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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

WETRA’s first Fall Fair gets overwhelming response


by Sylene Argent

The Windsor-Essex Therapeutic Riding Association (WETRA) opened its doors to the community on Sunday to host its first Fall Fair, and the response to the fun event was overwhelming.

  Around 2000 visitors headed down to the ranch, located on North Malden Road, to enjoy a carriage or pony ride, shop at the vendors’ market, make a craft, and watch agility dogs of the Border City Barkers go through an obstacle course. In addition, visitors were able to take a self-guided tour through the barn for a chance to pet the horses and other farm animals.

  Due to the overwhelming support, around $9000 was raised at the event. The funds raised at the Fall Fair will help WETRA feed and care for its 20 therapeutic horses and ponies, and other farm animals onsite, pay for staff to manage volunteers and teach the program’s students, and maintain the facility.

  Becky Mills, Executive Director of WETRA, noted the idea to host a Fall Festival came about earlier in the year. There was a need to fundraise, but the idea was to host an event that could be held completely outdoors, so visitors could socially distance if needed.

  “Our biggest goal was to bring the community together,” Mills said of the event. “It has been so long. We wanted to put ourselves back on the map to say we are still here.”

She noted participation in the event was way beyond what she ever imagined, and she was grateful to everyone who stopped by.

  Event organizers are already looking to make tweaks to improve next year’s Fall Fair.   

  Looking ahead, WETRA will celebrate 50-years of being incorporated in 2023 and has plans in place to recognize the significant milestone.

  Without community support, WETRA would not be able to afford to run the program.

  WETRA serves a host of students with physical, mental, social, and emotional needs, who benefit from the service.

  For more information, log onto www.wetra.ca

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