Middleburg, VA — The harness racing industry was well represented by the Standardbred Retirement Foundation at this year’s Christmas in Middleburg Parade, which was held on Dec. 2.
|Photo courtesy of Fred Hudson|
|Standardbreds were a hit at the Christmas in Middleburg Parade.|
This year’s parade had an estimated attendance of 25,000-plus spectators. While the parade is free spectators pay $20 for parking for the all day event.
Harness driver Mark Gray, driving retired pacer Art Simpson on a two seat jog-cart provided by Rosecroft Raceway, led the harness racing participants. Other harness racing participants included Garnett Gray, Rachel Rhodes, Michelle Graham, Susan Arrington, Janice Atwell and spectator volunteers Nicky Oliver and Avery Kyser.
The Standardbreds were a hit with the attendees as our riders would toss t-shirts and ride the horses close to the spectators. Some of the adults and children petted our horses during the parade.
Moira Fanning of the Hambletonian Society provided the t-shirts that were passed out and tossed. The coloring books, fan guides and Hoof Beats magazines that were provided by the USTA were also distributed. At the end of the event we had nothing left.
The event announcer gave out the SRF website address and spoke of the SRF’s most recent rescue of 39 Standardbreds.
Organized by SRF founder Judy Bokman and myself, the Middleburg parade represents a good venue to promote harness racing to people that are not familiar with our sport. Anyone wishing to donate to the SRF can visit their website at www.adoptahorse.org.