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updated: 4/18/2014 6:12 AM

Attendance up 2 percent at Midwest Horse Fair

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Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. -- Attendance was up this year at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison.

Officials say despite rain and thunderstorms last weekend attendance hit nearly 55,000 people at the three-day fair, an increase of 2 percent over 2013.

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According to the fair, the event's estimated economic impact on the Madison area was $8.4 million, which includes spending at local hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses.

This year was the first time the event hosted two nights of PRCA Rodeo. Tickets nearly sold out for Friday night's rodeo and sold out on Saturday. The event also featured the world's tallest donkey and horse.

It was the third-highest attendance in the event's 35 year history. The most was in 2010 when 56,000 people attended.

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