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First ever sleigh rally a success

Feb. 15, 2010
By Kaitlyn Schroyer
Staff Intern

WILBRAHAM - An event like no other took place on Feb. 6 at Crane Park. For horse fans, it was an event that has not graced the fields of Wilbraham in a very long time.
The 2010 Wilbraham Sleigh Rally kicked off at 11 a.m. in Crane Park. A collection of 19 trailers holding over 24 horses filled the area, with equines and owners ready to show off their stuff.
More than 100 people came out to see the sleigh rally, despite temperatures in the low twenties.
"Many people don't have sleigh rallies anymore," stated Melissa Graves, the event's planner. "They [involve] a lot of planning and [are] very weather dependent."
Last year, Graves attempted to put on the event. However, Mother Nature worked against the plans and snow was not available for the sleighs to slide on. Having already purchased the ribbons and prizes, Graves knew that this year it had to happen.
An event very popular around the northeast and throughout the horse loving community, the sleigh rally drew in all different kinds of horses from miniature horses standing 24 inches tall to draft horses at 72 inches tall. The classes ranged from Ladies to Drive and Gentlemen to Drive to the most popular class of the day, Sleigh Dog, where dogs rode in the sleighs with their humans.
"It was a great event and it would never have happened without the volunteers," Graves commented. "There were so many great volunteers and generous sponsors such as Big Y, Monson Savings Bank and more. Without them, I would never have been able to pull it off."