With Halloween just around the corner, members of the West Virginia University Collegiate Horsemen’s Association are once again organizing a spooktacular community event.
The student organization will host Halloween with the Horses from 5-7 p.m. Sat, Oct. 27, at the J.W. Ruby Research farm in Reedsville, West Virginia.
The unique event gives families and children the opportunity to visit the farm, meet WVU’s teaching herd, participate in a costume contest and trick-or-treat in a fun and safe atmosphere.
As an added bonus, the WVU horses will be dressed in kid-friendly costumes like superheroes and movie characters.
“Halloween with the Horses is a perfect way to engage our students in community service while providing a family-friendly opportunity for children to enjoy Halloween and foster their love of horses,” said Crystal Smith, teaching associate professor of animal and nutritional sciences. “With phase one of the farm’s redevelopment complete, we’re excited to welcome area families to our amazing facility.”
In June 2015, the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust made a $6.7 million gift to transform the farm’s current facilities into a modern teaching, research and extension center. Phase one of the project was completed in early 2018 and included an educational center, a multipurpose building with additional stabling for horse shows, a new outdoor arena, parking and more.
With new facilities and more square footage to host events, Smith hopes this year’s Halloween with the Horses will draw plenty of attention.
“Even with rain and cold temperatures last year, we estimated 250 people participated in the event,” she said. “This year the horses will be housed in our new multipurpose building which will allow us to keep all of the activities under one roof. There is enough space to keep everyone inside in case of inclement weather.”
For Rachel Parrish, a senior animal and nutritional sciences student and president of the WVU Collegiate Horsemen’s Association, the event is more than costumes and candy. It’s about seeing the families interact with the horses.
"We had such positive feedback from last year's event and we really got inspired with new ideas to keep the community interested in returning again this year,” she said. “I'm most excited about giving these kids and their families exposure to our facilities and the horses. For some kids, this may be the first time they interact with a horse and I know it will be a positive one."
The J.W. Ruby Research Farm is located less than five minutes northwest of Reedsville, and 20 minutes southeast of Morgantown. Directions to the farm can be found at http://horses.wvu.edu/farm.
Halloween with the Horses is free and open to the public.
CONTACT: Lindsay Willey, Communications Manager