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Franklands Farm News Archive

January - December 2016

Elysee had a lovely filly by Fabregas on May 23. We call her Full Tilt aka Tilly, she was the Reserve Champion at the Hanoverian foal inspection in September so we are very proud of this pairing and are excited for the future with this filly.

Tilly Foal Inspection
Tilly Foal Inspection, 2016

January - October 2015

This has been a very busy year with us adding on a different aspect to our board and training program! We had 2 beautiful filly foals this year! Elysee was pregnant due to a free breeding we won by entering the valentine contest for the stallion "Sir Wanabi". We have a lovely filly named Smuggler so with her mother being a well bred Hanoverian with dressage/jumper/eventing blood in her and her sire Sir Wanabi being named SBW leading sire east coast 2015! She has talent to become whatever we want her to be!!

Smuggler August 2015

Smuggler August 3, 2015

Raffles also produced a lovely filly this year from Lemony's Nicket. We named her Lickety Split and being born July 29 we now see that she is developing beautifully into a great dressage prospect. She was reserve champion foal at the Hanoverian inspection at only 5 weeks old! (attached photo of Lickety Split conformation inspection)

Lickety Split Conformation

Lickety Split Conformation Inspection

Elysee has been bred back to the lovely dressage stallion Fabregas and Raffles will be bred next spring again since we decided the foaling was too late to breed her again this year.

The Herd at Franklands Farm, 2015

The Herd at Franklands Farm, 2015

Savvy is now a yearling and is growing into a very special horse with talent for everything as well. It will be fun deciding where their paths will go!!

Shelley and Flynn Beaulieu

Savvy, August 2015

My students had a successful competition year, moving up the levels and capturing the championships at the shows they attended. Shelley competed her horse Flynn at First Level and Faith's pony Daylight at Third Level. Lucy competed Wren at Adult Amateur First Level. Danbury was at PSG with the double bridle this year!!

Shelley and Flynn Beaulieu

Shelley and Flynn at Beaulieu 2015

Danbury Beaulieu

Danbury PSG at Beaulieu 2015

Wren Beaulieu

Wren at Beaulieu 2015

July - December 2014

We had a lovely colt from Raffles by Sir Wanabi! He is such a busy boy and loves to canter....someday we might find a trot in there!! He did his Hanoverian inspection and was branded so we look forward to his development!

Savvy as a Foal

Savvy 2014

My students and I showed well locally and were very pleased with the results and championships we won at several different levels. Everyone is developing their horses beautifully! Danbury owned by The Firelight Group Inc. debuted at Prix St Georges receiving 70% scores at the Beaulieu Dressage Classic!

Danbury PSG Beaulieu August 2014

Danbury PSG at Beaulieu, August 2014

January - February 2014

Just a quick update on the last couple of months! It has been a very cold snowy winter and we are really ready for spring which is just around the corner. I have been able to keep the horses working for the most part so that has been good. Some of the days with the very cold wind chill were just lunging days but the horses all fared well through it. There is quite a contrast between summer and winter as shown by the photos. These were take in almost the same spot 6 months apart!!

Franklands Farm Grounds in Winter and Last Spring

I have a link to a press release stating that Faith was honoured with the Equine Canada Lifetime Achievement award. It was so well deserved and I was able to get to Winnipeg for the gala to see her receive her award. Her daughters Willa Baynard and Kate Stevenson also made a surprise visit so that was fantastic! Please click here to see the press release!

Please click here to see a video/song that Team Franklands wrote in response to a Valentine's contest to win a free breeding to a stallion "Sir Wanabi". Faith's and my mare "Elysee" WON the free breeding with this lovely tune sung by one of my working students Rachel Jacksaw. Rachel has her degree in voice so it was perfect to have her do the song. Lots of fun!!

You can see the words to the song if you click here! Everyone here was involved in some way with the making of this Valentine! We are very excited to see that foal!!

