SARATOGA SPRINGS — “We loved the painted horses, we loved the ballet slippers when they came out and we loved Lip Dub,” says Tracey Shannon. “Coming out of COVID, we’re looking for that next activity to bring our community together. “
That activity: Find the Hidden Horseshoe. The treasure hunt begins Saturday, April 22 when 300 of them, formerly worn by Saratoga racehorses, may be sought in a variety of city parks and trails. Find it, and it’s yours for keeps.
The event is the brainchild of adventure partners Tracey Shannon and Jen Clasen and is inspired by the Glass Float project that began on Block Island, Rhode Island a decade ago. There, glassblower Eben Horton creates more than 500 glass orbs that are dated, numbered and stamped and measure about the size of an orange which he calls “glass floats.” The glass floats are hidden on the beaches and greenway trails across Block Island and provide a community scavenger hunt.
Here, the 300 horseshoes – keeping with the Spa City theme of health, history and horses – are placed on public property in the city’s parks and trails.
The specific venues are anticipated to be High Rock Park, Congress Park, Spring Run, Waterfront Park, and Bog Meadow Trail.
“If you find it, you get to keep it. It’s a finder’s keeper’s kind of scavenger hunt event,” Clasen says. “Three hundred will be hidden in all, of the 300, 30 will be decorated by local artists. So, if you find one, it tells you what number you found and asks you to scan it. Take a bragging picture and we’ll post it to social media and post it to our site.”
Local artists were involved in decorating 30 of the horseshoes. Shannon and Clasen reached out to Saratoga Bridges, AIM, and the high school for that purpose, the organizers told the members of the City Council during a recent presentation promoting the event.
All horseshoes will be accessible between ground and eye-level within three feet of a trail, so no ladders or shovels are required. It’s also important to note that the horseshoes will not be on private property, so no public or preserved property should be disturbed to find a horseshoe. It is a finder’s keepers’ activity, but organizers ask if someone is fortunate to find more than one, that they leave it be for others to find.
The event is looking to launch in Congress Park on Earth Day, April 22.
“I think it’s a real positive activity. We want everybody to have something to get excited about and bring nature in,” Shannon said.
For more information and “hunt” rules, go to: saratogahiddenhorseshoes.com.