Trick-or-treaters horse around at Wilson College

October 28, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - For parents looking for a substitute to trick-or-treating or a way for their children to interact with horses, the Wilson College Equestrian Center offered an Alternative Halloween event on Saturday.

"We wanted it to be an alternative to going trick-or-treating to strange houses," said Ellen Schroyer, stable manager and team coordinator of the equestrian center. "To experience trick-or-treating in a safer area."

Schroyer said the event also supports Wilson College's five equestrian teams.

"The students incur a lot of expenses in showing (horses) - it's a fair amount for a college student to come up with," said Schroyer, explaining that students have to pay for their own outfits, entry fees and hotel rooms for off-campus competitions.

Each of the teams has between 12 and 20 members and all but two of the teams compete.

Schroyer said the idea for Alternative Halloween was based on a similar event held by a church in Hagerstown when her children were little. Schroyer lived in a rural area of Greencastle, Pa., and did not want her children to go trick-or-treating at unfamiliar houses.


Saturday's event offered carnival-type activities, such as face painting, a pingpong toss, eating a doughnut from a string, pony rides and sack races.

Lori Thomas of Neelyton, Pa., attended the event because her daughter, Bobbi, 11, takes horse riding lessons at the equestrian center.

"Bobbi loves it - she's always loved horses, so this is nice for her," Thomas said.

Heather O'Shea brought her granddaughter, Dana Goians, and Dana's children, Isabella, 6, Adrian, 4, and Isaiah, 2, to the event.

"We feel at home (at Wilson College)," said O'Shea, who moved to the area in 1973 and whose children rode horses at the equestrian center. "We're having a marvelous time."

Isabella, Adrian and Isaiah competed in a sack race, which Isabella won. Adrian and Isaiah had a little trouble staying in their sacks.

Loretta Gates brought her children to the event because their grandmother, Jamie Kiser, works at the college.

Kylie Gates, 9, and Katie Gates, 7, enjoyed looking at the variety of horses kept in the equestrian center's barns.

"It was really nice, especially for my oldest one - she loves horses," Gates said.

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