PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – For 2-year-old Irene Lindberg of Peekskill, Sunday was the day she took her very first pony ride.
This weekend’s 42nd annual Rotary Club of Peekskill Horse Show at Blue Mountain Reservation featured a competition with riders from all over tri-state area, as well as attractions like pony rides, live music, a country fair and craft market, a food tent and bouncy castles for the kids.
Peekskill Rotary president-elect and show chair Sandra Smith said that a number of the club’s 81 members volunteered to set up the tent and equipment early Thursday, taking the space from a wide open green expanse to a fenced-in professional horse show ring and festival grounds.
“When this show started it was just a horse show. Now it’s a country fair,” Smith said. Other popular attractions at the two-day show were the “Kountry Kitchen” selling homemade pies baked by Rotarians, a children’s pet parade and an assortment of bands.
Local vet Roger Swanson recruits all of the show’s judges, Smith said, and brings in the officials who buy the prizes and handle the competitors’ paperwork.
Rotary member Chrissy Meslener joined the club two years ago when her 17-year-old daughter competed in the horse show. She said her daughter has been riding since she was 4 and had always wanted to be in the show, the only one in Westchester County with both English and Western riding classes.
Two of the show’s younger competitors Jillian Blair, 8, and her sister Kelsey, 6, have horsemanship in their blood: their mother Denise Blair said her parents own Northfork Stables in Putnam Valley.
Jillian won sixth place on Sunday in her very first walk, trot and canter competition.