LaGrangeCountyis finding its name out on the national stage more and more as large events find their way to county venues.
This weekend saw hundreds of people from across the country as well as Canada coming to the Michiana Event Center (MEC) north of Howe for the National Clydesdale Sale, hosted by the Clydesdale Breeders of the U.S.A.
The organization’s secretary, Cathy Behn, noted that the sale has been held for around 25 years every April. “It’s our Clydesdale family reunion,” she stated. Along with the sales, seminars and vendors, the event is also an opportunity for them to promote new membership.
Clydesdales are one of the most well-known breeds of draft horses, made famous by the Budweiser Clydesdales. They were present as well in Howe, as Budweiser brought seven horses to the sale, including one that was being sold to support a scholarship program. In all, the sale had close to 170 horses for sale, as well as tack and collectibles.
The sale was trying out the new facility this year, and Behn said they were enjoying the MEC. “The board has all been positive on the facility and the area. The people here are spectacular,” Behn noted.
The association was enjoying the spaciousness of the facility, which allowed them to have everything under one roof. Previous locations required that different parts of the sale be held in different buildings. It was also handy for all of those traveling cross-country to get here, as I80-90 is a major east-west route. Another attraction was plenty of area lodging. “It just possessed a lot of things for us,” Behn said.
The area’s love for horses and continued daily use of draft horses meant there is also a strong local interest in the sale and the association.
Kara Garrett of the MEC said that the association’s board met Sunday before leaving town and has already given the go-ahead to hold the 2013 sale in LaGrange County. The exact date of the sale will be determined later.
“Their board was ecstatic,” Garrett said. “They utilized every part of the building and even some outside.”
Garrett said that the association also indicated that, if the MEC expands its equine facilities, it could potentially host the World Clydesdale Show in the future.
That would place the county on the world map for people to discover and visit.