Faith's and my mare "Raffles" is due to foal April 23, also a "Sir Wanabi" offspring so we are patiently waiting for that!

July - September 2013

Horses 2013

(L to R) Rhythmix, Royal Flush and Danbury.

The summer flew by far too fast. Faith's grandchildren were at summer camp with Archie for July and then spent August at Franklands riding with Kaylee and Shelley, developing their dressage and jumping skills.

They are all doing so well and growing into great teenagers! Gina competed Danbury at third level at two competitions in August, Palgrave and Beaulieu. Danbury loves the competition atmosphere and continues to school Prix St George exercises. Royal Flush also went to the shows as a non-competing entry to be a part of the atmosphere. He is also working the Prix St George exercises.

Franklands Farm Grounds

Elysee is a new addition to the Farm and we have spent most of the summer piecing together her background. She is spending some time at Millar Brooke Farm now, so that has been a very exciting part of the summer for sure!
(Elysee pictured below left.)

Shelley bought her much loved Flynn from Kristal Farm and will be schooling all winter towards the competition ring next summer.
(Shelley on Flynn, below right.)


Shelley on Flynn

Thanks to all the working students, Patricia, Isabelle, Rachel, and to Franklands employees, Bill and Mark (mowing, below), for keeping the property looking so beautiful. It is always such a joy to have a top class facility to train the horses and riders!

Mark Mowing

January - June 2013

Apple Blossoms at Franklands Farm

After a busy winter it is finally spring and the colors and flowers at Franklands are as lovely as usual. Gina has been busy with clinics, attending the Dressage Canada summit in Florida and attending the CDIO in Wellington Florida as Chef d'Equipe for the Canadian teams. The success of the teams was great and we were proud to have a team bronze medal as well as individual gold. Gina also attended the official opening of the Equine Canada at their new location in Kanata. The office space is much larger and the parking lot is huge so the federation has a great new home now! Gina went with Royal Flush and Danbury to the Spring into dressage competition as non competing horses for a good outing and to see the newly upgraded Palgrave site. It is coming along very well there and we will have a fantastic facility for the Pan Am Games in 2015! Gina also looked after selling the inventory of a tack store that was kindly donated to Dressage Canada after the store retired from business. There were lots of great deals to be had and the first part of the sale went extremely well.

Gina also attended a fundraising meeting for Dressage Canada in Toronto that was a terrific brainstorming day to get Canadian Dressage back on track with some great funding ideas and projects. So much enthusiasm and expertise will certainly help Dressage Canada achieve their goals of getting back on the podium!! Summer is always a busy time for us with Faith and Bill's grandchildren coming to ride so we look forward to seeing them all again soon. Gina continues to be busy with clients, sales and teaching throughout the summer months!

Royal Flush in the Lilacs

Royal Flush in the lilacs.

September - December 2012

It has been a very busy last quarter of 2012 and we welcome the New Year 2013 with great expectations! After the close of the summer holidays and all Faith's grandchildren returned to school it seemed to get quiet for awhile but with a full stable we were kept busy. Whitney Braun left us as a working student and returned to Edmonton, so we wish her well in her future endeavours. She had a great two years here and progressed to compete Daylight at Third level and schooled her most of the Intermediare 1 test. Whitney had some of the best canter pirouette work ever with Daylight she achieved 15 one tempos once!! Click here to see a video just before Whitney went back to Edmonton.

We would like to congratulate Robin Brent on her purchase of Judith Pineault's horse Biolek just before Christmas! We look forward to seeing this pair develop a great partnership and compete this coming season. Thanks to all our clients and to my wonderful staff here at Franklands and we look forward to a great season in 2013!!

I thank Liz Steacie for her computer expertise and for putting my favourite video of me riding Faust in the Grand Prix Special at Paxton Farm in 2001. This was his first diamond award for the high score at the CDI level. Click here to link to this fabulous horse.

