Cast members of Hallmark drama When Calls the Heart joined in to help at a local equine rescue in Southern California. Actors Jack Wagner, Kevin McGarry, Kayla Wallace, and leading lady Erin Krakow joined media company executives at Win Place Home, a nonprofit that rehabs and retrains ex-racehorses to find them forever homes.
The beloved series enters its 9th season and is considered the Hallmark channel’s top-rated show. Inspired by author Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West, the series follows the story of a young schoolteacher and single mother Elizabeth Thornton (played by Krakow) in the town of Hope Valley. Newly widowed, she finds the strength to carry on while balancing a host of new suitors, novelist aspirations and of course, motherhood and her teaching career.
The series, which films in the Vancouver area, is set at the turn of the last century, starting in 1910, making horses a part of the cast. There’s even a Mountie character, Nathan Grant, who is played by McGarry.
According to a post in Parade.com, the celebrity volunteers spent the day performing the usual stable chores that we’re all familiar with: feeding, cleaning tack, and even hand-walking.
“I’m so grateful that Hallmark included us in this opportunity to get to know Win Place Home,” Erin Krakow told Parade.com. “It always feels good to give back to the community, but doing so with horses made it feel extra special. I’ve grown particularly fond of horses while working with them on When Calls the Heart, and witnessing the incredible sanctuary [founder C.J. Wilson] has created for them really warmed my heart.”
Similar to how Ontario non-profit LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society operates, Win Place Home takes OTTBs and gets them ready for other disciplines. The group also works alongside the Monty Roberts training program to find new homes for these horses. The organization is based out of Birtwick Park Equestrian Center in California.