Horse show in 88th year

Children’s Horse Show, a Class A event, returns this weekend to the Flintridge Riding Club.

April 23, 2009|By Ruth Longoria

In light of recent tragedies, it’s more important than ever to consider the need for local emergency trauma units.

Perhaps that’s why the Flintridge La Cañada Guild of the Huntington Memorial Hospital is seeing an overwhelming response to purchase tickets for events at this weekend’s 88th annual Children’s Horse Show, despite national economic concerns, said Horse Show Chair Stephanie Sepulveda.

Sepulveda grew up in La Cañada and rode in the Children’s Horse Show as a child, she said.

The event runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Flintridge Riding Club, 4625 Oak Grove Drive, and benefits go toward the Guild’s $250,000 pledge to help Huntington Memorial Hospital rebuild and enlarge its trauma unit.


“I’m really excited about the show this year. It’s been wonderful to see the community pull together and want to support the hospital,” said Sepulveda, whose husband, Robert is a Pasadena firefighter and sees firsthand emergency situations where the hospital’s trauma unit is a vital part of the community.

That trauma unit is important to residents of La Cañada and other area communities because Huntington Memorial has the only emergency room in the city of Pasadena and the only trauma unit in the San Gabriel Valley.

The high cost of maintaining a trauma unit has caused many centers across the country to close in recent years, said Lauren Oakes, a member of the Flintridge La Cañada Guild of Huntington Memorial Hospital.

Last year, the Guild made its pledge to the hospital, and raised about $100,000 of the pledge through that year’s horse show. Oakes said she’s hoping that this year’s event will raise the additional $150,000. “[However,] if it pushes our pledge to three years, that’s OK, we’re doing the show again anyway,” Oakes said.

The Children’s Horse has been a staple in La Cañada since 1921, when it was run entirely by the Flintridge Riding Club. In 1950, the Flintridge La Cañada Guild of the Huntington Memorial Hospital was formed and took over coordinating the event.

The show is rated Class A, by the United States Equestrian Foundation, Inc., and youths from across the country compete as one of the ladder rungs necessary to participate in the Olympics, Oakes said.

The La Cañada event has gone from 23 entrants in the 1921 Children’s Horse Show to the about 280 young people who will ride in this weekend’s event.

The horse show is free to the public and involves riding competitions on each of the three days. There also are ticketed events, beginning with an appetizer and wine tasting, beginning at 5:30 p.m., Friday. Tickets for that event are $30 each.

On Saturday, in addition to riding competitions earlier in the day, there’s the annual gala dinner and tandem show, at 6:30 p.m., with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. Tickets to that event are $100 each.

Sunday is the auction of judges’ bribe baskets — the baskets presented to judges during the Saturday evening event.

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