Wow ~ Look at that gorgeous looking creature! As Erica and I strode into the barn early one Saturday morning he turned his head to look at his two new neck scratchers to add to the group of people already petting him and feeding him carrots. The two of us just stood there in "awe". Was this majestic looking creature really standing in front of us at Harrogate Hills or were we dreaming?

As you have probably guessed, this is Grandpa, the newest edition to the Harrogate Hills barn. Grandpa is an 18-year old dark bay Holstein. He stands around 16.3 hands high. Grandpa used to be on the Swiss Nations Cup Show Jumping Team, he was then brought over to North America and shown on the "A" circuit in the United States.

Erica and I hope that Grandpa loves his new home at Harrogate Hills under Pat's care.

Erica and Rebecca


One Harrogate Hills Experience

So what happens to us after turning 40? Men usually go through the 'mid life crisis', but what happens to women? At least for me, I looked at myself and my habits (eating, exercise, etc.) and realized it's time to get fit, the metabolism has slowed down - a lot!

I have to admit I was in denial for a few months, then it hit me. I have to put a bathing suit on next summer -- Oh no! I've attempted to find something that I would enjoy and stick with, and not give in to my lack of will power. First I tried things I liked when I was a kid; badminton, bike riding, jogging, just to name a few - nothing worked. It wasn't as much fun as I remembered it being.

I have spent the last few years going to the 'barn' with our daughter Sam who loves horses and rides in her weekly lessons. I myself did a little riding when I was younger. I had already been thinking for some time what would it be like to ride again, after going out west a few summers ago and going on a trail ride. I enjoyed it so much! It brought back great memories.

There was a rumour that Pat, was going to start an adult beginner lesson, and boy did I jump on the opportunity to sign up. We began last fall - let me tell you, it sure opened my eyes as to how out of shape I was. I couldn't walk for days after that first lesson - everything hurt. Feeling better for one day, then back on the horse again. I wonder what keeps me going after close calls, losing a stirrup, losing the reins, losing control (while cantering), and the pain. I love it all! I feel great when I'm on a horse - it's impossible to explain, maybe it's the sense of freedom and also the challenge. I don't think about work, the messy house, or anything else except how much fun I'm having. There is nothing like it - so I guess what I'm trying to say is find that thing you love to do (you'll stick with it).

I don't even worry about the bathing suit any more, because I'm doing it every week and not giving up. To my riding partners; Donna, Darlene, Pauline, and our leader Janet, you are so inspiring. A big thanks to Samantha, Nicki, Cassandra and Kristen for all your help. Debbie, we hope to see you again.

I WILL master the canter! Right Pat?

Christine Benns

Christine and Legacy preparing for The First Jump


Horse Shows - Home



Horse Show Sponsors


Important Dates to Mark on Your Calendar


Sunday, May 28, 2006
Sunday, June 18, 2006
*Saturday, August 26, 2006
*Sunday, August 27, 2006

At this years' *Summers' End Two Day Extravaganza we hope to open the show to outside competitors. Watch out for more information about this exciting way to end the summer and show off all your new skills!


Sunday, May 14, 2006 Pause Awhile
Sunday, June 11, 2006 Blue Star

It would be great if you came out to cheer on your friends even if you are not competing yet at the "off property" shows. There is a lot to be learned from watching too.


Wheel of Fortune

Yes - it's official - it is no longer the "hat" of fortune. Many thanks to Joan and Vuokko whose artistic skills have created the wheel!

Every rider who enters a Harrogate Hills horse show has the chance to win one of the following:


"Clean Sweep" Harrogate Hills Style

To date these are the items for sale for our "Clean Sweep" marketplace:

1. One pair of black half chaps - size small. Price $25.00.

Call Ainsley Miller at 905-898-8088

2. One pair of brown leather Miller paddock boots, size 3. Price $10.00.

Call or e-mail Stephanie Wagg at 905-954-1094 or

3. One Dark Green Harry Hall Riding Jacket dark green velvet collar. Ladies size 6. Price $60.00. Excellent condition.

Contact Brenda Perry via e-mail at:

4. One pair of brown full chaps, make unknown. Childs small. Price $15.00.

Call or e-mail Stephanie Wagg at 905-954-1094 or

5. One Devon-Aire Navy Pinstrip Show Jacket. Ladies size 8. Price $50.00. Excellent condition.

Call Rebecca Schweinberger at 905-473-9570 or catch me at the barn Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night or Saturdays.

