make the short drive to our shelter in Newcastle.

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We are really disappointed that the Horse Expo has decided to pick on Parcey.  He has never hurt anyone or cause any incidents at the Expo.  He is not the first riding steer at the Expo either.  In 2012 this beautiful Texas longhorn was being ridden around the grounds.  Talking to others, the Expo has been treating their vendors very rudely, especially this year.  Many folks who used to visit the Expo every year say that due to the high cost of entry (parking and tickets) and with less vendors they will not be attending this year.  To read our blog of the 2012 Expo, click here.

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Our volunteers Tanya and Ellen attended the opening day of Horse Expo this year and were extremely disappointed.  All of the reasons they were excited about in previous years had disappeared.

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Ellen and Tanya weren’t the only ones disappointed.  Just look at all these Facebook posts.

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This facebook user states the Horse Expo gets smaller every year and heard one of the vendors say that the west coast is phasing out these events.

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This conversation of facebook users says they have started shopping online due to the prices and nothing of interest.  Another vendor says its too expensive to bring her horses.

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Everyone seems to agree prices are too high and with few vendors the prices will continue to increase.  Online sales for the same items are much cheaper.  The samples and freebies that were always a big part of the Horse Expo have all but disappeared as well.

Opening day in the past would draw large crowds.  This is Western States Horse Expo 2016.

batch_IMG_2806With the disappearing of vendors and animals and the decline in attendance from faithful patrons you would think the Horse Expo staff would find a way to excite and entice the horse lovers again.

With small crowds like this we aren’t sure even the clinicians will return for another year.

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Especially if the breeders aren’t even showing up.  This is where all the beautiful breeds should have been.  Over 1/3 of the original area was not even set up.

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Western States Horse Expo should consider lower entrance fees, lower vendor fees and allowing rescue animals like Parcey back to the grounds.  Without paying customers there is no Horse Expo.  We certainly hope next year does not continue the steady decline the last 3 years have proven or worse, disappear altogether.

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Our new shelter is just minutes from Sacramento and we’re open Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday 12-5pm.  We are all happy to have you stop by!