Equestrians Still Flock to Menlo Charity Horse Show
RELEASE: July 6, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Nan Chapman
Despite the downturn in the economy, over 500 equestrians, including Will Simpson, a Team Gold medalist in show jumping at the 2008 Olympics, have made plans to compete in the 39th Menlo Charity Horse Show. According to the show's founder, Betsy Glikbarg of Atherton, "We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to hold our own this year, especially when other similar events have lost up to 40% of their past entries. "Of course," she said, "It definitely added to our appeal when we were voted 'One of the Best Horse Shows in North America,' by the subscribers of PhelpsSports.com and that the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame recognized us as 'One of the Best Shows in 2008.'"
This year's show, which features continuous jumping in three arenas, will take place August 4 through the 9 at the Menlo Circus Club, at 190 Park Lane, Atherton from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Amid all the activity and excitement, there will be an aura of sadness—Stuart Whittelsey of Woodside, a 20-year committee member passed away this June from ALS. Whittelsey received a BA from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard, and although he was a highly successful CFO for several Silicon Valley start up companies, his passion was horses. It was his responsibility to procure the flag-bearing color guards for the horse show's evening events. "Each year, the spectators proclaimed that this was the best presentation of the colors ever," said Glikbarg. Another member of the horse show committee stated that, "Stu will be remembered for his love of horses and his commitment to this horse show and to its mission of helping others." The 2009 Horse Show has been dedicated to his memory.
As it has in past years, the 2009 Menlo Charity Horse Show will benefit Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired. Last year's event raised a record-breaking $500,000, a $30,000 increase over the previous year. In 2008, Vista Center saw and assisted thousands of clients in San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties and throughout its association with the horse show, it has been the recipient of several million dollars. The goal of the center is to make self-reliance possible for the more than 2000 visually impaired people in the community.
Highlights of the six-day event include The Rector Audi & Audi American Ryman Speed Jumping Class Friday evening at 6 p.m., the $10,000 Grand Hunter Challenge on Saturday afternoon, the $40,000 Grand Prix Saturday at 6.pm. and the perennial crowd pleaser, the Childrens under 6, Lead Line Class Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. Over 40 vendors will be offering jewelry, clothing and items for the home, garden and stable during all six days of the show.
A gala Sponsors' Dinner Dance titled "Spirit of the Horse" will immediately follow Friday evening's Speed Jumping Class. Underwritten by Laura A. Strasburg, the evening includes a silent and live auction. Among the items to be auctioned off are: a framed giclee of the official artwork for the 2009 horse show by Dr. Barrett Bryan of Atherton. Named "Rhapsody," it is valued at $3,000; a platinum and diamond cascading necklace, set with 10.18 carats colorless diamonds, donated by Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry at the Rosewood Hotel, on Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, which is valued at $30,000, and a "once in a lifetime" wine excursion sponsored and hosted by Quintessa Winery in Napa.
Dinner reservations cost $200 per person. Complimentary parking will be provided. For further information, email Sally Tennyson at firstname.lastname@example.org
, or call (650) 322-7686
Admission for the horseshow performances is $10 per day, or $35 for a six-day pass. Children under 12 and seniors over 65 are admitted free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, and the club house and coffee shop will be open to the public each day. There's ample on-street parking with shuttle service provided