Here is my most favourite of Quel and Faline last summer. Quel will be truly missed but we know she is in a better place with all her pony friends. Quel was a valuable asset to our summer program with the grandchildren over many years, we estimated her age at around 30.

Quel and Faline in the Orange Blossoms

Quel and Faline in the orange blossoms.

June - August 2012

We had the last of our shows in Blainville, Quebec where again Royal Flush won all his Third Level classes with Gina and was Third Level Open Champion. Whitney rode Daylight in the Third Level classes as well and placed twice 4th and once third in big classes! We always love going to this wonderful venue and seeing as it was the last show that our Canadian Olympic riders could qualify for the leaderboard, it was exciting to see the Grand Prix riders compete.

Congratulations to Ashley Holzer, Jacquie Brooks, David Markus, Diane Creech and Pia Fortmueller for making the top 5 in Canada for the 2012 Olympic Games. In July they all met up at training camp in England along with the support staff to get ready for the move into Greenwich Park in London shortly before the official jog for Dressage. Gina was there as Chef d'Equipe for the team and it was a completely different side of being a part of the team than participating as an athlete. The logistics of getting a team ready for the games requires so much time and organization, we have great respect for all the support staff that worked so hard to make things easier for the athletes. Chef d'Mission, Kerri MacGregor and EC Dressage Manager Christine Peters were key in getting so much of the work done behind the scenes. England is a beautiful country and there was some time available to do some sight seeing which was great. Such history packed into every little village!!

The Games themselves were fantastic, the quality of horses in all disciplines was spectacular, and it was great to see it all live! Canada had some unfortunate circumstances in all disciplines but each team had its shining star too. We have lots of work to do going forward to develop our sport and bring Canada back into the top country it deserves to be. Thanks to all the riders, grooms, owners, and support staff that made everything work for these games.

Franklands was in top shape when Gina returned from England. The horses were all great, the riders were all better and the pony program was in full swing. We would like to congratulate Jill Harrell on her purchase of Simcha. He arrived in California and she is having fun getting to know this lovely young prospect

Now as summer is winding down, Liz is preparing to go back to Queens to continue her studies and we are welcoming a couple of new working students for the next term. Good luck to all those competing in the regional Championships!

May 2012

Gina Smith on Royal Flush at Bromont

We had two successful shows to report for May. We started in Bromont with Gina riding Royal Flush in Third Level, Whitney riding Daylight in Third Level, and Jen Parks riding Morgen at the advanced level. It was a warm weekend but the horses were all very fit and the weather did not bother them at all. The Bromont venue is fantastic and we are so lucky to have such a great facility at which to compete. Royal Flush won all his classes and was Third Level Open Champion, Daylight had a first and two seconds in her Third level classes, and Jen was sixth, fourth, and third in her classes.

Ottawa was also a great weekend. We had warm weather and just a short downpour in the evening, so we were lucky there too. The stables are built on a new "pad" of stone dust, so it was a huge improvement over past years. Royal Flush won all the classes at Third Level and was Third level Open Champion. Daylight was excellent again and had two seconds and a third. Morgen was third in the Prix St George, second in the Intermediare 1, and the third day Jen rode Prix St George again and won the class. They were advanced Champions at the show!

Gina Smith on Royal Flush at Bromont

Congratulations to everyone, and all Gina's students that competed so well at the shows.

Photos, clockwise from top: Gina Smith on Royal Flush at Bomont, Gina on Royal Flush at Ottawa, Whitney Braun on Daylight at Bromont, Whitney on Daylight at Bromont.

Whitney Braun on Daylight

Whitney Braun on Daylight

January 2012 - March 2012

The last three months of winter were really very mild and we certainly enjoyed the use of our outdoor arena much earlier than usual. We even had a week of weather in the low 20's in March, which was great, but the horses with their winter coats were really a bit too warm! It returned to more seasonal temperatures and we look forward to a lovely spring with all the flowers and trees that bloom.

