Mane Event Chilliwack, 2012

One of the Dans from Double Dan Horsemanship performs in the flaming bullwhip act.

If you were anywhere near the area of Chilliwack, BC, and you are a horse person – you had to be at the 2012 rendition of the Mane Event. From the Trainer’s Challenge, to clinics with masters of jumping, liberty training, reining, trail and driving, to breed presentations, shopping and hard core equine entertainment – the Mane Event is a not-to-be-missed expo for horse lovers.

Icelandic horses.

Having attended the very first Mane Event in Chilliwack nine years ago, and then not returning until 2012 due to life changes – I can tell you from personal experience that this equine expo has come a long ways. It is THE show to attend, if you are a horse lover. And if you’re not, well, I’m still certain you could’ve found something at Chilliwack Heritiage Park this past Oct. 19-21 that would have caught your eye…

Nikki Flundra trick riding during the Mane Event’s Saturday Night Extravaganza.

I’m trying to find the words to articulate what a success story this venue has become! Throughout the three days I spent in the tradeshow, I honestly met people who traveled in from the Yukon, Washington, Alberta, Saskatchewan… you name it. Visitors didn’t blink an eye at the thought of a 6, 10, 15 hour trip to attend the event – for some, vacations on the beach were scrapped for a chance to hit Chilliwack this October instead. And even though the weather outside was frightful, inside the place was packed.

Dan Steers of Double Dan Horsemanship performs a liberty act.

Participants could take part in all kinds of clinics. The clinician roster included Dr. Cesar Parra (Dressage), Jonathan Field (Equine Behaviour and more), Karen Scholl (Moving Through Fear), Dan James (Pathway to Liberty), JoLinn and Mitch Hoover (Extreme Mountain Trail), Nick Karazissis (Jumping) and my husband, Clay (Reining). Each clinic was filled with riders who wanted a chance to pick up a few tips and the spectating audience filled up the stands like I never expected.

Clay Webster executes a perfect sliding stop.

Particularly exciting was the Mane Event’s Saturday night exhibition, which featured many of the clinicians and their fantastic equines. Here is Dan James and two of the brokest horses I’ve ever seen in my life – his theme song “Me & My Gang” is still buzzing in my head…

Dan James and his bridleless, roman riding act.

I overheard from many that this year’s extravaganza was the best to date. And it’s easy to agree with those sentiments. As Clay was part of Saturday Night’s showcase, I got to experience – first-hand – the excitement of the crowd. The energy was intense. And anyone who was a horse person could appreciate all the work, training and passion that went into all of the horses that set a hoof into the main arena that night. Here is Dan Steers, who also won the highly anticipated Trainer’s Challenge.

Dan Steers and his liberty horses.

I additionally got a backstage look at the work that went into putting a display of this magnitude together! There were literally horses, riders, minis, stallions, everywhere…

A quick iPhone shot I snapped of Nikki Flundra and her apprentice, just before they entered the arena for the Saturday night extravaganza.

One of the drill teams prepares to enter.

And amongst the quick-change artists and the chaos, there were also a lot of sparkles:

Pic by Jenn Webster.

Then, the lights went out so we could be mesmerized by the antics of Double Dan’s Flaming Bullwhip presentation:

Dan Steers in the Flaming Bullwhips presentation.

After that, it was a glow-in-the-dark drill display by the Cariboo Cowgirls.

What a great event!! All I can say is, make plans to attend the 2013 Mane Events in both Red Deer and Chilliwack people! Make plans.

Thank-you to all of the Mane Event organizers for such a fantastic venue! And thank-you to Krystina and Kat Kowalick for lending me their great photographs!


  1. Lovely commentary!