Big News – Art Show Pivot!

Woodside Art of the Horse is pivoting to an all-online exhibition this year. As much as we wished to return to a live art show, the reality is that life is still being disrupted by Covid in many ways and the exhibition needs to remain online again for 2021. For more information and to enter the online art show, visit or email questions to

Save the Date! Woodside Art of the Horse will return as a live exhibition with artists’ reception on Friday evening, October 7, 2022. Artists, it’s never too early to look ahead. We invite you to show your artwork that celebrates the horse in oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, pen and ink, graphite and charcoal, colored pencil, photography, sculpture, mixed media, miniatures, jewelry, or high quality crafts. To be added to our mailing list, contact us at

2021 Fun! Other Woodside Day of the Horse events this year:

  • Progressive Trail Ride: Saturday, October 9, 11 AM to 3 PM, Town of Woodside Trails
  • Family Fun Drive-Through Horse Fair: Sunday, October 10, 11 AM to 1:30 PM, Woodside Town Hall

Woodside Day of the Horse is a fun-filled celebration of the unique equestrian heritage of Woodside and the extraordinary contribution horses make to the quality of life throughout San Mateo County. It is made possible by a public-private partnership of Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!), The Town of Woodside, Woodside Community Foundation, and the generous support of sponsors and volunteers. Proceeds are used to fund equestrian projects and programs throughout the Woodside and San Mateo County areas. This weekend of equestrian celebration attracts nearly 2,000 people to Woodside each year on the weekend of the second Saturday in October.

To learn more about Woodside Day of the Horse and WHOA! (Woodside-area Horse Owners Association), visit .

Olivia Bodner – 2021 Merit Scholarship Recipient

(Woodside, CA) August 1, 2021 – The Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) and the Mounted Patrol Foundation (MPF), joint sponsors of the $10,000 Woodside-area Equestrian Merit Scholarship Award, congratulate Olivia Bodner, recent graduate of Carlmont High School and student at Canada Middle College, on being awarded this scholarship.

Now in its second year of assisting a deserving local high school senior, the $10,000 Woodside-area Equestrian Merit Scholarship Award supports students with a demonstrated involvement in equestrian activities as well as academic achievement, community service, and financial need. It reflects a continuing commitment shared by WHOA! and MPF, of helping the next generation of equestrians.

“All of this year’s applicants impressed the selection committee with the depth of their involvement in the equestrian community, as well as the quality of their academic achievement and range of community service activities,” remarked Anne Van Camp, Chair of the WHOA! Steering Committee. “The economic difficulties that are challenging many families during the pandemic made awarding this scholarship especially meaningful.”

All applicants were seniors who attended high schools in San Mateo, Santa Clara, or San Francisco Counties, and who had been accepted to and plan to attend a college, university, or other continuing education program this fall.

“The academic, community, and equestrian achievements of the students who applied for the $10,000 Woodside-area Equestrian Merit Scholarship Award clearly show that the future is bright, both for these students and for the equestrian community,” stated Kip Witter, Mounted Patrol Foundation.

Meet Olivia Bodner
“I am extremely appreciative,” Olivia remarked after learning the $10,000 Woodside-area Equestrian Merit Scholarship Award would give her a boost into the years of higher education that await her. “It’s exciting to be able to move forward with the help of this scholarship, and I am so grateful to Woodside-area Horse Owners Association and to the Mounted Patrol Foundation! I appreciate what these organizations are doing in the community, not only with this scholarship, but with all their activities.”

Equestrian Activities

Olivia began working at a local horse camp at the age of 11, progressing through increasingly responsible roles as she gained age and experience, culminating in her responsibilities as head instructor.

Eventually, Olivia became a working student at another barn where she is currently responsible for the feeding, care, and management of 15-20+ horses, tacking and untacking horses in training, preparing and packing for shows, holding horses for veterinarians, and more.

“This has been a learning experience in the best possible way, allowing me to learn hands-on from trainers as well as veterinarians,” Olivia explained.

Photo/Matt Petty

Olivia’s own horses have been inspiration for her life goals. The early retirement of her 13-year-old Thoroughbred was a crash course in the science and the expense of his diagnosis and ultimately his retirement lifestyle. That inspired her to pursue a veterinary medicine education, with the goal of pursuing research to develop new approaches in equine orthopedic surgery. Currently, her other horse, a five-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred in its first year of non-track training, provides continuing motivation for Olivia to pursue her goals.

