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Member, Association's Board
"The most recent homeowners constantly defend their property from preservation efforts," says Donna Poy of Woodside-Area Horse Owners' Association, "It's a real hot topic in this area."
"We'd like to see Woodside as a sort of Mecca for horses," said an optimistic Donna Poy, chair of the Woodside Horse Owners Association, "With these trails systems and heritage, the town has the pull for equestrians."
"Foldger's Stable needs to be a community barn," urged Poy during an interview, "not exclusive to a particular breed of horse or discipline of riding, but a place for everyone." Another project WHOA promotes is its annual Woodside Day of the Horse, a program intended to bring the horse community out in the open and make residents aware of the programs and resources available for both children and adults involving horses. This years event on October 13 was hailed a great success by coordinators and participants alike with attendance up 25% from last year. The day featured rides on the Wells Fargo Stagecoach pulled by a team of four large draft horses, demonstrations by the Woodside Vaulters, booths featuring the Mounted Search and Rescue and Trail Preservation Unit, and a presentation by a local Ferrier on how to shoe horses. "It's nice to see the community take advantage of something that is already a part of the heritage," Poy said during Day of the Horse.
Three of the Midpeninsula's biggest boosters of equestrian causes are to be feted on Saturday, January 28: Richard Delucchi and Donna Poy of Woodside, and Ernst Meissner of Menlo Park. Mr. Delucchi is the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County's outstanding horseperson-citizen of 2005, and Mr. Meissner and Ms. Poy have been named horseman and horsewoman of the year by the San Mateo County Horsemen's Association.Donna PoyMs. Poy was a co-chair of the Woodside Day of the Horse event in October, and she's already hard at work planning this year's event, which will coincide with the town's 50th anniversary celebration.Ms. Poy, who is a court-appointed special advocate for children in the county's juvenile court system, said she has loved horses from the first time she rode one at age 7, although more than 20 years passed before she bought her first horse.Her chief concern is the survival of the county's equestrian heritage, she said, and to that end she has served on a number of local equestrian organizations.She's a member of the Woodside Trails Committee, the Woodside Trail Club, and ETRAC; the trail chair for the County Horsemen's Association; and one of the core members of WHOA! -- the Woodside-Area Horse Owners Association. She said she's leaving her post on the Horsemen's Association's board in order to focus on her role as a member of the capital campaign for the Folger Estate Stable project to restore the historic stable in Wunderlich Park.
"Our thinking is, all the little kids will go home and ask their parents for a pony," says Donna Poy of WHOA.She and fellow WHOA member Fentress Hall are the event's founding organizers.Besides an equine petting zoo, the fair offers rides in Wells Fargo's horse-drawn stagecoach, blacksmithing demonstrations, a puppet show, and hands-on activities, such as leatherworking and decorating horse cookies.WHOA is sponsoring pony rides this year, Ms. Poy said. The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and has free admission.This year's trail ride, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., wends through town and has a 007 theme, with trivia questions about James Bond movies.Riders may stop at barns and local landmarks, collecting treats along the way.Last year, nearly 260 riders registered, said Ms. Poy. "People from other communities get the opportunity to see Woodside the way it should be seen - from the back of a horse," Ms. Poy said.