By Gavriel Gray, 2nd year Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management, Equine Management major student
The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is an 18-day fair held annually at the end of August in Toronto, Ontario. Visitors come to enjoy the variety of events hosted by the CNE reflecting the charming character of Toronto and the surrounding area while highlighting historical traditions. The CNE attracts youth to the equine industry through two main attractions: Horsepower Live and Horse Capades, both of which are free after general admission to the CNE, increasing the attractiveness of these events to potential visitors.
Horsepower Live showcases the horse in an entertainment setting designed to rouse the interest of youth. The show involves performances of creative barrel racing, prancing pole bending, galloping musical chairs, trick riding and roping, followed by various horse-related games. Youth spectators are encouraged to cheer on performers during the show and have the opportunity to meet performers after the show to learn more about becoming involved in the equine industry.
Horse Capades is an engaging, interactive introduction to the equine industry targeting youth. The program seeks to allow youth to experience interacting with horses, while discovering the nature of horses, learning basic horse care requirements, and meeting new people who share an interest in the equine industry. Horse Capades encourages groups and individuals to participate in activities including pony rides, meeting police horses, petting horses, guessing horses’ weight, and information sessions regarding horse grooming and shoeing. Horse Capades and the CNE also include EquiMania! to further enhance interactive and educational opportunities for youth. Such partnerships between Equine Guelph and other organizations create a powerful basis for furthering youth engagement in the equine industry.
The 2018 CNE will be held August 17 to September 3 at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. Tickets are currently being sold at a discount price until the first day of the fair. The Horsepower Live, Horse Capades, and EquiMania! events will be running in the 2018 fair and are expected to have even more equine games and learning experiences for youth to enjoy.