The Bear Valley Springs Horsemen’s Association Costume Contest and Haunted Trail Trial Ride took place Saturday at the Bear Valley Springs Equestrian Center and its adjoining horse trails.

The day started with the judging of the Halloween Costume Contest. Winner for the Youth Division was Livia D’Cruz, dressed in battle armament aboard her horse, Orion. Adult winner was Debbie Mayer, who had both herself and her horse costumed as the Purple People Eater. She even had the 1958 hit song "Purple People Eater" playing as she and her horse Ellie paraded before the judges.

The next event was the Haunted Trail Trial Ride. Eleven trail obstacles were set up along the mile and a half course. The horses walked through a hoop with dangling streamers. At still another obstacle the horse had to stop and pick up a carrot lying atop a human dummy placed on the ground.

At another obstacle the horse and its rider had to walk past Halloween figures dangling in the trees. The reaction and willingness of the horse to complete the task at each of these obstacles was scored by volunteer judges. The highest point winner for the day was awarded a gift certificate donated by Tractor Supply.

We were “delighted at the number of participants,” said co-organizer Peggy Bergman-Smith. “We had eleven groups of four, for a total of 44 riders who entered the Trail Trial event.” The event was a shotgun-style start so all riders moved quickly through the 11 obstacle stations.

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