The Richmond Hill Equestrian Club will have its inaugural meeting Thursday, March 22, 2007 at Elgin West Community Centre in the Palisade Room B from 7-9p.m. Riders and horse lovers are invited to attend and consider joining this club. There will not be any cost for the first year.

The Initial mandate is to have interested people lobby their local councillor to convince him/her that riders in Richmond Hill, Ontario support the building of a riding facility, including an enclosed arena at the Phyllis Rawlinson Park on Leslie Street, north of Elgin Mills.

This site has a heritage house, an existing barn with some stabling for horses, fenced pastures, turnout and a run-in shed. It is overgrown right now; however, council will be re-furbishing the heritage house and barn this year.  This 89-acre stie was willed to the Town by Ms. Phyllis Rawlinson to be used for environmental and sports needs.

The Town used to offer horseback riding programs through the Parks and Recreation department, but the barn that was being used was forced to move due to development pressures and, as a result,  Town-sanctioned riding programs are no longer offered.

Council needs to know how many riders are residents of Richmond Hill and the importance to them of providing a facility so that this sport can be enjoyed in our community by theresidents. Council has agreed to fund the remodelling of the heritage house and barn, but proper equestrian programs can not be offered without an arena with additional stabling.

As a result, interested parties must help to convince Council that there is a strong organization backing this program and to recognize the need for this sport to be accessible to Richmond HIll residents, with a view to the future, as many existing barns are being torn down by developers, resulting in appropriate facilities being further from home.

For further information, even if you cannot attend, please contact Lynn K. Foster, Councillor, Ward 4, at 905-771-2480 or to indicate your support.