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36/ JUNE 2010 THE RIDER REACH Is Something Different: A Motel For Education By Mallory Hendry.

REACH Huron is not your average stable. They call them- selves a “motel for education” and right there it’s clear they offer something different. “We’re in the room rental business,” Melanie Prosser, director of program services, laughs.

REACH is the only facility of its kind in Ontario, and as far as Prosser knows, Canada as well. In the interest of furthering equine and agricultural education in Huron County it offers an amphitheatre with space to bring a real horse into the classroom, a commercial kitchen, a lab and a teaching barn. An outdoor warm up ring and show ring are slated for completion this summer. REACH was Richard Hard- ing’s vision. As the former CAO for the municipality of Central Huron he identified issues in the area that he felt he could address. He first started working on this project over four years ago, and it all started with a little red brick school house. The education cen- tre was a former Roman Catholic

elementary school and the munic- ipality owned everything south of it. Harding went to council and suggested they purchase it. They gave him a year to come up with a use for it. Harding researched what could be done that was “truly different”, Prosser says, and would put their town on the map. Harding wanted to attract tourists and promote economic development to stop the drain of youth from the predominantly agricultural area. He is now the full time executive director and CEO of his vision, REACH. “The idea is other institu- tions and individuals, private businesses, whoever can rent our facilities that are geared towards teaching equine and agriculture,” Prosser says.

REACH also provides basic room rentals to local groups and associations. They’ve had several events in the arena where they put a wooden floor in so things like banquets or sit down dinners are possible. The classrooms are being used to deliver educational programming to businesses, schools are using them for princi-

pals meetings and local business for client meetings. REACH is hoping to have an RV show sometime in may and the Clinton Spring Fair Agricultural Society has rented the arena to bring we square dancing tractors to town.

They’ve also had Georgian college rent the kitchen to teach their safe food handling course, the University of Guelph host a series of evening seminars for Equine Guelph, and the Midwest Horseman’s Society made use of their arena for two horse shows and a Lindsay Grice gaming and barrel racing demonstration. “It’s certainly being used,” Prosser says. “It is becoming the place where people do want to come and hold their meetings or host their events.”

Prosser says they’ve had good responses, most recently from the Midwest Horseman’s Society, in no small part because REACH has had Bob Kaiser - who’s doing the footing for the World Equestrian Games - come out to help with the footing in the arena. Prosser says one of the barrel racers feels it’s likely the best footing in Ontario now.

There’s even dorm-like rooms for the overnight campers. The facility has its own REACH herd of donated horses from many different places. Prosser says they have a wide variety of horses, one from Long Run Thoroughbred adoption society and others from private individuals who “believe in what we’re doing and were looking for a home for their horses.” Unfortu- nately not every horse that’s offered is accepted, as they have to be checked for suitable temperaments and be as multi purpose as possible. A good example of multi purpose is one gelding in the barn who can be ridden English, Western, side saddle and also drives.

Prosser is looking forward to upcoming programs she’s helped to develop.

“We’ve got an equine massage course coming up the end of the month, we’ve got our summer cooking programs starting and we’re kicking off our horticultural programming with a couple of courses this June,” she lists.

“It’s a good multi purpose footing,” Prosser says. “Depend- ing on how it’s groomed it can be used for anything from driving to barrel racing. Everybody has different footing requirements and that was our challenge and that’s why we brought Bob up.” REACH is also doing its own programming in horticulture, canine, equine, agriculture and REACH kids which includes Ministry of Health funded after school programs three nights a week, PA day events and a complete roster of summer camps.

They also worked with several organizations including the Huron County Federation of Agriculture to host a general infor- mation meeting early in May for farmers to learn about a govern- ment program called Micro Fit, which is about creating power using solar panels and selling it back to the Ontario Power Authority. There were over 200 people in attendance, leaving the meeting with standing room only and saw people lining the hall- ways to listen to speakers. The official statement is that REACH is a state of the art facility for the education, presentation and cel- ebration of the agricultural and equine industries. It seems they are doing a wonderful job of living up to their ideals. “We’re filling a need to provide a large enough meeting space for people,” Prosser says. “We opened our doors a year ago and had our official opening in September so we’re pleased with the growth that we’ve seen so far.”

Starting Gate Communications Welcomes Two New Team Members

Ottawa, Ontario – Starting Gate Commu- nications, one of North America’s leading equestrian public relations companies, has welcomed two new members to its media relations and communications team. Sarah Hogg of Ottawa, ON, has extensive graphic design experience, hav- ing worked on various corporate, non- profit and government projects. A gradu- ate of Algonquin College’s graphic design program, Hogg has a clean and modern design aesthetic that catches the eye in today’s competitive media environment. Her expertise in the areas of advertisement conception and design, publication and newsletter lay-out, website design, and branding and logo development will serve the ever-growing graphic design needs of Starting Gate’s varied clientele.

