June 2019 - Save the Date!


Woodside Day of the Horse expands to three days of equestrian celebration in October.

by Nan Meek

Celebrating 15 years of equestrian festivities, the Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) is expanding their traditional Woodside Day of the Horse celebration of all things equine into three days of equestrian activities. Now, more than ever, there’s something for everyone, equestrians and not-yet equestrians included.


Woodside Day of the Horse is a fun-filled celebration of the unique equestrian heritage of Woodside and the extraordinary contribution horses make to the quality of life throughout San Mateo County. It is made possible by a public-private partnership of Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!), The Town of Woodside, Woodside Community Foundation, and the generous support of sponsors and volunteers. Proceeds are used to fund equestrian projects and programs throughout the Woodside and San Mateo County area. This weekend of equestrian celebration attracts nearly 2,000 people to Woodside each year on the weekend of the second Saturday in October.

Opening Reception & Equestrian Art Show

An evening of equestrian art and exceptional wine kicks off a weekend of celebrating everything about horses in Woodside and the surrounding area,  at the Town Hall in the heart of Woodside on Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Trail Ride & After-Ride Party

During the trail ride, which draws participants from all over California for one of the most unique trail rides in the Western United States, riders enjoy a glimpse of rural America right in the heart of Silicon Valley, while local residents enjoy the sight of riders costumed according to each year’s unique theme.

This year’s theme is “Super Heroines and Heroes” so you can expect to see some truly incredible costumes on horses and riders alike. The trail ride is held on Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm, followed by an after-party from 3 to 5 pm at the Woodside Mounted Patrol Grounds with live music, food, non-profit and equestrian exhibitor booths, and equestrian arena entertainment.

Horse Fair for Everyone

At the horse fair on Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Woodside Town Hall, there’s equestrian fun and information for everyone in the family, with hands-on experiences for riders and those who have yet to mount a horse.  Children enjoy pony rides, listening to a horse’s heartbeat, and equestrian crafts. Adults wanting to get “Back in the Saddle” will find information on local riding programs and lessons at the BITS booth. And there’s much more, including the perennial favorite: rides in an authentic Wells Fargo Stagecoach.

The 15th Annual Woodside Day of the Horse 2019 will celebrate “Super Heroines and Heroes” on October 11-13 in Woodside, California, by raising awareness of the unique equestrian heritage of Woodside and the extraordinary contribution horses make to the quality of life throughout San Mateo County. This photo from 2018 gives just a glimpse of the fun to be had again this year. Photo: Andrew White

Woodside Is Horse Country

The mission of WHOA! is to “preserve the fundamental role of horses in maintaining the rural character of the Town of Woodside and neighboring foothill communities, to enhance opportunities for equestrian activities, and to promote the enjoyment of horses in all their various roles.”

Envision a Woodside area replete with horses and horse activities for both horse owners as well as the general public, in which the rural landscape and network of trails are preserved, including public and private horse properties.

That’s the future that WHOA! is dedicated to creating. The challenging reality is shared by equestrian-oriented communities everywhere, especially those like Woodside where housing density and increasing land and housing prices are slowly (or not so slowly) squeezing out horse property, hay fields, land for pasture, and equestrian trails. It takes a concerted effort from like-minded horsemen and horsewomen to keep horse country for horses these days. WHOA! is committed to that mission.

WHOA! … You Can Help

Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) is an advocacy group that works independently and in collaboration with other organizations and local government to ensure the presence of the horse in Woodside and the surrounding San Mateo County communities is recognized, protected, and promoted.

Everything that WHOA! does supports equestrians and the equestrian lifestyle. This includes the preservation of the rural landscape, which owes its existence in part to the continuing presence of horses in the area, and to the equestrian advocates who promote the continuing relevance of horses to changing lifestyles.

Volunteers are always welcome, whether for a few hours at the Horse Fair or at a ride stop during the Trail Ride, or longer-term to help in preparation for Woodside Day of the Horse and support for the projects and programs funded by proceeds from this annual event.

Riders, it’s never too early to register, and early birds get special goodies. It’s also never too early to start planning costumes for you and your horse – take a look at some of the great costumes online and you’ll be inspired to “costume up.” Riders come from near and far, and overnight stabling in the Woodside area is available for visitors upon reservation.

Mark Your Calendars

Details of all kinds are available on the WHOA! website at www.whoa94062.org or email your questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to start making plans for Woodside Day of the Horse 2019, “Super Heroines and Heroes.”