The Greater Omaha Chamber marketing team is on the move – experiencing the sights, sounds, creativity and tastes that typify our region. We’re exploring our community and encourage you to check out these Greater Omaha gems – because best-kept secrets are best uncovered.
The International Omaha is a unique equine event in the Midwest. It pairs high performance competition with a fan-friendly horse expo that makes it a destination event for horse enthusiasts from throughout the area.
Over 3,000 school children will flood the free Horse Discovery Zone, which includes a Gallery of Breeds, a new “History of Horses in Nebraska” exhibit, artwork, live demonstrations and hands-on learning areas. For many students, this is their first time seeing and interacting with live horses. Children have the opportunity to ask the riders questions, pet the horses and learn about the different breeds.
This area is free and open to the public over the course of the four days.
The interactive booths showcase industry education such as the art of blacksmith, grooming techniques, veterinary care and nutrition.
We had fun joining in on the action too!
The Expo area also includes a Boutique Shopping Village with a variety of equine-related vendors, plus a beer garden atmosphere at the Tailgate Lounge, which is beside the warm-up area.
The $100,000 InIt2WinIt Speed Jumping Final on Friday night will open and close with a Salute to Military and First Responders, featuring Jimmy Weber singing the national anthem and tributes to the Gold Star mothers as well as the moving riderless horse ceremony.
The Dressage Team Challenge will reach a climax on Saturday with the Musical Freestyle, always a crowd-pleaser, and the crowning of the Dressage Team Challenge.
On Saturday afternoon, horse enthusiasts have an opportunity to watch and learn from world-renowned jumper icon George H. Morris, who will demonstrate his teaching techniques with some of the Midwest’s most talented equitation riders, in the Jumping Showcase.
Olympic Gold Medalist Hubertus Schmidt of Germany offers his expertise in the Dressage Showcase on Friday. Both Schmidt and Morris will also present free demonstrations in the demo arena during the International. This is a rare opportunity for horse enthusiasts to see and learn from the absolute best athletes who have helped shape the sport.
The Omaha Equestrian Foundation hosted the FEI World Cup Finals in two Olympic disciplines, jumping and dressage. This event brought visitors from some 42 countries as well as the top horses and riders in the world to Omaha to compete for the world championship in each event. It was heralded by McLain Ward winning the jumping championship and bringing the World Cup back to the United States.
The FEI lauded the Omaha World Cup and said Omaha had “changed the way the sport is presented in North America”.