BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College senior Samantha Maidens recently received the inaugural Equestrian Dedicated Service Award at Oglebay Stables.

The award was introduced by longtime Bethany College employee Shirley Kemp, who is director of advancement services and who also serves as the village mayor.

Maidens, a physical education major from St. Marys, W.Va., became involved with Bethany’s equestrian program when seeking off-campus employment. She always had an interest in horses, but no experience with the animals before working at Oglebay Stables.

“I ended up falling in love with the job to where I’ve worked there all of my summers while at Bethany – while also working there during the school year and even on winter break,” Maidens said.

Maidens’ responsibilities at the stables include leading pony rides, caring for the horses, and getting the horses ready for trail rides. On some holidays, such as the Fourth of July, she leads pony rides near Schenk Lake.

Kemp said she introduced the annual award to show appreciation for the dedication and hard work of the students and to bring attention to Bethany’s equestrian program.

In late 2012, Bethany College and Oglebay Stables entered a partnership in which Oglebay houses the college’s equestrian facilities.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.