Old-fashioned wintertime fun was on the schedule at Wisconsin State Horse Council Foundation’s Winter Day held Feb. 9 at Springbrook near Burnett. The free event drew between 500 and 600 people who enjoyed the scenery, activities and refreshments.
“Springbrook is such a fabulous facility,” said event spokeswoman Sharon Hookstead. “The day was a success; we were pleased with the amount of people who attended.”
In the past, the event was held in Columbus, but organizers decided Springbrook would be a great place to hold the annual event. The bed-and-breakfast located on a 132-acre secluded estate also hosts weddings and other events.
Sponsored by the WSHCF, the day’s activities included a brat and burger fry along with a bonfire to roast marshmallows for s’mores. More refreshments were available in the Sleigh Bell Café and other attractions included a bake sale, raffle and door prizes.
Attendees could enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides for a small fee from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“The winter day event is never canceled,” said Hookstead. “If there’s no snow, (teamsters) switch to carts instead of their sleighs. We had to change the route for the wagon ride.”
Unfortunately, icy conditions resulted in the cancellation of the sleigh-driving competition and parade. In the past, sleigh drivers competed in pleasure class, a cones course and a Currier and Ives class, where entrants dressed in vintage wear; event attendees could vote for their favorite entry.
New this year were dogsled demonstrations conducted by the Alaskan Malamute Club of Wisconsin.
Visitors wanting to feed their horse craving while indoors took in the model horse shwow. The show kicked off at 8 a.m. with nearly 50 exhibitors setting up their entries in the upper level of the 1920s-era remodeled heated barn.
“It’s an actual horse show except with model horses,” Hookstead said. “The exhibitors have the (model) horse decked out for the different classes. It’s one of the largest (model horse) shows in the Midwest. Entries of Breyer models are judged and awards given out to the best displays.”
On the lower level of the barn, attendees could visit vendor booths, visit with the Dodge County dairy ambassador and take in a demonstration by a large animal emergency rescue team.