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REACH Grand Opening Gala and Open House

This past week I was fortunate enough to participate in two events at the new Regional Equine & Agricultural Centre of Huron. The first was the "black tie" Gala for invited guests in the new Riding Arena on Thursday night. A great list of sponsors made it a fabulous entertaining night that people will be talking about for quite a while. Not very often something like this happens in Huron County. The REACH staff made sure everything was as close to perfect as possible. It was also quite evident on who was paying for the night - OLG. (Ontario Lottery & Gaming). Well maybe not the whole night but they contributed a lot.
Before the meal the MC stated they had a surprise for us after dinner (note: the stage was set up for a band). During the meal we were entertained with a Dressage demonstration and the guy who sang the commercial "Good things Grow in Ontario".
After the meal Richard Harding, CAO for Central Huron, listed the band's accomplishments - toured North Amercia, Grammy nominees for various awards, Juno and CMA Award winners. Not bad. and then The Wilkinsons walked on stage!!!
What a way to cap off the night.
Today, Saturday, was the big public Open House. We got there around 11AM and there was a lineup of cars. When we left at 2PM cars were still coming. No idea on numbers yet but the Huron County Dairy Producers sold (scooped out) 200 Kawartha Lakes Ice Cream cones before 12 noon. The Huron County Pork Producers were also there selling sausage on a bun. One comment from a former steer wrestler was "this place will be packed" making reference to the point that there is nothing else like it in Ontario.
As a non-horse guy I was impressed. Everyone who has horses was excited. I spoke with a couple from Hanover who came just for the Open House. A big day for Central Huron (Clinton) and a sign of great expectations and rejuvenation.
Congratulations to the REACH staff and Central Huron Council.
(since I forgot my camera each time, I am hoping my contacts will send photos my way from each event to post here).

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Comment by Wayne Black on September 14, 2009 at 9:09pm
Thanks Joe for adding this. One thing I forgot was the website for REACH - reachhuron.ca Within the website you will see programming that they are currently offering and also a spot to sign up for email updates when they add new programs. One that my wife is wanting to sign up for is a photography day with the horses (and a teacher, lunch et al). Their plans sound exciting. I found out yesterday they are currently discussing with the appropriate businesses (wedding planners, travel agents, etc) to offer weddings on site along with a honeymoon package included.
Comment by Joe Dales on September 14, 2009 at 4:25pm

From a Release - The University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus is excited to announce that it will be partnering with the Regional Equine and Agricultural Centre of Huron (REACH) to deliver a new Performance Horse Handler Certificate at the REACH facilities in Clinton.

The new two-semester Performance Horse Handler Certificate was developed with significant input from the equine industry and the campus is looking forward to starting the student recruitment process. The recruitment process will target grade 12 students with a high school diploma or mature students looking to work in the performance horse industry, including thoroughbred, quarter horse or standardbred racing, dressage, show jumping, breeding and other stables. The first class is scheduled to begin in September 2010, with graduates receiving a University of Guelph certificate.

“REACH has a fantastic teaching facility located in Huron County and we’re excited about the opportunity to be the training deliverer for a new horse industry certificate,” said Ken McEwan, Acting Director, Ridgetown Campus.

“The University of Guelph and its Ridgetown Campus have a great reputation in education and we’re very excited to be working with Ridgetown staff in this training partnership. Ridgetown has almost 60 years of education experience and, like us, is keenly interested in supporting the equine and agricultural industries in Ontario,” says Richard Harding, Executive Director, REACH.

Ridgetown Campus will be hosting two fall Red Carpet Day Open House events at REACH in Clinton this fall. For more information, check out the Ridgetown Campus website to pre-register.

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