Friday, May. 24, 2024

A Spooky Tradition

Horsemen have a way of doing things their way, and that applies when the holidays roll around, too. Many horsey Halloween fans have made pumpkin carving a regular tradition.

Liz Soroka, long-time event coordinator at the Hampton Classic horse show, has been creating pumpkin art for about a decade. Four years ago Soroka, Sag Harbor, N.Y., threw a carving party at the Hampton Classic showgrounds, and now it’s grown into an annual event.

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Horsemen have a way of doing things their way, and that applies when the holidays roll around, too. Many horsey Halloween fans have made pumpkin carving a regular tradition.

Liz Soroka, long-time event coordinator at the Hampton Classic horse show, has been creating pumpkin art for about a decade. Four years ago Soroka, Sag Harbor, N.Y., threw a carving party at the Hampton Classic showgrounds, and now it’s grown into an annual event.

She’s not the only one taking her squash seriously. Every October for the last 11 years equine artist and photographer Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor of East Petersburg, Pa., turns her talents to pumpkins. She creates an original design, often using the Headless Horseman as her theme, and she and her mother, Debra Parry, Cochranville, Pa., carve a giant pumpkin at the Chadds Ford Great Pumpkin Carve. MacNeill-Traylor uses linoleum block carving tools to carve out the design on the front, and Parry (who paints her face like a pumpkin for the day) thins the walls in back so the light shines through. They often win a prize, like the “Best Carving” title they won in 2013.

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Check out MacNeill-Traylor’s blog for lots more fantastic photos of pumpkins and the carving process.

But you don’t have to be a professional artist to mix equestrianism with pumpkin carving. Check out the submissions from Chronicle Facebook fans of their favorite creations.

Love to mix holidays and horses? Send us your funniest, most creative and most impressive photos of your animals celebrating the winter holidays for consideration for our annual Holiday Pets Gallery. This longtime tradition has become one of the Chronicle’s favorite projects, and we’re always looking for impressive submissions. Send a high-resolution image along with your name, city and state and a brief description of the animals to lauren@chronofhorse.com by Dec. 1.

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