ERIN – The Grand River Agricultural Society’s (GRAS) philanthropic committee voted in favour of gifting charitable funds to support HorseDay Erin, a local event taking place at the Erin Fairgrounds.
Since 2017, GRAS has awarded over $42,000 to over 47 recipients to help bring their projects to life.
Horse Day, established by Equestrian Canada, was created to raise public awareness and promote the beloved horse. Taking place across Canada annually on or near the first Saturday in June, Horse Day may include open farm tours, horse shows at riding stables or other equine offerings.
Launched in 2019, HorseDay Erin is a multi-faceted horse fair and a showcase of Erin’s diverse equine offerings.
The event includes live horses and equine education, demonstrations and clinics, entertainment, a vendor marketplace, food trucks and an all-breeds horse parade. This year, the Western Ontario Regional Pony Club will host the Prince Philip Games at the event and expects over 30 riders and ponies from Windsor to Collingwood.
The feature show at 1pm presents the Ontario Mounted Special Services Unit, a mini-chuck wagon demonstration and a high energy dog agility and frisbee performance. It finishes with a Horse vs. Dog Race-off.
Event organizers have worked with many area horse groups to create a hands-on experience that mixes experiential learning with the fun of a local fair.
Kids activities include Ontario Equestrian’s KidZone, face painting, a mini-animal petting farm, pony rides and the chance to meet a real Unicorn.
“Our intention at GRAS is to support groups within Wellington County who are promoting the Standardbred horse and our Racing industry. We have in the past supported the Erin Fair Equine Tent and the Horse Heritage programs at Erin Agricultural Society—we like what they do over there to promote horses and agricultural,” said Skip Maher, Director of GRAS
Equine Guelph at the University of Guelph will anchor the equine education component of the event, along with a other equine organizations, breed groups and live horses. Equine Guelph will be presenting information about their Horse Portal program as well as OEEEP (Ontario Equine Education and Employment Program) which is a skills learning course for anyone looking to start a career with horses and work within the equine sector.
The Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) will also be represented at the event.
“We have partnered with the Equine Tent at the Erin Fair since 2010. We have participated in parades and even took part in a promotional race with a harness horse and a racing sulky against a mini chuck wagon team. We won,” said OHHA General Manager, Brian Tropea.
Attendees can meet Grandy, GRAS Raceway mascot, learn about Ontario’s Harness Horse industry, visit breed row, talk to a horse owner, pet a pony and cheer on your favourite horse (or dog) on May 27.
The feature show starts at 1pm on the track, and the All Breeds Horse Parade takes place at 4pm.
For more information, or tickets please contact: www.horsedayerin.ca.
Tickets to the event are $5/kids, $10/adults. Available online and for sale at Sharpe’s Farm Supplies in Erin (formerly Budson’s) and at McKinnon’s Timbermart in Hillsburgh.