Summer Miniature HORSE SALE

July 24th, 2010

Also don’t miss out Fall Sale: October 16th, 2010

GRAY’S AUCTION CENTRE INC. 1 Mile West of HARRISTON, ON Corner of Hwy’s 87 & 23

SALE CONSISTS OF: AMHA & AMHR “A” & “B” Registered Horses. Easy Entry Carts; single and team harness, there will be carts, wagons, and working carts. For more information contact GRAY’S AUCTION SERVICE INC. @ (519) 338-3722.

TERMS: Cash, Cheque, Visa or Mastercard with proper I.D. Owners or Auctioneers not responsible for accidents day of sale. Any announcements given verbally day of sale take precedence over written ads. To Consign Horses Call:

GRAY’S AUCTION SERVICE INC. (519) 338-3722 AUCTIONEER: GRAY’S AUCTION SERVICE INC. - Harriston - Licensed & Bonded

Sally Guy of Ottawa, ON, holds her Bachelor of Arts in English from Queen’s University. Her strong writing skills will be an asset to the written communications prepared by Starting Gate, including press releases, athlete biographies, and media summaries. Guy will also be responsible for the vast press clipping libraries pre- pared on behalf of the clients, as well as

President: Theresa Astles

website updating and maintenance. “I am extremely excited to welcome Sarah and Sally to Starting Gate Commu- nications, and believe that the opportuni- ties to expand Starting Gate’s role in the public relations industry are unlimited,” said Jennifer Ward, President of Starting Gate Communications. “Both young women bring fresh ideas and a new per- spective, and I am certain that our clients will be impressed with the results. In par- ticular, the world-class quality of Sarah’s creative print and web-based materials will allow us to further expand our graphic design services, an area in which we are experiencing a greater demand from our clients.”

As Hogg and Guy join the Starting

Ontario Icelandic Horse Association Secretary:

RR2, 4572 Woodkilton Road, Woodlawn, ON, K0A 3M0 Phone: 613-832-2550 Fax: 613-230-6706

Treasurer: John Carlaw 7 Aukland Lane,

King City, ON L7B 1C1 905-833-0719

Yolanda van Keeken 553291 Grey Rd. 23, RR 1, Priceville, ON, NOC 1K0 Phone: 519-369-3645

Dear Fellow OIHA members and Ice- landic horse lovers,

Spring has sprung....wait, no, sum- mer has come! A bit early this year but I am sure everyone is enjoying the wonder- ful weather. Especially for riding and spending some time with our fuzzy friends. Speaking of fuzzy you may want to invest in a good de shedder this year with the summer arriving earlier, because all that hair is going to come out very fast. This year you will want your fuzzy friends to look extra special for our OIHA show scheduled for September. Hopefully you have marked the date of September 18th on your calendar. We are very excit- ed for the show this year and the social gathering in the evening, since many of us have not seen each other in a while. Make sure you send in your deposit by June 15th.

with horse people such as Richard Thomp- son, Sigrun Brynjarsdottir, Gudmar Petursson, Larry Whitesell, and Kordula Reinhartz. If you have not signed up for the clinics yet take a look at our website for more information .

We cannot forget about our picnic this year which is very highly anticipated at Jan and Ken Armstrong’s in Ottawa. Make sure to bring a bathing suit and sun- screen for you and your horse! If you would like to introduce your friends to Icelandic Horses there will be breed introduction weekends at

Farm which are a great way to get people hooked on our loveable mounts. As well OnIce Horse Farm will be holding camps during the summer to attract more youth to our organization.

This year is a big year for clinics and events. We are very lucky to have clinics

To find events in your area such as the farm series weekends and Icelandic horse fair demos make sure to keep check- ing back to our website for

Clear Lake

new updates. If you have a great idea for an event large or small that you would like to be displayed on the website please send it in.

Director At Large: Vicky Stoncius 42 Eaglewood Blvd. Mississauga, ON, L5G 1V4 Ph: 905-274-1898

Gate team, long-time staff member Rachel Roppovalente leaves after seven years of providing lay-out, design and multimedia services, among many others. Roppova- lente and her husband are relocating to China to pursue personal interests. “Rachel has been an integral part of our success at Starting Gate, and her effi- ciency and organizational skills were sec- ond to none,” said Ward. “It is a time of transition, but with this change comes a sense of energy and optimism, as our clients will greatly benefit from our increased ability to meet their public rela- tions objectives.”

Starting Gate Communications is a leader in public relations for the equestrian marketplace and currently counts more than 80 athletes, competitions, publica- tions and organizations among its client list. As a full-service agency, Starting Gate offers services ranging from press release creation and distribution to on-site media relations services to graphic design and website development. For more infor- mation, please call (613) 569-2423 or visit


We have all been praying for Iceland since the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, which nobody has been able to pronounce. Now that the ash has subsided and the airports are back on track, the live- stock in Iceland are getting sick. Many of the students at Holar are scheduled to have their final tests this month, but because many of the horses are on bed rest it will be quite a different year at Holar. If you are a collector many Icelandic websites are selling ash in a vile from the eruption. With all that is going on in the world we are lucky to still have our fuzzy horses and great weather.

Hope to see you out on the trails,

On behalf of the board of directors, Vicky Stoncius

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