The Rocking Horse Gallery and its Famous Bears of the WorldNov 13, 2023 05:04PM ● By Jessica Trask
The Rocking Horse Gallery and its Famous Bears of the World.
Walking around downtown Fredericksburg you might have noticed an unassuming building with dolls, teddy bears, and other toys in the windows. Is this a toy store?
This is the Rocking Horse Gallery.
The Rocking Horse Gallery opened in downtown Fredericksburg in 1982. Owner Faylee Hydorn has been in Fredericksburg since 1980. Her and her husband, David, bought the building at its current location, 803 Caroline, in 1989. The gallery has been there ever since. The floors are original to the 1806 building date. It’s the oldest toy and collectable store in Fredericksburg. It is also the first teddy bear artist gallery in the world. Some bears have a permanent place here at the gallery.
This gallery is a very unique place. Along with having permanent teddy bear artists, the gallery hosts other teddy bear artists who showcase their one-of-a-kind pieces. Some of these artists have won Golden Teddy's and Toby Teddy Bear of the year. These awards are the equivalent to the Academy Awards of Teddy Bear collections.
David Hydorn, d. 2009, was a pilot for United Airlines for his career. He flew on 9/11 and had to make an emergency landing in Colorado. He had a talent to restore and paint dolls.
Faylee Hydorn has fallen in love with bears over and over again since opening the gallery. She has been an international judge for Teddy Bear of the year for 10 years. She is originally from New York and has traveled to Sydney, Australia and many other places around the world for judging. The gallery has had many spreads in Teddy Bear magazines about the artists who showcase their work at the gallery. She enjoys helping many others through teddy bears. She has her own personal teddy bear collection. As she is trying to sort some of her collection, it has been hard to get rid of any. These bears have become a part of who she is.
On Friday, December 8, 2023, at 5:30 pm, during an open reception, the gallery will be open to the public to meet and learn about these unique bears and bear pieces. Five award-winning, world famous teddy bear artists will be in attendance. A live auctioneer will be present while those who attend can bid on all the bears and unique pieces available for sale. All proceeds will go to the local Ronald McDonald House.
Since opening the gallery, Faylee has been involved in the organization Good Bears of the World (GBW) by donating 100's of bears a year. Good Bears of the World pass out teddy bears to children and others who need comfort in a time of need. GBW has given thousands of bears around the world to hospitals, fire, police and medical workers. The bears are used to console victims of fire, accidents and other tragedies. GBW have given out teddy bears to families of 9/11, flight TWA 800 crash, Oklahoma City bombing and many other tragedies around the world. More locally, bears have been donated to The Ronald McDonald house in Richmond, The Hope House in Fredericksburg, and Spotsylvania Sheriff's Department.
There are many who visit The Rocking Horse Gallery to feel happiness seeing all the bears and other items on exhibit. Some travel once a year to the Fredericksburg area, for a doctor’s appointment or the like, and always stop by to see the new pieces and are happy to add to their collection. Purchases go toward contributing to the tear bear artists’ successes in their field. Faylee says, "Teddy Bears make others feel good. Teddy Bear collectors have Teddy Bear hearts."
If you are interested in attending the live auction and teddy bear reception, it will be held The Rocking Horse Gallery at 803 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, at 5:30 pm, on Friday, December 8, 2023
Good Bears of the World is a non-profit organization established in 1969 and has donated hundreds of thousands of bears worldwide. For more information go to: www.goodbearsoftheworld.org