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Santa and his elves come to the Ebony Horsewomen Center in Hartford

Ebony Horsewomen Equestrian and Therapeutic Center Christmas Celebration
Joe Amon
Connecticut Public
Teigen Foster, 5, pets Jack-Jack the Elf's horse Gus at the Ebony Horsewomen Equestrian and Therapeutic Center's annual Christmas Celebration.

At the Ebony Horsewomen Equestrian and Therapeutic Center in Hartford, members of the community can take care of horses, learn how to ride and work on their mental health. At this year’s annual Christmas celebration at the center, kids visited with Santa, who swapped his reindeer for horses.

Some of the parents say they took their kids to this event because both Mr. and Mrs. Claus are Black. Patricia Kelly, who was Mrs. Claus and is the president of the Ebony Horsewomen Center, said representation is important.

“Kids grow up needing to see themselves,” she said. “I think it helps the children to understand that they matter in this world.”

Kelly says seeing Santa gives kids a sense of normalcy in a difficult time during the pandemic.

Ryan Caron King contributed to this report. See video below for more.

Joe Amon is a Visuals Editor with Connecticut Public’s Visuals department. As a photojournalist he has covered breaking news, sports and long form storytelling across the United States.

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