Rocky Mountain Horse Expo
Clinicians and Speakers
The announcer for the 2015 Expo is Wayne Williams of the radio and online TV show, "Speaking of Horses." Horse enthusiasts will find him all weekend long in and around the Expo complex. Click on his picture above (or here) to watch a short promo of the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo!
(See more bios of the clinicians by clicking on the "Clinicians A to L
" and "Clinicians M to Z
" links above.)
Shawna Karrasch spent nearly ten years working to perfect her training skills not with horses, but in the pools at Sea World of California with killer whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals. Her infectious enthusiasm, sense of humor, and rapport with an audience, put her center-stage in the Sea World show. She also worked backstage with show producers, facilitating the writing, blocking, and staging of performances.
Shawna built steadily on her academic foundations. She assisted in directing the daily maintenance of the mammal facilities; which included training programs, meal preparation, medical distribution, scheduled feedings, daily exercise, and assisting with veterinary procedures from X-rays to minor surgeries.
In 1992, Shawna was invited to attend her first grand prix show jumping event in Del Mar, California. As an animal trainer, Shawna was curious to learn more about how horses were trained, and was fascinated by the possibility of applying Sea World's tried and true system to horses.
Two years later, Shawna took her first horseback-riding lesson at the Rancho Riding Club in Rancho Santa Fe, California. There she met Vinton Karrasch, a veteran of the grand prix circuit, who became her husband and business partner.
Luis Fernando Villegas
Luis Fernando Villegas is an internationally acknowledged artistic-rider with a special sensibility with horses. He has been baptized "Gitano" at the Spanish City of Cadiz, and has traveled large portions of America and Europe training, correcting and presenting horses in some of the most important art festivals of the world.
His equestrian knowledge as well as his skill and experience, acquired over 28 years as a rider have granted him special invitations to the most important riding schools in Europe: Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria; École Nacional de Equitation, Cadre Noir de Saumur, France; Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre, España y Escola Portuguesa d'Arte Equestre, Portugal.
Luis Fernando is specialized in Classical Riding. He is recipient of two scholarships by the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre for the higher level courses with Olympic Silver Medal winning teachers: Rafael Soto and Ignacio Rambla.
Other courses he has attended have enriched him as a rider and trainer: Driving, Liberty work and Natural Horse Methods of Training.
He has been consultant, equestrian choreographer, actor trainer as well as opera and theater actor for international productions and plays that have been toured through Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, England, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Brazil, and the main cities in the United States, amongst other.
Luis Fernando has worked with well known artists and large scale producers such as: Ric Birch (producer of the Atlanta and Beijing Olympic Games); director Marco Balich (director of the Venice Festival); and the famed and prized theater director Claudio Valdés Kuri, with whom he has worked as a consultant, equestrian choreographer and rider in some of his productions.
Beyond riding, Luis Fernando has a successful and varied career in Communication Media. He has conducted TV and radio shows, and is the equestrian sport commentator for Mexico's most important radio news broadcaster. He directs and edits the Equestrian magazine "OH! La Guía Ecuestre" since 2004.
In 2008 he founded the first Mexican Equestrian Concept Show Company: ESCUADRA MARENGO.
Eitan has had a long and rewarding career in the show ring. He has won many world and national titles in the Morgan Show Horse industry. With many western pleasure world wins with his open horses and even more with his junior western pleasure and futurity horses Eitan set a standard in the Western Division for Morgan Horses. His horses are easily recognizable with a very round Baroque look to them. They were beautifully bridled and soft in the hands with self carriage and balanced movement. His horses became his trademark and his “art.”
Eitan has retired from the show ring and public training. He now devotes his time to teaching. He runs a clinic program at his Wolf Creek Ranch during the winter and spring month. When not at home you can find him on the road nation wide teaching his “Cowboy Dressage.” In May of each year Eitan and Debbie are key figures in the production and participation at Light Hands Horsemanship held in Santa Ynez each year. Eitan was honored by being asked to bring his “Cowboy Dressage” to the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany by opening the closing ceremony and again in 2010 in Lexington, KY as highlight performances during the opening ceremonies.