6. One pair of Amazonas Super Comfort tall leather riding boots, ladies size 8-1/2. Excellent condition. Price $35.00

Call Janet Dalby at 905-862-0882

7. One pair of navy Royal Highness riding breeches. Childs size 12. Price $25.00.

Call Rebecca Schweinberger at 905-473-9570 or catch me at the barn Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night or Saturdays.

8. One white Top Rail short sleeve Show shirt, size M (youth). Price $15.00.

Call Rebecca Schweinberger at 905-473-9570 or catch me at the barn Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night or Saturdays.

I am still looking for used for Show Jackets, Breeches and Show Shirts; let me know if you have any of these items that you wish to sell.

Thank you
Sheryl Schweinberger
905-473-9570 or



Congratulations to our neighbours to the south, Andrea Anderson and Greg Smith, who were married at the Briars on Saturday, February 18th. (It is Andrea who has been doing such a great job getting Sadie ready for the riding school).

Our best wishes for every happiness from all of us at Harrogate Hills.


Practice Rides

Ask your instructor if you would qualify for a Practice Ride. This gives you the opportunity to review the techniques taught in your lessons (in your own time, at your own speed). The cost for this is $25.00 for an hour.


A Sad Farewell

February and March have proven to be sad months for Harrogate Hills as we lost two good friends of the farm.

On February 20th Diana Rankin passed away. Many of you will probably remember Diana, mostly for her beautiful black horse Faelan who lived in the stall in which Patrick now resides. Diana came mostly during the day to ride her horse and was always a cheerful and an incredibly easy-going addition to our day. Diana had a gift for finding the bright side in every situation and her easy laugh was as contagious as it was frequent. Although Faelan was her pride and joy she was happy to have him make the acquaintance of our two retired horses, Blue and Fritz. You might recall that Blue and Fritz had the run of the place back then, wandering between paddocks, visiting whomever they wished and coming into the arena whenever the mood struck them. Throughout his stay here Faelan would spend his days in their company, waiting for their visits and even schooling with Diana while his two equine colleagues roamed around the sand ring in their supervisory role. I know a lot of people who would not have seen the funny side of any of this, but such was Diana's love of horses that she enjoyed the safe if rather unorthodox companionship that Fritz and Blue offered Faelan.

Diana was a very special person and not surprisingly she touched a lot of people in her life as I learned when I attended the service in her honour. My thoughts are with her three wonderful children, her husband and all her family and friends.

On March 21st Lori Wolf D.V.M. passed away in Florida. I am still so shocked by this news that I can barely find words. I remember ten years ago when we moved here how Lori agreed to give us a hand with our veterinary work. Over those ten years I came to rely on her expertise and to appreciate her generosity. Though seemingly gruff on the outside at times, Lori took such gentle care with all our horses, treating the retirees with as much respect and concern as she gave the working horses. I will miss her wry sense of humour, her quick, sharp wit and the almost child like joy she took in some of the simplest things in life. She was an avid gardener and I remember being surprised to see how at peace she seemed while she weeded and nurtured her roses. A few years ago I had an old wooden table in the lounge and Lori took a liking to it. I'll always remember her genuine surprise and pleasure when I asked her if she wanted it. She acted as though she had won a lottery as she described how she would restore it by "distressing" it. All the while I kept thinking how glad I was to have found something I could give to her, given everything she had done for me and my horses. I hope that she enjoyed the table, I hope she knew how much I appreciated her friendship and I hope she knows how much we all will miss her. Rest in Peace Lori.