Academic Achievement

Olivia recently graduated Carlmont High School and the Cañada Middle College program, in which she spent her junior and senior high school years at Cañada Middle College in a program that allows students to finish their high school graduation requirements, along with college courses, as dual enrollment students.

Olivia’s academic studies included every AP or honors course available to her, which increased the level of rigor and accelerated the course pace. Her academic awards include a Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Achievement (Precalculus Honors), and she was named a National Merit Commended Scholar.

Music has provided Olivia with another avenue of study. She has played the tenor sax since 4th grade, participating in audition-level band classes through middle and high school, and the College of San Mateo Concert Band until the pandemic halted their performances.

Olivia will be attending the University of California, Davis, this fall as an animal science major, with the long-term goal of becoming an equine veterinarian. An audition for the band at UC Davis is also in her plans.

Community Service

Through her high school’s music mentor program, Olivia has tutored music students in local elementary schools. This voluntary mentoring program provides students the opportunity to receive small group and individual tutoring that they would not otherwise get in their large group band classes. For Olivia, it provided a way to help foster her love of music with others.

Not surprisingly, Olivia has been deeply involved in animal rescue and care. She participated in a two-week animal rescue project in Costa Rica, working in low-income area spay/neuter clinics and at an animal shelter. At the clinic, Olivia provided hands-on help where it was most needed, from handling intake and prepping animals for surgery, to monitoring vital signs through surgery and into recovery. At the shelter, she helped care for the dogs and provided them with daily exercise.

Before Covid closed it down, Olivia began training to work in the SPCA kitten nursery at her local shelter, and also assisted with rehoming kittens that were surrendered while she worked at a large pet food store.

Financial Need

With escalating costs of higher education routinely in the news, it’s no surprise that the costs of a college education are on the minds of most students and their families. Olivia’s three-part plan included the tuition and living expenses component shared by most students, as well as one unique to equestrians: how to afford her horses, as well.

Recognizing the challenges of affording her horses during her college years, Olivia knows she needs to balance her studies, potential internships, working, and riding. She plans to continue working part-time, as she has through high school, envisioning a transfer to the Davis branch of the pet food store where she currently works. Although her family diligently saved for her education “from the day I was born” she says she feels a responsibility to thank them for all their support through the years by working as well.

“This scholarship will make a significant difference in my ability to continue working, learning, studying, and riding whilst studying Animal Sciences on the pre-vet track at my top choice university,” Olivia states. “It inspires and allows me to pursue the best learning opportunities possible in both my education and my riding.”

Sponsoring Organizations

The Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) works independently and in collaboration with other organizations and local government to ensure that the presence of the horse in Woodside and the surrounding San Mateo County communities is recognized, protected, and promoted. Its mission is to preserve the fundamental role of horses in maintaining the rural character of the Town of Woodside and neighboring foothill communities, to enhance opportunities for equestrian activities, and to promote the enjoyment of horses in all their various roles. WHOA! envisions a community where horses and horse activities for equestrians and the general public are appreciated, and where the rural landscape, trail networks, and horse properties are preserved. Operating under the fiscal umbrella of the Woodside Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, WHOA! has gifted more than $200,000 to local equestrian projects and programs thanks to generous sponsors, volunteers, and the proceeds of its annual Woodside Day of the Horse celebration. Find out more at

The Mounted Patrol Foundation believes that horses and equestrian activities have helped create a wonderful, healthy community in Woodside, California, and the surrounding area. Historically, horses were essential to life in the United States for transportation, work, and pleasure. The Mounted Patrol Foundation seeks to honor this legacy by continuing to support, maintain, develop, and encourage equestrian facilities, activities, and heritage in the Town of Woodside, the County of San Mateo, and the State of California. Their vision also includes the preservation of horse habitats and trail systems to provide both opportunities and environments conducive to the enjoyment of horses for horse owners and the public at large. The Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3), charitable organization that works in collaboration with local government, other public agencies, and other non-profits to support and promote equestrian activities and facilities in the area. Learn more at

2021 Woodside Art of The Horse: Call for Submissions

(Woodside, CA)August 2, 2021– WHOA! (Woodside-area Horse Owners Association) is pleased to invite artists to participate in the Woodside Art of the Horse juried equine art exhibition. Created to celebrate the beauty and nobility of horses in our lives, Woodside Art of the Horse reveals the unique visions of equine artists portraying their favorite subjects.