Gina was able to get to Florida for 10 days in January and attended a couple of shows there to see the riders that are contending for the Olympic team in London this summer. The leaderboard is shaping up nicely. Everyone can see it on the Equine Canada website by clicking here. The final results will be tabulated late in June so it will be exciting to see who comes out on top. There are double the declarations for the team than we had 4 years ago so dressage in Canada is broadening. Most of the weekends Gina spent teaching at her regular clinics in Calgary, Montreal and Arizona as well as a few new clinics in Saskatoon, for their Equine Expo, and Toronto for CARD.

At the end of March we hosted a one-day clinic with Markus Gribbe, after which Gina flew to Florida again to attend a CDI 5* competition. It is great to have Markus' input with the young horses and everyone attending the clinic took home lots of things to work on. In Florida, the support staff held a meeting with the riders there, and riders from Europe or California could conference in if they wanted to. It was an informative session on plans moving forward. It was great to have our Chef d'Mission, Kerri MacGregor conference in as well with so much information about the games.

We look forward to a show season starting in May and June, then Gina will be busy with her work as Chef d'Equipe for the team at CDIO Aachen and then onto training camp in England and the Olympic Games in London.

Faith's grandchildren will be here all summer so there will be a riding program for them arranged by Kaylee, Shelley, Whitney and Liz. It is a great staff to have in place at Franklands for this very busy and exciting summer!!

November and December 2011

Franklands Farm Fall 2011

We have been enjoying balmy weather extending well into December and we are enjoying every minute of it!! Gina has been busy conducting clinics and is always grateful when she travels to Arizona for a few days! Gina worked together with Christine Peters to present a funding submission for dressage to "Own the Podium." We are optimistic at the future of dressage in Canada, there is an excellent plan in place and we can help to target the athletes toward the major games with the help of the funding supplied by this group. Thanks so much to Christine for putting all the thoughts together and having a well organized presentation!

It has been a year full of ups and downs. There is a wonderful staff at Franklands Farm, with Kelsey, Shelley, Kaylee, Whitney, Bill and Mark. The new arena footing is spectacular, horses were bought, several horses found great new owners, we won a team silver Pan Am medal, got rid of some pain, and lost a very special old friend "Caesar." We look forward to 2012 and all it brings our way.

Franklands Farm Merry Christmas


October 2011

Pan Am Team

October was a very successful month for our Pan Am Dressage team in Guadalajara, Mexico. Gina was there as Chef d'Equipe to the team where they all achieved their personal top scores and won the team silver medal!! It was a great success since it means that Canada can now be represented in London in 2012 at the Olympic Games. The pressure was on for the team to achieve a medal so we could secure a berth for the Olympics. Everyone rode so well and went on to produce even better scores for the individual competition ending up 4th, 5th and 7th overall!!. Mexico was fantastic and there were absolutely no problems thanks to the hard work done logistically by Christine Peters at the Equine Canada office and Kerri MacGregor the Chef d'Mission for the equestrian.Here is a picture of the team with their horses and grooms as well as the support staff, Gina, Dr. Alan Manning and Markus Gribbe.

Pan Am Medal

A photo of the silver medal, although the color looks gold in the photo, is also pictured. Congratulations to all the Riders, Grooms, Horses, Owners and Support staff for making this possible!

Franklands Farm was very well taken care of in Gina's absence by the competent staff, and all the horses are doing great. Jennifer Parks is here for the winter from Edmonton with 2 horses at Franklands and 2 horses at Porcupine Hill! We also have a 3 year old PRE stallion, "Nero" , owned by Lynne Moorhead, to start into the program so it is always fun to work with the youngsters.

The Royal Winter Fair is just around the corner which is always a busy time for Faith and Bill. Gina will attend meetings there for the Dressage Canada Board and the Athlete's Council. The Pan Am Team will be presented the night of the freestyle so it will be a gala event at the dressage reception. Just before the Royal starts, Faith is travelling to Halifax where Ingrid Klimke will be giving a symposium. Faith will travel back to Toronto with Ingrid for a couple of days before Ingrid has to return to Germany to receive the highest honour from the German federation for her contribution to sport in Germany. Congratulations Ingrid!!

