Friday, May 26, 2017

Illinois Horse Fair

by Sue Cole, Senior Editor
photos by Lenice Basham. PairADice Mules
LOREN leading a young mule during a clinic
The 28th Illinois Horse Fair was held March 3-5, 2017 at the State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. This 3-day event is produced by Horsemen’s Council of Illinois located in Quincy. Theme for this year’s event was Horses & Heroes. 
A very reasonable advance admission fee could be purchased at a discounted rate, or at the gate for a slightly higher fee. This fee entitled those attending to all events on the grounds, including 40,000 square feet of “shop ‘til you drop” vendors booths selling fashion, tack, gear, equipment, beautiful trailers of all sizes and price, nutrition information for your mules and donkeys, along with a large variety of food for yourself. Along with all the entertainment, the admission fee entitled you to a full-color, educational program that included a schedule of the activities, as well as advertising for equine products and events.
Two separate arenas were in use for mule and horse clinics, along with breed and sport exhibitions, a stallion parade and horses for sale. Carriage and wagon rides were provided for those attending also.
During the weekend awards were presented to horse and horseman of the year. There was a celebration of veterans, law enforcement, first responders and therapy groups.
Clinics and educational programs were presented throughout the weekend, with Loren Basham of PairADice Mules, Belle, Mo. giving six individual clinics on Building a Braver Young Mule and Strengthening the Connection for Mature Mules. At Basham’s final clinic Saturday afternoon there was a packed house. Loren, and his wife, Lenice, were kept busy between clinics visiting with, and answering questions about mules, in the stall area. His choice of a mount for the weekend was an extremely personable 10-year-old sorrel molly mule, Mary Lou. Mary Lou is consigned to the upcoming Jake Clark Saddle Mule Auction in Wyoming.

We were glad to see mules included in this very entertaining, educational event. 

A demonstrator at the Horse Fair

LOREN working with a young mule


LENICE answers mule questions prior to the clinic

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