Saige Bagdon makes a stick horse Saturday in the broodmare barn at Sanford Stud Farm.
By CASEY CROUCHER
TOWN OF AMSTERDAM -- Unseasonably cool weather kept people from racing to Friends of the Sanford Stud Farm's seventh annual open house Saturday.
The event, which took place in the broodmare barn on Route 30, housed several vendors and children's activities but didn't bring in the numbers of visitors it has in the past.
"I'm a little disappointed with the turnout this year," Friends of the Sanford Stud Farm board member Mary Ann Metz said. "There were a lot of children here throughout the day, though, so that's good."
The group said the open house saw roughly 300 people coming and going Saturday.
"This is a big year for us and we probably would have had a lot more people here today had the weather not been so bad the past couple of days," Friends vice president Tom Foster said.
Since the Sanford Stud Farm received historic designation last May, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame recently announced it will induct Clifford, the first of Stephen Sanford's champion studs, into the sport's pantheon.
This year also marks the 100th running of the Sanford Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
Foster said the event is important to him because it helps recognize a historical landmark that many people don't know about.
"The Sanford Farm is never going to be the National Museum of Racing and everyone knows that," he said, "but the point of today is to share and educate people on how the Sanfords contributed to the city. Most people have no idea how much he did for the city."
Foster said the recognition the barn receives during the open house is important for its restoration.
"All of the proceeds from this weekend go directly back into the renovation of the barn," he said.
Bill Ferron and his wife Sue like supporting the farm and believe other residents of Amsterdam should be concerned with its upkeep.
"We're here to support the farm, just like every resident in this area should be doing," Bill said. "A lot of people don't know about Sanford Farm's history nor do they care. It's sad."
"We have a saddle horse farm where we live, and I've been involved with horses since I was 11 years old, and I'm 54 now," Sue said. "This barn used to have a lot of life back in the day, and I was always so impressed with it. I think it's important to help the barn by coming out, showing support and even making a little donation if possible. It's a part of living here."
President of Friends of the Sanford Stud Farm, Scott Friers, said the weekend went well despite a smaller turnout.
"Regardless of the turnout, this open house is a great way to get children in this community out in the barn, learning and doing crafts," Friers said. "And I saw a few kids here, so today so I'm happy."