The Montana Festival of the Horse, July 8-10 at the historic Missoula Fairgrounds and Events Center, includes an expo, performances by Ma’Ceo, the Lazy Cowpoke Jamboree, a Parade of Breeds, a trade show, trail rides, an Equine Art Extravaganza, and a three-day music festival.
Ma’ Ceo, Cavallo Equestrian Arts, perform two shows each day, followed by a high-caliber music festival, the Lazy Cowpoke Jamboree at 5 p.m. daily.
Cavallo Equestrian Arts offers a high-energy Gypsy-themed acrobatic equestrian stunt show, featuring ground tumbling, Cossack trick riding, Roman riding, Dressage, and classic bareback riding aboard several exotic breeds of horses. Performances are noon and 3 p.m. daily.
The jamboree, which opens at 5 p.m. daily, boasts top-notch talent and original performances by the Hot Club of Cowtown, Eilen Jewell and Charlie Parr, and a rare performance by Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs. Local favorites also take turns on stage, including The Cold Hard Cash Show, Tom Catmull’s Static Radio, Shane Clouse and Jimni.
World-class lecturers, clinicians and equine performances showcase the strength and beauty of Montana’s horse culture and history. Legendary back-country horseman Smoke Elser offers a clinic; other presenters include National Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee and famed photographer Barbara Van Cleve, world champion bull-rider Jonnie Jonckowski, world-class hat maker Sheila Kirkpatrick, and Miles City’s first female pick-up rider, poet Ann Secrest Hanson.
Northern Cheyenne Chief Phillip Whiteman Jr. will share his Medicine Wheel Model, and Brandon Carpenter and Jeff Patterson offer clinics and new perspectives on horsemanship.
Gate admission grants access to both the horse expo and music festival. Young and old, experienced horseman or newcomers, all attendees are welcome to explore, appreciate and enjoy a worthwhile weekend.
Tickets are $10-$21 daily for the expo and music festival ($40 for families and free for 6 and under); and $35-$95 for Ma’Ceo performances (includes festival admission).