What a great activity this would be to promote the standardbred to non-racing individuals who may be interested in purchasing or adopting an off-the-track standardbred. Once would hope this would take place at other events which lend itself to equine activity with local personalities from the harness racing community. Consider it an afternoon investment in the future of the horses which helped you make a living.
In case you missed the article on the USTA website, her is the article in its entirety.
The following first appeared on the USTA website on December 7, 2015.
Standardbreds participate in Christmas in Middleburg parade
Monday, December 07, 2015 - by Ted Black
Middleburg, VA --- Harness racing was well represented at the 33rd annual Christmas in Middleburg parade. A record breaking crowd of an estimated 25,000 were on hand to cheer the parade participants for an event that stopped traffic in all directions.
|Photo courtesy of the author|
|An overflow crowd was on hand at the 33rd annual Christmas in Middleburg parade.|
Freddie Hudson and Judy Bokman organized harness racing’s participation under the banner of the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. The SRF was well supported by the harness racing community with the USTA supplying coloring books, Hoof Beats magazines and fan guides. The Hambletonian Society supplied pins, horse buttons and Foiled Again toy horses, while the SRF, Meadowlands and Rosecroft raceways supplied literature that was passed out to the spectators.
Volunteers Michell Graham and Rachel Rhodes brought their horses Seadog and Cowboy to act as the SRF escort.
“When we came around the corner to start of the parade it was like “wow” -- look at all those people.” Graham said. “Our horses are now broke to and unfazed by alpacas, bagpipes, marching bands and bells in their mane, tails and on their saddlepads.”
Other volunteers included Clarissa Coughlin, Susan Arrington, and Nancy and Art Lisi.
“I knew that this parade was big, but I never expected to see this many people,” Nancy Lisi said. "It was like being in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.”
There were 83 participants in the parade that included politicians, marching bands, auto clubs, 100 motorcycles, floats, and beauty queens, plus many horse clubs including the Mexican Mariachi's with their own band and 160 riders. Also on hand were the Washington Redskins Players and Cheerleaders Alumni. The cheerleaders paid the SRF a visit and posed for several pictures with the car decorated by the SRF.