We are getting ready for winter but in the meantime we are enjoying some nice balmy November weather!!


August & September 2011

Summer is over and fall is upon us! We had a super summer with the grandchildren's riding program and ended it in a TGIF show at Centaur Riding School. We had lots of fun at Shirley Guertin's facility and it is great to get the children out with other children their age. Emily Dexter left for Nova Scotia after several years as a working student and employee so we wish her well in her new ventures. Shelley McArthur finished her Masters in Chemistry at Queens University and came back to Franklands for a full time job so it is great to have Shelley living in Brockville. Kelsey, Whitney and Kaylee are staying on as well so we have a great staff of competent people.

Gina has been busy with the logistics of the Pan Am Games as Chef d'Équipe and will be travelling to training camp in Newburgh, NY before flying to Mexico in October for the Games. The team is shaping up very well and we hope to bring home a medal for Canada so we can get to the Olympics in 2012!! Canada's technical Leader, Markus Gribbe, came through Brockville for a day to see several horses from the Ottawa/Montreal area so Franklands Farm and Liz Steacie's Porcupine Hill hosted the sessions with him.

We sold 3 horses in August and September, Nairobi, Phantom and Cortez all found new owners and are happily getting accustomed to their new surroundings! We congratulate the new owners and wish them all the best with their new partners!

Sharon Merkel-Beattie is here for 6 weeks from Edmonton with her Grand Prix mare "Essence of Glory" to train and ride the CDI's at Saugerties, NY as well as Devon, PA.

Next update will be after the Pan Ams so will keep you posted! Good Luck to our Team!! Go Canada!!


July 2011

We had great results at the CDI Palgrave July 15 – 17. Gina rode The Firelight Group's Royal Flush in the FEI 6 year old classes and had good scores both days. He was nervous the first day and tense in the canter work and scored 71.6. He settled for the second day and had a good score of 76. Kelsey rode The Firelight Group's Danbury in the FEI 5 yr. old classes and had 2 very good rides scoring 73.6 and 78. Royal Flush and Danbury are two lovely young horses that are developing very well for the future.

Gina organized a silent auction at the show with several items from the Dressage Team trunks that are in good condition but need to be replaced. This raised over 1,100.00 so it will be put to good use for the future teams. Gina has now a online auction going with many team blankets. Click here for the auction. It is easy to bid and it will stay open until August 20th so check it out and own a part of history!! These blankets are in excellent condition. There will also be a live auction of blankets and a few other items at the two Pan Am Trials at Orangeville Fair grounds August 5 – 7, and the final trial at Palgrave August 19 – 21. Make sure you get out to the trials, see all the team horses and bid on a blanket!!

Faith's grandchildren were busy at Saddlewood Riding Camp for the month of July. It has been a great experience for them and they have made many friends at this wonderful camp. In August the children have daily lessons on the ponies here so it is a busy time.

The North American Junior/Young Rider Championships in Lexington Kentucky were a great success for the Canadian riders! Congratulations to all those who did so well competing for Canada! We are especially proud of Emily Fownes who was a member of the Silver Medal Young Riders team from BC/Quebec with Frappuccino!! Emily was also awarded a prize for the best turnout so that was just great.

Emily Dexter rode Faith's pony Daylight in the Prix St Georges and Intermediare 1 at the Ottawa show July 27 – 28. Emily can be proud of her time spent at Franklands and the work she has done with Daylight and the grandchildren. Emily is leaving us in August to return to school at home in Nova Scotia.

We also want to congratulate Diane Bourgouin on her purchase of Kristal Farms "Harley." We are excited to see this pair develop their relationship under the guidance of Marie Josee Delisle in Quebec.

