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West Sacramento News-Ledger

Santa Receives a Little Help, from Horses

Dec 06, 2023 02:10PM ● By Michele Townsend

Members of the West Sacramento Trail Riders Association deliver toys to the firefighters of WSFD Station 45 for distribution to the community. Photo courtesy of West Sacramento Trail Riders Association

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Santa Claus received a little bit of help on Saturday from the West Sacramento Trail Riders Association (WSTRA), a group of horse owners and enthusiasts in West Sacramento. At “best guess” the group said they’d been helping Santa each year for the past fifteen years with their Trot for Tots toy drive. Every year they place decorated horse barrels at a few locations a week or so before Thanksgiving to collect new, unwrapped toys to help some local families give their children the magic that the holidays should bring to everyone. This year, those businesses included Wild West Feed, Lenise’s Café and Starbucks near Lake Washington Boulevard.

On the way to meeting up, one of the horses that was going to be included in the event apparently got a little nervous about the traffic and business of what was going on and took off. They were able to catch him though, and returned him home. The rest of the group met up at Lenise’s Café with their horses decorated for the holidays so that they could ride the horses down Jefferson Boulevard to West Sacramento Fire Station 45 and deliver the toys that they had collected.

Maury the Horse is sporting his holiday hat to deliver toys for the Trot for Tots event of the West Sacramento Trail Riders Association. Photo courtesy of West Sacramento Trail Riders Association

The toys will stay with the fire department for a week or so until one of Santa’s helpers picks them up and takes them to one of our local organizations for distribution. “We come out every year. Each year our group buys around $400 in toys, and each year the West Sacramento community donates at least double that in the short time we have the barrels out,” Said Melanie Haage. “It would be great if next year we had more locations that would let us place barrels.” Members of the WSTRA said that they wanted to thank the community for all of the donations, and that they look forward to doing it again next year. WSTRA promotes education and recreational opportunities for people interested in the preservation and protection of open space for trail corridors for equestrian use in Yolo County.

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