Artists’ Reception & Silent Auction

Woodside Art of the Horse kicks off the Woodside Day of the Horse weekend with an artists’ reception on Friday night, October 8, from 6-8 PM at the Woodside Village Church. Refreshments, live music, and more will accompany this exciting exhibition of equine art. Awards will be presented in two categories: Artists over age 18, and Youth Artists age 18 and under. Everyone is invited to join in celebrating this year’s Day of the Horse theme, Oktoberfest. Woodside Art of the Horse will continue on Saturday and Sunday, October 9 and 10, from 11 AM to 6 PM.

SILENT AUCTION: New this year will be an online silent auction, which will kick off live at the reception and continue for one week. Artists are welcome to donate items to the silent auction, whose proceeds will support the mission of WHOA! to preserve the fundamental role of horses in maintaining the rural character of the Town of Woodside and neighboring foothill communities, to enhance opportunities for equestrian activities, and to promote the enjoyment of horses in all their various roles. For more information about donations to the silent auction EMAIL:

Artist Submissions

Woodside Art of the Horse is open to all artists. Artwork must be the original work of the artist, and may be in oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, pen and ink, graphic and charcoal, colored pencil, photography, sculpture, mixed media, miniatures, jewelry, or high quality crafts, as long as the artwork celebrates the horse. No giclées or computer generated art will be accepted.

Artists will submit two to three pieces for jury selection, in any combination of mediums or all one medium. There are no size limitations except for sculptures, which may not exceed 60 lbs. and sculptors must provide a pedestal for display of their work. Paintings must be framed. Gallery wrap is acceptable providing the artwork extends and covers all sides of gallery wrap. 

Young artists age 18 and under will have their own live (not online) Youth Art Show, from which images will be chosen for the 2022 Young Equine Artists Calendar. Youth artists will also be awarded prizes and raffle items. Watch the WHOA! website and the WHOA! Facebook page for how to enter the Youth Art Show.

How to Enter

Please submit your application online at along with the $15.00 entry fee per artist. You will be required to upload your contact information as well as images and descriptions of your artwork. 

Deadline for online submissions is September 7 at midnight. A jury of four experts will select the accepted artists, who will be announced on September 9, 2021.

Artists retain the copyright to their images. However, accepted images do become part of the WHOA! archives and may be used in future art promotions.

Full details are online at

Exhibition Booths

Selected artists may display their artwork in virtual and/or exhibition booths during the Woodside Art of the Horse exhibition, as described below. 

Buyers Premium: A 10% buyer’s premium on sales made during the live and virtual exhibitions will be donated to WHOA! to help support its mission. Details will be provided to artists with their selection notice.

Live booths, $50 fee: Art for a live exhibition booth must be delivered to the Woodside, California, location on Thursday, October 7, 2021, or Friday, October 8, or by special arrangement. Live exhibition booths are (approximately) 10’ x 10’ spaces at the Woodside Village Church. The Art of the Horse will supply propanels and hang three pieces of your art, or the artist can set up their own booth on a “first come, first serve” basis. Artists’ own booth fixtures must be supplied, installed, maintained, and taken down by the artist or artist’s representative. Electricity can be arranged with advance notice; internet is available. Booth locations will be at determined by the Art Committee. 

Insurance: All art must be insured by the individual artist. WHOA! does not hold insurance for artwork on exhibit and is not responsible for loss of or damage to any of the artist’s work. Artists must insure their work themselves.

Live Event Tear Down: Art displayed in Woodside must be picked up within 72 hours of the closing of the show, unless special provisions in writing are agreed upon between the artists and WHOA! Artwork that does not comply with these provisions will, by necessity, become the property of WHOA! after 30 days and will be sold to benefit the mission of WHOA!

Virtual booths, $50 fee: Art and information for the virtual fair must be uploaded and completed by October 7, 2021. Artists can load up to 6 pieces, add a URL to their website and provide additional information as requested on the application form. The virtual show opens on October 8 and continues for one month.