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Horsemen’s Council of Illinois is bringing its successful Equestrian Lifestyle Expo Nov. 21-22 to the large Chicagoland horse market for its second year. 

“Sponsored by Purina Feeds, this year’s Expo moves into the spacious new Lake County Fairgrounds’ Expo Center in Grayslake, Ill. – 65,000 square feet all on one level,” according to Joy Meierhans, Expo manager. 

“Located west of I-94 at the intersection of Peterson and Midlothian Roads, the new Fairgrounds provides lots of free parking with easy in and out access,” Meierhans said. 

Lake County is ideally situated to attract horsemen from both the Chicago and Milwaukee metro areas, aided by excellent interstate highway access.

“Positive response from the many returning vendors has been very encouraging,” Meierhans said in explaining how people are reacting to the move. “The new Fairgrounds facilities were not yet finished when the Horsemen’s Council launched the event last year, but we think we now have a ‘home’ for Expo for years to come,” she said.

The all-breed equestrian trade show will present products and services for current horse owners and the one in three households wanting to own or ride a horse in the future, according to Horse Industry Alliance research.

“Like last year, this year’s Expo will not have horses on site, but will have a large educational component, featuring leading clinicians, nutritionists, veterinary specialists and researchers in the forefront of equine understanding,” Meierhans said.

Vendors will include those with English and Western tack and clothing for all breeds and disciplines; feed, supplements, health care products; and facilities, equipment and stable supplies, such as barns, stalls, fencing, generators and gaiters, Meierhans explained.

With only 30 days until Christmas, there will be a special emphasis on holiday gifts, including jewelry, art, books, stationery and home/barn/lounge accessories. 

Appealing to folks interested in becoming part of the equestrian lifestyle will be the clubs and associations representing breeds and disciplines. HCI member clubs will qualify for reduced exhibitor rates.

Complete exhibitor and attendee information will be posted as it becomes available at Exhibitor application forms will be the first items to appear on the site, followed by speakers and their program listings. 

Lake and adjacent McHenry are the top two counties in Illinois horse population, and “Industry estimates from the American Horse Council and Illinois Department of Agriculture tell us that nearly a third of all the horses in Illinois are in the northern 23 (of 102) counties – more than 65,000 of them – from the I-80 corridor on up,” according to Dr. Kevin Kline, University of Illinois professor and an HCI director. 

“What these figures do not tell us, but which we have seen from participation in hunt/jump, dressage and saddle seat – and heard from other equestrian associations,” Kline said, “is that in addition to all its Western riders, Chicagoland also is home to substantial numbers of English riders, mostly women, mostly with higher than average income. So, a pre-holiday shopping opportunity for all things ‘horsy’ is a natural.” 

For information on exhibiting, contact Joy Meierhans at (630) 557-2575 or