Harrogate Hills Cloting For All Ocassions

Hooded sweatshirt

50/50 cotton/polyester 13 ounce
Matching draw cord in hood.
Set-in sleeves and front pouch pocket .
Deep Forest

$35.00 (Embroidered)

Corresponding youth style
Deep Forest


T shirts

Blue anniversary
Green regular



100% nylon shell
100% cotton kasha lining
Drawstring waist with elastic cuffs
Snap front
Two slash pockets

$49.00 (embroidered)

Personalized Saddle Pad

Harrogate Hills logo and riders name embroidered on sides



Saddle Fitting

On Tuesday March 14th, during March Break, Pat invited saddle fitter Joe Boustead from Canterbury Outpost to come to Harrogate Hills and see how well matched the saddles are to our horses.

Given our understanding of saddle fitting, Every effort has always been made to try to ensure that the horses and their saddles are compatible. Joe was able to further refine the situation with his overall expertise and by using a tool that measures the size of the horses' withers and then comparing it to the different saddles used. He also put the saddle on the horse and explained whether it was a good match or if it should be changed. We were all surprised to learn that both Big Cheyanne and Willie's saddles had broken trees (the 'spine' of the saddle) and could not be repaired.

Happily, there were many instances where our horses were already using saddles that fit properly. However, Joe did have some suggestions as to how we could improve the horses' comfort. Joe took the saddles that required more than just extra pads and re-stuffed them in accordance with the shape of the horses back.

A few horses have swapped saddles and some are now using gel pads instead of cashel pads . . . make sure you read the new labels above each saddle just to make sure the horse you are riding hasn't had it's saddle changed recently.

It was a fascinating process to watch and I know everyone who got to check it out found it to be informative and fun.

Joe Boustead is available for saddle fitting, tack repairs and custom leather work. He can be reached at 905-841-1258

Donna Van Brugge


Death of a Police Horse Shattering News

A couple of years ago, when my younger brother Tim was training to be a part of the Metro Police Mounted Unit, I had an opportunity to go down to the stables and visit. It was quite wonderful. Wonderful to be around so many magnificent creatures and wonderful to see the change in my brother, to see him falling in love with horses.

I watched him grooming them and talking to them, stroking their velvety muzzles and affectionately patting their massive flanks and necks. I realized then how good this was for Tim. How good it would be for anyone. Animals, especially domesticated creatures, are precious gifts to humans. If we allow ourselves to be touched by them and connect with them, they reward us with life-changing riches.

My brother was then and is still and member of the ETF. The elite emergency task force. He is a sergeant and has the safety and care of many people as his responsibility. He daily faces situations and crises that I can barely write about from the safety of my home. So, it was with great joy that I watched him interacting with these gentle giants, saw the stress falling off him, saw some of the armour dropping away. I know that, even though he has yet to officially join the mounted unit, but has stayed with the ETF where he is currently needed, the bond he created with those horses has never left him. He very often drops in to see them, to ride them, to talk to them, to re-connect.

And so it was that I felt my breath being coldly sucked away as I opened the paper to see the photo of several desperate officers draped over the body of a maimed and dying police horse, deliberately struck by a hit-and-run vehicle. The heartbreaking beauty of that photo has remained with me. It is the essence of love and nobility and sacrifice. Something told me to call Tim then and when he couldn't come to the phone I knew that what was just a terribly sad news story to me was a black hole for him.

The universe moves mountains sometimes to teach us hard lessons. That night it had seen to it that Tim had been on duty and was called to the scene where his beloved Brigadier, his favourite, lay torn and bleeding on a cold, wet road.

He told me later that, as he approached the scene, he only needed to see that golden tail to know who it was.

He told me through a voice taut with emotion about the tears in the eyes of the other mounted officers there, of the gentleness and the tenderness with which they pled with Brigadier to lie still and of the horse's agonizing efforts to raise his once magnificent body to its feet.

And, as the precious minutes passed and frantic radio calls were unable to bring a vet and any kind of relief, the universe pointed its unwavering finger and laid its enormous burden upon the weary shoulders of my brother and those other officers there who loved this animal so deeply. The call was made. The shotgun was loaded and my brother, my hero, stroked his friends muzzle and whispered to him one last time.

Sunderland resident Neil Crone, actor-comic-writer, saves some of his best lines for his columns in the Uxbridge Times-Journal. Reprinted with permission.