Fourth Year Halloween with Horses takes place at JW Ruby Research Farm

Child stroking the horse dressed as a skeleton

REEDSVILLE, W.Va. – The fourth annual Halloween with Horses took place on Saturday at the JW Ruby Research Farm.

The event, which is hosted by the Equine Studies Program at the University of West Virginia, was well attended by dozens of families keen to pet and take pictures with horses. The horses were dressed as a fire engine, a unicorn, a giraffe and a skeleton. Crystal Smith, associate professor of equine management education, said she and everyone who organized the event were happy to see the participation.

“This is our main community and service event that we can do for the local community and for the benefit of the local community,” Smith said. “And this year we were very determined to try to find a safe but family friendly way to keep hosting the event but do it in a COVID safe manner and we didn’t want it to be another community event that has been canceled due to the pandemic. “

Line of cars spanning Kingwood Pike waiting to enter the complex

Smith said in an effort to keep families socially distanced, there was a drive-thru scavenger hunt as families waited in the long line of cars to get to the horse station. They scanned QR codes at the various stations leading to the horses and received anecdotes and equine education topics, Smith said.

Once inside, everyone had to wear masks, use hand sanitizer, and stay socially distanced.

Credit for the idea of ​​keeping everyone in their cars and at a safe distance, Smith said, goes to his two event management interns. She said that as a team they tried to implement their idea to the letter to ensure the safety of all participants, as the event is important and a way to show appreciation for the community.

Horse dressed as unicorn

“We are working as a team to find a way to space that out, to still offer people the same family experience or the same treatment experience, to still give them the opportunity to meet the horses, but to do it in a safe way. . Smith said.

Smith said there was also a costume contest part of the event, and the winner will win a Halloween-themed treats, tips and game.

The WVU Collegiate Horsemen’s Association and the Reedsville Volunteer Fire Department were the recipients of donations made in lieu of admission, Smith said.

“We were able to raise over $ 1,200 to distribute among these organizations,” Smith said.

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