Our History
Christine Coler
The Barn Yard Petting Zoo
and Pony Rides
The Barn Yard Petting Zoo
and Pony Rides
Petting Zoo History

The Barn Yard Petting Zoo was founded by
Doreen Leach over 20 years ago. At that time,
Doreen was raising goats, and along with her
youngest daughter was showing them at the
Canfield Fair.
She was asked if she could bring some of her
goats to a festival in downtown Youngstown.
The Amazing reaction that she got from the
children and the parents motivated her to do
more festivals and include more small farm
animals. Her traveling "petting zoo" grew into a
full-time summer job.

Doreen passed away in 2003, but her vision to
pass joy onto others lives on through her
daughters, Chris, Cathy and Carrie, and their
families through
The Barn Yard Petting Zoo.
Pony Ride History
Doreen started showing ponies at the Canfield Fair at a young age. Her father, James Best Sr.,
not only showed ponies at the Fair, but he also set up a pony ride ring there. The pony rides are
still going strong more than 50 years later. All 6 of Best's children started working the pony
rides at a young age.
When they got married and had kids of their own, the grandchildren helped out. When those
grandchildren got married and had kids of
their own, the great-grandchildren helped out.
Because it was a natural addition, Doreen along with her husband George, added pony rides to
their list of services. Now George, along with Doreen's eldest daughter Christine, have not only
continued to offer those services, but also run the pony rides at the Canfield Fair.
Other family members have also pass their love for animals
to others.

James Best Jr and family along with the help of their
beautiful Halflinger ponies, offers carriage rides for special
occasions. (Check out their web site,
click here)

Tom Best Sr and family along with the help of their powerful
Draft Horses, offerers wagon rides through the orchard at
Whitehouse Fruit Farms every fall.

Dave Best along with his wife Sandy supply the beautiful
embroidery on the shirts, hats, jackets, and even baby bibs
from their shop in New Springfield, Ohio.
Best Sports and Stitches

All signs are provided by another Uncle,
George Johnson of Florida