It seems like yesterday and at the same time it feels like a lifetime ago.
That was the year I had this vaguely insane notion to start my own riding school.
I had managed the University of Toronto’s riding school for a few years and after it shut down, I managed to find temporary homes for all my school horses. Then began the search for a place where I could start again.
There were some moments where it seemed unlikely, but on October 1, 1985 the farm at Gormley came available for lease and so happily, my U. of T. school horses and me were back in business.
I am reminded of all of this because this week, Rochelle Morais has been up from the States for a visit to the farm. She was my first Camp Director all those years ago and having her here this past week has been wonderful. We’ve been reminiscing and cleaning, cleaning and reminiscing…lots of fun.
On Friday night, some of the original campers are coming to the farm for a reunion of sorts. These are kids that were as young as 7 back when Harrogate started operations. We have all tried to keep in touch over the years but getting together has proved problematic. Some are in other provinces and some are in other countries. Some are doctors, lawyers, paramedics, veterinarians and many have started families and have children of their own. But the ones who are able to are going to come for a visit.
It is a bit unsettling to think too much about the amount of time that has passed but I can’t begin to express how honoured I am that they still think enough of their experiences at Harrogate to want to meet up here this weekend.
We are already thinking of a bigger reunion in the future…where everyone could plan way in advance to arrange their schedules so that they could travel to the farm. Maybe in three years for the 35th anniversary…yikes…my fingers sort of hurt typing that…