WOODBURY — The Region 14 school system has accepted a donation of a horse-drawn carriage and sleigh, both antiques, to be used as part of the agriscience program at Nonnewaug High School.
The vehicles were offered by Robin Augustadt of Ridgefield, who said she is proud to support Nonnewaug’s Ellis Clark Regional Agriscience School. The program has earned the admiration of farming enthusiasts around the area for its success in educating students seeking a career in the agriscience industry.
The Board of Education at its last meeting voted to accept the donation, which has an estimated value of $8,000.
The addition of the carriage and sleigh is timely in that the agriscience science program will soon have its own 12,000 square-foot horse riding arena built on campus.
“This donation is arriving at the perfect time for the expansion of our existing horse management program,” said agriscience Director Ed Belinsky. “With the planned construction of an indoor arena, students will be able to incorporate horse driving skills and other handling techniques into their curriculum year round.”
Augustadt runs the nonprofit organization “We Will Ride,” which offers programs for people with disabilities aimed at enhancing their physical, mental, emotional, and social functioning in everyday life.
Belinsky said school officials met Augustadt through their mutual relationship with Little Britches therapeutic riding center of Woodbury.
This is the second donation of note made to the Ellis Clark School during the current school year. In September, the program was given an extensive taxidermy collection of animals from around the world.
The collection, with an estimated value of $19,745, includes an eight-foot Kodiak brown bear, two mountain goats, a fisher cat, coyote, mink, deer, caribou and a pair of wild rams, as well as a seven-foot mounted sailfish and a salmon. The stuffed animals are displayed in the school’s main lobby.