We all look forward to the trials for the Pan Am Games; August will be an exciting month for all the disciplines to decide on their teams.


June 2011

Gina is the Chef d’Equipe for the Pan Am Dressage Team in Guadalajara, Mexico this October.  One of her tasks is to organize the team trunks so she spent a day going through everything and it was decided that some of the stuff could be sold at auction to fundraise for future games.  There will be lots of great stuff to buy so watch for notices where the fundraising will happen.  probably at the team trials that will be held in August or possibly some of will be offered online.

We will keep you posted.  Good Luck to all those trying to qualify for the team, watch the Leaderboard on the Equine Canada/Dressage website to see how things are shaping up.

May 2011

Show season has begun and we started off with 3 in a row.  CDI* Bromont was just great.  It is so good to see what Quebec is doing to upgrade this lovely venue.  The footing is superior and the grounds are going to be developed even further.  Gina rode Royal Flush to excellent results in the FEI 6 yr old classes.  They scored 73% and 76% so were off to a good start for the season.  Kelsey rode Danbury to 6 wins in the First Level tests and won the Championship in the Open division. Brenna Ortynsky came from Calgary with “Email” (aka Tess) to Franklands hoping to score some qualifying results for the Young Riders division so she is working hard at that. Brenna had some very good results for her first year at this level!

The next show was a Gold show in Ottawa.  Well it rained....and rained some more for 3 days solid so we were very busy making sure the stalls stayed dry not to mention the horses and ourselves.  The show committee was very helpful and it is always a nightmare when this happens at such a venue and with such great organization.  Kelsey won all the first level classes with Danbury and won the Open  First Level Championship again! Danbury is proving to be a real show horse in every respect, no matter what he is presented with he just carries on! Great! Gina scratched Royal Flush and just rode him around the show grounds since the ring was really mucky where he was to compete.  Royal Flush was castrated in January and is doing really well but there was no reason to ask him to do a test in the mud and rain.  Brenna had very good tests again and is improving steadily. Lisa McLeod rode Barrister in her first show with him and had very good rides at third level. She got her feet wet, literally, so she knows how he behaves at shows and can build on that for the future.

Royal Flush in Bromont.

Gina was busy directly after the Ottawa show with the Dressage Canada Board at a Strategic Planning session in Ottawa for 2 days.  Marcus Gribbe, Canada’s new Technical Leader, attended a part of the session and then went teaching at a few stables in the Ottawa area on his way to Palgrave horse show. It was great to have him visit Franklands and help Gina with Royal Flush, as well as Kelsey with Danbury. We are proud of our youngsters!
Our next show took us to Palgrave, again a Gold show. Royal Flush stayed home, but Danbury again won all the Open First Level classes and the Championship. A hat trick so to speak!  Brenna and Tess did well again and were very close to getting a qualifying score but will have a chance to try again in Calgary at the end of June.  Lisa was able to get into a few classes with Barrister and performed better than the show in Ottawa with more entries to compete against.

Whew! That takes us into June where we have a bit of a break.


January – April  2011

We would like to congratulate Ilene Boorman on her purchase of Flower!  This was a very good match and we look forward to hearing how they progress together in the future.

Winter finally ended and Spring arrived which is one of the best times of year at Franklands.  All the lilac bushes come into bloom and it is so great to open up the arena windows and use the outdoor riding arena. The horses and ponies love the grass of course so when the paddocks are free of mud they are very happy to go and graze.
Gina was very busy with weekend clinics and enjoys the continuity with all of her students at several venues. Windhaven in Edmonton, Trakehner Glen in Calgary, Anne Schwab organizes Montreal, Laurie Neufeld and Hilary Versavel organize Winnipeg and Scottsdale is a special favourite in the winter organized by Wendy Riddell.

We always look forward to backing the lovely youngsters that are bred by Kristal Farm in Ste Justine de Newton, Quebec.  Watch their website for updates on the upcoming foals and the youngsters.