KIRTLAND – The majestic beauty of the horse is yours to enjoy during HorseFest. Meet more than 20 breeds of horses from the very small to the very tall. Plus Farmpark’s own Percheron and Belgian draft teams. Experience the splendor and grace of the horse, and discover how they have been used by man throughout history for work and pleasure. Saddle up for family fun during HorseFest at Farmpark May 18 and 19. Hours are 9 am to 5 pm.
The Clemson Show Belgians from Chardon will amaze you as these mighty horses, weighing more than 2000 pounds each are hitched from tandem to four- and six-horse hitch. For their finale, feel the ground shake as eight giant Belgians thunder past Showman’s circle!
The premier mounted drill team of the State of Ohio is The Ohio Top Hands Rodeo Drill Team. Since 1998 The Ohio Top Hands have performed for fairs, horse expositions, festivals, rodeos and horse shows as far west as Reno, Nevada; as far east as Truro, Nova Scotia; north into Canada and south as far as Texas. They have participated in the Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade and The Indianapolis 500 Festival. They are professional champions of the American West, keeping alive the romance and tradition of the free spirit and beauty of the world of horses. Since 1999 twenty-three Top Hands horses have been made into collectible Peter Stone models and are available world-wide.
Find out about the different breeds, riding disciplines and uses for these versatile animals. You will see Clydesdales, Belgians, Friesians, Miniatures, and many more. HorseFest is an equine showcase offering a variety of hands-on activities, presentations, training techniques, and demonstrations for all ages to enjoy.
Learn to line drive as you take the reins of one of Farmpark’s mighty draft horses; a Farmpark equine staff member will walk with you. Hands-on children’s equine activities throughout the weekend include grooming, line driving and cart driving a miniature horse. Pony rides are available for $4, weather permitting.
Meet the Breed:
Throughout the day in Showman’s Circle you can enjoy one-on-one encounters with a variety of breeds of horses, including the Lusitano, Morgan, Norwegian Fjord and for the first time at HorseFest, the Black Forest Horse. The Black Forest horse, considered a draft type, is a rare and endangered breed native to Germany, currently there are only about 1000 in existence. A great photo opportunity!
New this year, the Trumbull Career and Technical Center Drill Team will demonstrate their skills (Sunday only). The Maypine Equestrian Center will show techniques of horse jumping both days.
The General’s Horse Guards Cavalry Squadron returns this year with another skill-at-arms competition. The mastery of weapons proficiency can mean the difference between life and death, victory and defeat. Skill-at-arms competitions are a way of encouraging excellence within the unit while skill-at-arms demonstrations are a way of engaging the public support.
During HorseFest visit vendors offering various equine-related products and services.
During your visit to Farmpark, milk a cow, take a horse or tractor-drawn wagon ride, make ice cream, meet farm animals in the Well Bred Shed and Barnyard, plus visit the Plant Science Center to explore The Great Tomato Works, solar and wind power, and hydroponics displays. Visit Farmpark’s Gift Shop for a great selection of unique gift ideas. Enjoy lunch or snack at the J & J Cafe.
Admission to HorseFest is $6 for ages 2 to 11; ages 60 and over, $5; ages 2 to 11, $4; Farmpark members and children younger than two are free. 4-H groups receive discounted admission. For more information visit lakemetroparks.com or call 440-256-2122 or 800-366-FARM (3276).