Following eight busy days of sleigh rides over the Christmas holidays, the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs received a New Year’s donation of $3,000 from Horse Drawn Okanagan. Ottercrest Farms, with its a winter wonderland of snow-covered trees and hayfields, was the perfect setting for the event.

With the horses housed in a big beautiful barn, patrons could visit with the farm animals and pet the draft horses. The large covered arena gave guests a space to keep warm and dry before heading out on the sleighs.

All of the sponsorship money was donated back to the charity of choice.

“I want to thank Rellish Transport Services and Bannister Honda for their generosity in supporting the event, and in turn, supporting the charity,” says event coordinator Kelly MacIntosh. “For our dedicated volunteers and everyone to give their time at Christmas at our event—I am really grateful.”

Children from the Friends Together Daycare, Boys and Girls Clubs in Vernon.
Back: Jesie Harms, Kelly MacIntosh, Cheré Lene. Front: children from the Friends Together Daycare, Boys and Girls Clubs in Vernon.

Guests came from across the Okanagan, but some were visiting from around the world from countries such as China, Australia and Korea, and experienced snow and draft horses for the very first time.  

“We went from 1,700 guests in 2018 to 2,300 guests in 2019.” says MacIntosh “That’s a huge increase, and we are so thrilled with the turnout. It means that we are filling a need for family activities right at Christmas. I also think that a lot of people come simply to see the draft horses, and that’s why we do it in the first place; it’s all about the horses. Not everyone’s grandparents live on a farm anymore and we hope to connect younger generations to the past and remind them of the significant role horses have in our lives.”

Organizers plan to bring back the sleigh ride event again next Christmas, but in the meantime, events are in planning for the summer. Find Horse Drawn Okanagan horses and teamsters giving wagon rides, horse-drawn tours, wedding carriage rides, and agricultural demonstrations throughout the Thompson Okanagan.

Get into the spirit of Christmas!

Posted by Bannister Honda on Monday, December 16, 2019