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You can learn all about horses at Lake Metroparks Farmpark's annual HorseFest

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A family-firendly, educational outing that all ages will enjoy, Lake Metroparks Farmpark's annual HorseFest on Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18 in Kirtland, Ohio is a showcase and a celebration of these magnificent animals. It is approximately a 30 minute drive from Cleveland.

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HorseFest Guests will be able to learn all about various breeds of horses and discover how these versatile animals have contributed to society throughout history. HorseFest will feature presentations, hands-on activities, riding disciplines, training techniques and demonstrations.

This year's HorseFest will spotlight more than 20 breeds of horses in all sizes and shapes including Friesians, Belgians, miniature horses and the giant Percheron draft horses. At the Meet the Breed event, visitors can interact with horse breeds like Buckskin Gypsy Vanner, Lusitano, Norwegian Fjord and the Black Forest Horse. Native to Germany, the Black Forest Horse is a rare and endangered breed. Currently there are only about 1000 in the world.

Kids are invited to come dressed as a cowboy or a cowgirl. Hands-on children's activities include grooming a miniature horse or donkey, participating in a new kids cowboy agility test, making a stick horse, cart driving a miniature horse, participating in mounted archery and line driving a miniature horse.

HorseFest will also feature a mounted unit competition, a Western encampment to visit and the opportunity to drive a draft horse (a Farmpark staff member will accompany you).

There will be a variety of demonstrations for visitors to enjoy including jumping demonstrations (by Little Glen), a Cavalcade of Breeds, a demonstration by the Governor General's Guard Horse Calvary Squadron and a blacksmithing demonstration. This year there will also be a therapeutic riding demonstration presented by Fieldstone Farms.

Make sure you check out the performance by the Trumbull Career and Technical Center Drill Team (Sunday only).

One of the highlights of HorseFest will be a performance of Cowboy Mounted Shooting, a contest that will test horsemanship, skills and shooting ability while riders navigate through a course.

Another must-see presentation includes the Clemson Show Belgians from Chardon with their mighty horses weighing more than 2000 pounds each. Can you hear the thunder of their hooves and feel the ground shake as 6 giant Belgians roar past Showman's Circle?

And you will be amazed by the Ohio Top Hands Rodeo Drill Team, the state's premier mounted drill team that has performed all over North America.

While at HorseFest be sure to make a stop at the Fieldstone Farm Tack Market where a used tack sale will be going on. Riding apparel, saddles, horse blankets, boots, brushes, bridles and wraps will be among the items for purchase. The Market will be located in front of the Visitors Center.

Hours for HorseFest are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults (12-59), $5 for seniors (60+) and $4 for children (2-11). Children younger than 22 are free.

For more information about the Lake Metroparks Farmpark's HorseFest call 440-256-2122 or 800-366-3276 or get online at www.lakemetroparks.com.

Lake Metroparks Farmpark is located at 8899 Euclid Chardon Rd. in Kirtland, Ohio. Kirtland is 22 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 30 minute drive.

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