World of Horses provides NYS Fair visitors access to all kinds of horses
There’s one exhibit that’s returned to the New York State Fair after a break that had nothing to do with COVID-19. The World of Horses lets fairgoers interact with all types and breeds of equines.
Sydney and Montana Marshall are showing miniature horses they raise in Madison County, at the World of Horses exhibit this year.
"This one’s Rosie and the one back there is Boomer."
The exhibit is back after five years. Spokeswoman Karyn Bump said it was actually the fair that asked that they come back to the fairgrounds.
"I got a call and they said ‘the number one complaint we hear at the fair is people want to see and touch horses, so please come back,’ so we did,” Bump said.
There is also a barn full of horses that take part in the shows at the Colosseum, but Bump says organizers are trying to scale back fairgoers staring into those stalls.
“Imagine being a horse, and your whole life is built around the fear that something is going to eat you, you’re a prey animal,” said Bump. “And you see strollers and balloons, and if it was 100 years ago, people would be around horses and people would understand that. So it’s really a safety factor for visitors as well as horses and handlers."
The World of Horses display provides a safe space where people can come and interact with all kinds of horses that have been rotated in and out of the exhibit throughout the fair’s run.
“We have miniatures, we’ve got quarterhorse, Palominos, Connemaras are coming, mustangs, thoroughbreds, off-the-track thoroughbreds, retired standard breeds, including some available for adoption, so we like to have a nice rotation," Bump said.
The exhibit is sponsored by Saddle Up New York, an initiative to bring horse lovers together. Bump said she thinks she knows why horses are also popular.
“Horses have very large eyes, the largest eyes of any land mammal, and they sort of suck you in with a beautiful eye,” she said. “They are prey animals, so they are herd-based so they want companionship and they want to feel safe, so there’s a real nurturing that comes with that."
The exhibit is housed in a permanent building that used to feature draft horses.