Halloween Horse Event features 18 riders

HOLLIS – Hollis, horses and Halloween definitely equaled happiness on Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Hollis Town Ring.

With only four days to go before Halloween, Apple Tree Farm held its second annual Halloween Horse Event. There were 18 riders and more than 12 Apple Tree Farm horses. The riders ranged in age from as young as 6 all the way up to Danielle D’Intino, who is 17 and a senior at Hollis Brookline High School.

The day started off with a horse and rider costume parade around the Town Ring. There were cowboys and Indians, hippies, Little Bo Peep and a few superheroes, along with “Wizard of Oz” characters such as Dorothy (Morgan Simco) with Toto, riding Rudy, who was dressed as the Tin Man, and a Scarecrow (Lucy McNamara) riding Bosco, as the Cowardly Lion.

After the judges – Alison Eastman-Lawler, owner of Apple Tree Farm, and Ann Grenier – gave out awards for the best costume, everyone enjoyed a picnic lunch, which included many delicious treats, such as locally grown Hollis apples for the horses and homemade Halloween cupcakes for the riders.

The fun continued into the afternoon with horses and riders playing several games, such as Mint Julep, which was played by a rider trotting and cantering while holding a cup full of water. After several laps around the ring, the judges would check to see who was able to keep the most water in their cups.

Another fun game that all of the riders loved, Sit a Buck, was a challenge that required the girls to hold a pretend “buck” between their saddles and leg while changing from a trot, canter and walk while frequently changing riding positions.

But the clear crowd favorite was the Dress the Rider game, in which each rider would have to cross the ring, dismount and find pictures of items such as riding helmets, boots or jodhpurs in a magazine, then race back to the other side of the ring on their horses to deliver each picture, and then race back again until all of the pictures had been delivered.

What an exciting, fun-filled Halloween day, with many tricks and treats enjoyed by all – horses and riders.

Apple Tree Farm has been part of the Hollis community for more than 25 years, with many riders from Hollis, as well as surrounding towns. It’s one of the top-rated event facilities in the area that offers year-round riding lessons, horse boarding and training.