Jo Egenes

What do you love about horses in Woodside?

Horses are symbolic of being in a rural community. There’s a special ambiance with the trails along our roads and horses in backyards. WHOA! is concerned about keeping horses in Woodside. People in this community need to be more aware of horses and need to support horses if we want to maintain this as an equestrian community. We need to create interest in horses and keep that going – whether people ride or not, they can still appreciate horses, and what horses mean to our community.

What kind of riding do you do?

Now that I have turned 86, I no longer jump, so I ride out on the trail or in the ring. Being outside with the horses, I appreciate the beauty of nature. Some of the most memorable conversations with my friends have occurred while we were riding on the trails or in the ring. It’s meaningful to feel that oneness with your horse as you ride.

What is your favorite equestrian experience, or favorite horse story?

Having a horse, which I so wanted when I was growing up, was not possible at the time. Then, in the 1960s I spent the summer in Dublin, Ireland and was invited to the Royal Dublin Horse Show. There I saw riders jumping horses over large fences. I was hooked and had to learn. When I returned to San Francisco, I was drawn to Woodside and the equestrian ambiance I sought, so I came to learn English riding and jumping. The rest is history. I avidly support the equestrian community and I still have horses and ride.

Tell us something about you and horses…

I started riding at age 28, and for the first ten years, I rode hunters before I moved into jumpers. I had a wonderful horse, Catch, who I began showing as a hunter. He had a great disposition and wonderful movement, and I would win with him on the flat, but as a hunter he looked awful! He wasn’t really impressed by the jumps until they were 4’ or 4’6”. Jenny Newell showed him in the jumpers, where he won his and her first grand prix against Olympic horses: They beat 32 others, and only two horses made it to the jump off, which he jumped clean for the win.

Is there anything else you’d like to include?

I first became involved with WHOA! during the restoration of the historic Folger Stable, and one thing led to another. I am concerned about keeping horses in Woodside. For many years, WHOA! volunteers have taken welcome baskets to anyone who moves to Woodside. It’s a way to not only welcome new residents but also help educate them about our equestrian community.