Business in the Front, Party in the Back: 7 Things We Loved About the AEC Trade Fair

By day the 2015 Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships Trade Fair was a shopping smorgasbord, featuring booths full of equestrian et cetera we need/want/have-to-have. When dusk rolled around, however, the big indoor got rowdy on us, each evening hosting some sort of Texas-style shindig. From two-stepping on the dance floor to beef brisket and a mechanical bull, the USEA and Area V know how to throw a party!


Here were a few of our favorite features:

1. This opportunity to grace the cover of Eventing USA.


How you’d LIKE to look jumping into the Head of the Lake:


How you’d ACTUALLY look jumping into the Head of the Lake:


2. Tall boots living in peace and harmony with cowboy boots.

La Mudial Custom Boots is equal opportunity.


Tall boots with fringe? Now there’s an idea for you, La Mundial. And the dog… I can’t even.


3. Shirts galore.

I’m totally snagging one of these official 2015 American Eventing Championships shirts. Not only do they look sharp, they’re made of a lightweight tech fabric possibly inspired by the toasty Texas climate. (It’s 90 degrees here, guys. 90 degrees!)


Here they are modeled by the amazing and infinitely color-coordinated USEA crew. Want one for yourself? We hear there may be a few available after the event from the USEA Shop, in addition to other assorted logo gear.


More sassy shirts, like these Phyllis Stein originals from Exceptional Equestrian.


And I know what Jenni is getting for Christmas!


4. Sweet sales.

I do not even know what is on this rack, but I’m probably going to buy it.


5. Shiny objects.

Texas is all about some big, sparkly belt buckles and gratuitous bling. Gotta have the bell boots to match!

BeFunky Collage

6. Texas. Beer. Garden.


Looks like somebody had one too many. Check out EN on Instagram @goeventing to see what shenanigans led up to this sad, sad moment.


7. And last but not least this mechanical bull, which showed up for the competitor’s party.


They say the better you are at eventing, the worse you probably are at riding a mechanical bull. The trick to staying aboard a machine designed to buck you off (which you’d THINK you’d be great at — I mean, you’ve been training your whole life for this moment, right?) is to do basically everything every trainer has ever told you never to do, like pinch with your knees, point your toes down, lean forward and cling desperately to the bull’s neck.

Which explains why this talented young rider got spun in approximately 2.5 seconds…

…while I lasted practically forever.

Go Riding!

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