Story by Sara Paul
Warwick resident Teddy Ryan has been attending the Winslow Therapeutic Riding Center’s Duck Derby for almost 20 years. Starting the tradition as a boy, he now brings his own four-year-old son, Skyler, to wait as thousands of plastic ducks race to the finish.
With Sunday’s weather creeping into the 80s, Ryan attests that, “I don’t think it has ever rained on this day.”
While spring rains have recently pounded the Hudson Valley, there was no ducking the sun on Sun., May 19. Crowds of onlookers lined the Wawayanda Creek edges and bridges from South St. to Main St., all cheering on their ducks which were plunged into the creek promptly at 1:30 pm.
“Where else can you go where there are ducks thrown in a river, on a nice sunny day, right next to a farmer’s market?” rhetorically asked a smiling Stacey Lenz, Head Riding Instructor at Winslow Therapeutic Riding Center.
“It’s really all about the community,” said Lenz, who confided that she is cooking up some special plans for next year’s 30th annual Derby.
This year, Lenz was inspired and grateful for support from Jean Claude’s Bakery, which made and sold duck cookies at the farmer’s market, with all proceeds benefitting Winslow. Pixie Pop the Clown was also on hand making duck balloon creations.
First place winner, Ethan Lancer, was the recipient of $1,000, donated by CLC Transportation of Mt. Kisco, NY. Other winners from the event are as follows: second place: Hannah Maxwell, winning an Apple Watch, donated by Vogel & Moore Insurance Agency; third place: Raymond Smith, winning a $300 Amazon gift card, donated by Roger and Cindy Vander Plaat; fourth place: Alan Nelson, who won a Wine Basket donated by Wine Time at Flowick; fifth place: Debra Demsey Cilliento, winning a four-piece luggage set, by an anonymous donation; sixth place: Lindsey Wilkinson, winning an Amazon Echo, donated by Priscilla and Lindsay Orr, Saugerties, NY; seventh place: Maryellen Moran, winning four tickets to an NYC show, donated by WTBQ Radio of Warwick; and eighth place: Maureen Moreso, winning a Warwick Valley Farmers’ Market basket donated by the vendors of the market.
Winslow Therapeutic Center is a not-for-profit organization offering therapeutic horseback riding healing programs for children and adults. The next fundraising event will be the “Sunset at Winslow, An Evening for the Entire Community,” which will be held on Sat., Jun. 15. For more information, visit www.winslow.org.