Closing the Curtain on the 50th Anniversary Menlo Charity Horse Show

Instagramable moments at Menlo. Photo © Alden Corrigan Media 

The 50th Anniversary Menlo Charity Horse Show has come to a close, and what a memorable week it was at the elegant Menlo Circus Club in Atherton, California! The historic event maintained its legacy as one of the finest equestrian events in the United States, as every win was celebrated, no matter how big or small. Children and adults, ponies and horses, amateurs and professionals all came together to enjoy competitive horse showing and Menlo's welcoming environment. There were countless special moments, including reunions between old friends, exciting wins in the show ring, and shopping galore. This year brought sponsorship from over 80 luxury brands, including Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry, Tiffany & Co., Hermès and more. 

For many equestrians across the country, Menlo has been an important stepping stone on their personal and professional journeys. In a special ceremony prior to the $50,000 Stephen Silver Grand Prix on the Grass Jumper Field, participants who have attended Menlo for over thirty years were honored with gifts from Tiffany & Co in front of a standing room only crowd. The loyal recipients had similar sentiments as they headed home: this year's Menlo was special. "You could feel it," said long-time Menlo participant and top Hunter trainer Beverly Jovais, "This year was just special. I have been coming to Menlo for over 30 years, and only missed one year when I judged Pony Finals. Every year we bring ponies, adult Riders, Jumpers, and more, and it's always a really special horse show... but this year was different. Everyone was just so happy to be back and celebrating the 50 year Anniversary."

"The details, the management, the volunteers, everything about Menlo is just amazing." Jovais continued. "No detail is left unnoticed. All of my clients, many who had never been there before, just kept saying 'Wow, this is so fun and so special. It feels like what a horse show should be.'"

Guess Who & Irene Neuwirth. Photo © Alden Corrigan Media 

"Everybody is Made to Feel Special at Menlo."

Celebrations at Menlo are more than ribbons and  beautifully wrapped awards. Class winners are celebrating years of hard work, overcoming obstacles in and out of the show ring, and growing closer with their two and four-legged teammates. Menlo is known for celebrating its competitors' wins in a very special way. Grand Prix rider and 30+ year Menlo attendee Mitchell Endicott said, "I think the biggest thing that sets it apart from other shows is how every class is a big deal. I feel like here, no matter what it is, from a meter class to the Grand Prix level, they really put a huge effort into ensuring that everyone knows that if they win a class, it's a big deal. The clients love it, and I love it a lot. I think that’s super important."

Beverly Jovais said, "After the classes, we jogged in, which we haven’t been doing since Covid. The presenters come in with the beautiful prizes and ribbons, and when people jogged in to get their award… it was so special. At a normal horse show, you have to search for your ribbons. Winning a blue ribbon at Menlo is so special and it should be celebrated. And the fact that it’s all for charity, that’s the cherry on top." Matt Sereni of Sterling View Farm added, "I have shown at this venue many times as a junior, so there is a certain amount of nostalgia competing at the the Menlo Circus Club. The clients and owners always treasure the coveted awards from  Menlo Charity Horse Show, & I am sure the 50th anniversary championship chairs will be extra appreciated."

Official Veterinarian Russ Peterson, DVM MS DACVSMR of Steinbeck & Peninsula Equine Clinics.

© Alden Corrigan Media 

"You're Just Reveling In It... Menlo Has So Much Heart."

To many, Menlo is more than just a horse show. Trainer Jill Hamilton said, "Menlo welcomes everybody. You don’t have to be a big guy to be at Menlo and have a great experience. For me, the volunteers are what makes Menlo so special. It has so much heart, everybody is made to feel special. You’re just kind of reveling in it." Jill continued, "Especially because we haven’t had the show because of Covid, it felt like this year was something we’d all been working towards and salivating about. It felt like the culmination of everybody’s dreams about what a horse show could be. To have something really special like this, it felt magical. It's not like any other show."

The heart of Menlo lives in our countless volunteers and sponsors. Class sponsor and Official Veterinarian Russ Peterson, DVM MS DACVSMR of Steinbeck & Peninsula Equine Clinics stated, "Jan and I have had the joy and honor to sponsor the Peninsula Equine Adult Amateur Hunter Classic for over half of the past 40+ years. The class has always been an exciting conclusion to an outstanding week of friendship and camaraderie shared between friends, competitors, the incredible volunteers and staff, and the sponsors and spectators! The MCC Charity Horse Show has been a prestigious and cherished horse show in California, and we are honored to have been a part of its history and future."

To all those that made this 50th Anniversary Menlo Charity celebration possible - thank you. A special thank you to our sponsors, committee members, volunteers, vendors, trainers, exhibitors, grooms and horses for making our 50th celebration so very special. We couldn't do it without you. We'll see you in 2023! To learn more about the Menlo Charity Horse Show and view this year's photo gallery, click here

Iconic Menlo Directors Chairs. © Alden Corrigan Media 

Published August 16th, 2022, written by Alli Lambert for the Menlo Charity Horse Show