The Horse Sanctuary Fundraiser and Open House – October 3-4

The Horse Sanctuary at Stonegate Farm, Coldwater, ON

Fall Fundraiser and Open House – October 3-4

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“Little Guy” – sadly euthanized

Located north-west of Orillia, Ontario, The Horse Sanctuary at Stonegate Farm (formerly named Horseplay Sanctuary) is a registered non-profit charity with a mandate to rescue, rehabilitate, re-train and re-home horses at risk.  Founders Lillian Tepera and Robert Timlin have been offering therapeutic riding since 2007, delivering over 3,000 hours of memorable horse experiences to children and adults with special needs.  The volunteer run rescue has found homes for 10 horses, with more now ready and waiting for their new forever homes.

The Horse Sanctuary’s rescue herd has 20 horses, with some participating in the therapeutic riding program.  Clients include individuals with disabilities, and women and children who are victims of violence, escaping abusive relationships.  Also children grieving the death of a family member, and youth facing challenges or at risk of dropping out of school benefit from the opportunity to interact with horses at The Horse Sanctuary. Close community partnerships and a dedicated group of volunteers make the work possible, often at no cost to the participants.

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One of Akbary’s broodmares when she arrived at the farm

Lillian says about the horse rescue, “We have 2 four-year-old Thoroughbred mares that were part of the Hooman Akbary herd which was auctioned off in 2014. They were just halter broke and very skinny when they got here, but they’re fat and shiny now, and going nicely under saddle.”  Both mares are now available for adoption to the right home.

The Horse Sanctuary bought 9 of Akbary’s herd. Two have found new homes, one old and injured one will be staying at The Horse Sanctuary, 3 youngsters are starting their training, and one foal had a massive umbilical hernia that had been left untreated and had to be humanely euthanized the same weekend he arrived.  “It’s very tough going sometimes, but the rewards of helping these horses in need is well worth the heartache and hard work” says Lillian.

Open House and Lottery

Keeping a herd of 20 horses fed and healthy, with regular farrier and vet care, means a mountain of bills, only a small portion of which is covered by the fees charged for therapeutic riding lessons and by adoption fees. Fund raising is needed to make up the difference.

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“Tia” is one of the 4-year-olds now available for adoption

The Horse Sanctuary is holding its annual major fund raiser for the year, to be held during the weekend of October 3-4.  A lottery will be held, with the chance to win some amazing prizes, including a luxurious 5-person Hydropool Hot Tub donated by Wavemaker Pool Spa Showroom in Orillia.

Other prizes include a 39” Panasonic  smart TV donated by Fast Forward Audio Video in Midland, weekend passes for 2 to Boots and Hearts 2016, weekend passes for 2 to next year’s Mariposa Folk Festival, and a private sight-seeing adventure in an ultralight aircraft.

Tickets are $25 each, and only 1000 will be sold. They can be purchased online at, or at the Fall fund raiser and open house on October 3rd and 4th, which will also include a delicious bake sale and barbecue, demos of rescue horses and therapeutic riding, a yard sale with lots of cool gift items and collectables, plus a “barnyard” sale of horse gear.

The Horse Sanctuary welcomes visits by appointment, and invites you to find out more about their work on their website and Facebook page.

Lillian Tepera

Founder, Horseplay Sanctuary


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