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Woodside plans a weekend of fun celebrating the Day of the Horse

Riders Melinda Stoker and Suzie Bruch celebrate the Oktoberfest theme of Day of The Horse in 2021. Photo by Maggie Mah.

With its world-class trails and equestrian facilities, Woodside is a haven for people who love horses. And each year, on the second weekend in October, the entire town turns out to celebrate The Day of The Horse.

The event is put on by WHOA! (Woodside Area Horse Owners Association) and is intended not only to pay tribute to horses but also to provide an opportunity for everyone to get to know them and understand their importance in contemporary society.

The Day of the Horse now includes a range of horse-centric events and takes place over three days with "Horses in History" as the theme for this year.

Festivities begin Friday, Oct. 7, with an opening reception and Art of the Horse Youth Art Show, which will showcase original equestrian-themed artwork by young local artists. The event, which includes food, drinks and live music, is free of charge and takes place from 6-8 p.m. at Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty, 2989 Woodside Road.

Don DeFranco is the organizer of the event and when asked why the show is focused on youth, he explained, "Childhood is often where the love of horses is first expressed. Any medium that is accessible to a child can be used and colors don't matter. It's pure joy."

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A panel of judges will determine the winners who will also be featured in the WHOA! 2023 Calendar. Prizes include riding lessons, trail rides, gift cards to The Carousel and Olsen Nolte Saddlery.

Artists 18 years and younger are invited to submit their work for the show.

The Progressive Trail Ride is the signature event for Day of the Horse and takes place on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Horses and riders take to the trails throughout the town and costumes are encouraged for both riders and horses. "Horses in History" is this year's theme, which should make for some spectacular spectating. (Bucephalus and Alexander the Great? Rocinante and Don Quixote? Seabiscuit? Oh, yes Lady Godiva!) Costumes will be judged at each ride stop with winners announced and prizes awarded after the ride.

Anne Van Camp, a member of the WHOA! Steering Committee, is planning to ride with her horse, "Prime Delivery," appropriately done up as a Pony Express horse and rider. "Horses continue to be a focus in Woodside but their numbers are at risk in our modern era. The theme 'Horses in History' seemed appropriate to highlight the historic importance of these noble creatures," she said about this year's celebration.

Riders participating in the Progressive Trail Ride are required to register before the ride. For more information, go to whoa94062.org.

The Horse Fair at Town Hall run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, and offers a wide range of fun and educational ways for all ages to connect with horses. Although the pandemic forced a temporary switch to a drive-thru format, it turned out to be a resounding success with over 1,000 attendees, many of whom were delighted kids.

"This year we are excited to be back with all of the exhibitors and demonstrations. The community has really come together," said Kristina Chancholo, coordinator of the Horse Fair.

Mini horse, “Patches,” greets visitors at the 2021 Horse Fair Pony Rides. Photo by Maggie Mah.

In addition to equine exhibits, the fair offers interactive activities such as cookie decorating, a coloring booth, face painting, leather crafting and pony rides. A free plush pony will be given to the first 100 kids who come to the Horse Fair.

Pony rides are a short distance away from Town Hall on Woodside Road across from the library.

The Woodside History Museum will be open during the Horse Fair with exhibits featuring Woodside's equestrian history. The museum is located across the parking lot from Independence Hall, and admission and all activities are free.

Along with the community activities, Day of the Horse is a major fundraising effort for WHOA! Through proceeds and donations, the group has contributed over $235,000 to various local projects including the Folger Barn Preservation, Woodside Jr. Riders, Town of Woodside Trails, the Center Trail Bridge, "Spring and Sprite" sculptures on Village Hill and college scholarships to local teens.

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Woodside plans a weekend of fun celebrating the Day of the Horse

by Maggie Mah / Contributor

Uploaded: Sun, Oct 2, 2022, 4:09 pm

With its world-class trails and equestrian facilities, Woodside is a haven for people who love horses. And each year, on the second weekend in October, the entire town turns out to celebrate The Day of The Horse.

The event is put on by WHOA! (Woodside Area Horse Owners Association) and is intended not only to pay tribute to horses but also to provide an opportunity for everyone to get to know them and understand their importance in contemporary society.

The Day of the Horse now includes a range of horse-centric events and takes place over three days with "Horses in History" as the theme for this year.

Festivities begin Friday, Oct. 7, with an opening reception and Art of the Horse Youth Art Show, which will showcase original equestrian-themed artwork by young local artists. The event, which includes food, drinks and live music, is free of charge and takes place from 6-8 p.m. at Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty, 2989 Woodside Road.

Don DeFranco is the organizer of the event and when asked why the show is focused on youth, he explained, "Childhood is often where the love of horses is first expressed. Any medium that is accessible to a child can be used and colors don't matter. It's pure joy."

A panel of judges will determine the winners who will also be featured in the WHOA! 2023 Calendar. Prizes include riding lessons, trail rides, gift cards to The Carousel and Olsen Nolte Saddlery.

Artists 18 years and younger are invited to submit their work for the show.

The Progressive Trail Ride is the signature event for Day of the Horse and takes place on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Horses and riders take to the trails throughout the town and costumes are encouraged for both riders and horses. "Horses in History" is this year's theme, which should make for some spectacular spectating. (Bucephalus and Alexander the Great? Rocinante and Don Quixote? Seabiscuit? Oh, yes Lady Godiva!) Costumes will be judged at each ride stop with winners announced and prizes awarded after the ride.

Anne Van Camp, a member of the WHOA! Steering Committee, is planning to ride with her horse, "Prime Delivery," appropriately done up as a Pony Express horse and rider. "Horses continue to be a focus in Woodside but their numbers are at risk in our modern era. The theme 'Horses in History' seemed appropriate to highlight the historic importance of these noble creatures," she said about this year's celebration.

Riders participating in the Progressive Trail Ride are required to register before the ride. For more information, go to whoa94062.org.

The Horse Fair at Town Hall run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, and offers a wide range of fun and educational ways for all ages to connect with horses. Although the pandemic forced a temporary switch to a drive-thru format, it turned out to be a resounding success with over 1,000 attendees, many of whom were delighted kids.

"This year we are excited to be back with all of the exhibitors and demonstrations. The community has really come together," said Kristina Chancholo, coordinator of the Horse Fair.

In addition to equine exhibits, the fair offers interactive activities such as cookie decorating, a coloring booth, face painting, leather crafting and pony rides. A free plush pony will be given to the first 100 kids who come to the Horse Fair.

Pony rides are a short distance away from Town Hall on Woodside Road across from the library.

The Woodside History Museum will be open during the Horse Fair with exhibits featuring Woodside's equestrian history. The museum is located across the parking lot from Independence Hall, and admission and all activities are free.

Along with the community activities, Day of the Horse is a major fundraising effort for WHOA! Through proceeds and donations, the group has contributed over $235,000 to various local projects including the Folger Barn Preservation, Woodside Jr. Riders, Town of Woodside Trails, the Center Trail Bridge, "Spring and Sprite" sculptures on Village Hill and college scholarships to local teens.

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