Charities look for other funds after popular Saratoga Springs horse show scratches

January 30, 2018 06:23 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The Saratoga Springs Horse Show has been happening there every year since John F. Kennedy entered the Oval Office. Beginning in 1961, thousands of people have come there and stayed over three weeks each May for equestrian competitions.

For the past 40 years, it's been held on land owned by Yaddo, just down the street from Saratoga Race Course. However, the artist's retreat put the horse show on notice last year that the 2017 show would be the last there. Organizers thought they had a deal worked out to hold it on the grounds of the Saratoga Casino Hotel this year, but that deal fell through.

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"We cannot find a viable venue," said Tom Fueston, president and CEO of Capital Fund of Saratoga County, the volunteer organization that puts on the horse show.

So for the first time in 57 years, the show won't go on. That's bad news for local charities. The horse show is a non-profit that benefits other non-profits. In the past six years, it's donated more than $300,000 to small charities like Operation Adopt a Soldier, the Wilton-based organization that sends care packages to troops.

"It's really a big loss for Operation Adopt A Soldier, because we really depend on the monies that come in, the donations from the horse show," said Cliff Seguin, founder of Adopt A Soldier.

Wellspring, the Saratoga Springs-based non-profit that helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault is another of the dozens of charities that benefit from the horse show.

"The funds that we got helped support our survivor services and our prevention programs, so we will be looking for other sources to fill that need," said Maggie Fronk, Wellspring’s executive director.

Fueston says organizers are searching for a venue for 2019 and says Lake Placid has interest in hosting it, but he says the Saratoga Horse Show belongs in Saratoga.

"We hope that the community will see the impact of the show not being here this year and will rally around and help us get through it for 2019."


WNYT Staff

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