By Lindsay Doty
With its coal-black coat, thick mane and tail, and powerhouse legs, the high-stepping Friesian horse is often a crowd favorite. The breed from the Netherlands gained popularity after playing a stallion named Goliath in the movie “Ladyhawke” (80s fans you know who you are) and has recently appeared in hits like “Game of Thrones.”
The horse is one 32 breeds that will be featured at the 41st annual Hoosier Horse Fair & Expo.
“People enjoy looking at them. They are just a magnificent breed,” Victoria Hill, vice president of the Indiana Horse Council, said.
The three-day event (May 3-5) will be held at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex in Danville for the first time after spending years at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
“This has been a boost for our event and we are excited to move it out to Danville,” Hill said. “It was great to be downtown, but we needed a more horse-friendly venue. This suits our needs perfectly. We have grass, we have room. It couldn’t be more perfectly laid out for us.”
The event is designed to promote the care and appreciation for all things horses.
It includes performances, a horse pull, a 4-H competition, educational presentations and lots of unique vendors.
“We get folks who want to come out to see a horse trailer or a new show outfit or a saddle, things of that nature,” Hill said. “I love the Parade of Breeds. It is interesting for people to see some of the breeds they have never seen before.”
Organizers expect a crowd of more than 10,000 people.
“For the horse people, it is really a big family reunion,” Hill said. It’s true we are a tight-knit group and we do things to help each other out, and this is the one time a year we get to all see each other. There is a lot of love.”
Both weekend nights have a show that’s included in the price. The Friday Night Thunder performance will feature horses jumping through a ring of fire. Other popular acts include Dean Woodbury and the Blue Ribbon Percherons and Melissa Ashcraft from Transitions Equestrian Center and her stallions.
The Saturday Night Showcase offers a night of music with professional equestrian performers.
If you go:
Hoosier Horse Fair & Expo
Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex
1900 E Main Danville
Friday & Saturday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday Night Thunder and Saturday Night Showcase start at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online at Hooseirhorsefair.org.
Adult tickets are $15 or $40 for a three-day pass.,
Youth tickets (6-12 yrs) are $8 online.
Kids 6 and under are free.