Whitemud Equine Learning Centre
Hoofbeats & Heartbeats
The monthly newsletter for the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre
Second issue 
January 2010
In This Issue
Feature Article
Greetings from the Chair
Sharon & Esa
2010 Calendar of Events
Lesson Program News
Volunteer Profile
Afghan Horse
The Keillor Legacy
Feature Article
Redevelopment of the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre - Thank you for Your Feedback!

Work on the detailed business case for our redevelopment project continues to advance. 

The project is nearing the point of selecting a location on the current site for the building and its configuration. 

Read more about the January 2010 redevelopment report.

Many thanks to everyone who took the time to let us know you enjoyed the first newsletter. We hope you like this, our second issue of Hoofbeats & Heartbeats, even more.

This newsletter links you to our new website which is designed to enhance and facilitate our upcoming marketing and capital redevelopment campaign. I am interested in hearing what you think about the new website too. We'll be including a survey to request your feedback on the new website in our next newsletter. In this newsletter, we invite you to complete a short survey so we can continue to improve its value to you.

Everything we are doing: new programs and services, marketing & promotional materials, show ground changes, etc., are all designed to showcase our plans for redevelopment.

As events like Sunday's fundraiser for Sharon & Esa demonstrated, WELCA is uniquely positioned as the community centre for horse sports and equestrian events in the capital region.

Diane David
Newsletter Editor & Administrator
Greetings from the Chairperson
Welcome to the second edition of Hoofbeats and Heartbeats

We welcome your involvement at Whitemud. You're invited to volunteer with our programs, help with fundraising, join our Board of Directors or serve on one of our committees.  

There is a strong interest in horses and equine related activities in Alberta which is tracking the province's population growth. Whitemud has felt this strain and while we maintain and upgrade our current facilities, our plan is to redevelop the site into a world class center for equine learning, rehabilitation, therapy and recreation.  Whitemud exudes the beauty of Edmonton where local talent can be showcased for all to see.

We hope you will take up the challenge - become involved and enhance our community by helping create this fantastic facility!

Linda Olson-Lipinski
Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association
Sharon & Esa
The January 24 Fundraiser for Sharon & Esa held at WELCA starts them on their bid to represent Canada in Dressage at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

sharon and esa fundraiserReserve Grand Prix Champions of Canada and members of Can Am Team: Sharon Merkel-Beattie and the horse, Essence of Glory performed a Dressage riding demonstration in Edmonton's own historic river valley riding arena. 

Choklit, the miniature horse, provided a crowd-pleasing dressage driving demo.

Read more about Sharon and Esa's demonstration.
2010 Calendar of Events
Calendar of Events
Programs, Shows and Events Scheduled at the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre and Show Grounds
February 2 - 3
Learn to Ride program begins
February 6  
Spring Session of Horsemanship program begins

March 16 - 17

Learn to Ride program ends

March 22 - 29
Equine Massage & Chiropractic Clinic - Equine Rehab www.equinerehab.ca


March 23

Little Bits 'n Bites Breakfast Round Up


March  24

Little Bits volunteer training session

April 4                   

Little Bits Spring Session begins  


May 19 - 24
Caledonia Horse Show


May 26 - 30
 Edmonton Classic Horse Show


June 5         

Corporate Challenge - Bunnock

June 23

Little Bits session ends
June 25
Horsemanship program ends


June 26 - 27  

Student Year End Show


June 26 - 27

Bunnock Tournament - show grounds


July 5                    

City of Edmonton Horse Rider Summer Camps begin


July 21 - 25                   

River Valley Horse Show


August 21 - 28         

Equine Massage & Chiropractic Clinic


August 23 - 27              

WELCA Summer Camp


August 28 - 29

Pony Club Horse Show


September 4         

Fall Horsemanship program begins


September 12

Little Bits Fall Session begins


October 30

Heavy Weight Entertainment Halloween Party


November 22

Little Bits Fall Session ends


November 23 - 24

Learn to Ride Program begins


December 17

Last day of Horsemanship before Christmas break


December 27 - 31

WELCA December Camp

Lesson Program News
Christmas Camp, Learn to Ride, Spring Session

lessonsChristmas Camp
Five young women from our level 2-4 programs braved the cold and the early hours to spend December 27-31 trying to keep up with Advanced Camp Leader, Christine Wills! Activities ranged from a talk by Jean Smith on horse-ownership, riding 2x per day, games of Horse-Jeopardy, fitness & equicizer work to sheath cleaning - there was never a dull moment!

Tots Program
The Moms & Tots program on Friday morning has proven to be quite popular.  It is geared for children 3-5 years old accompanied by a parent or guardian.  There are games and activities in the classroom under the supervision of Jane Sims.  Both parents and children ride in the arena  - kids in one group and parents in another.  The kids are very keen - if they see Mom and Dad doing something in their ride that the kids didn't get to do in theirs - Lynda hears about it right away!
Learn To Ride
The riders in the Tuesday and Wednesday Learn To Ride classes are progressing well in their sessions.  Many have registered to take the next session of Learn to Ride as well.

Spring Session
The Spring Session of the Horsemanship program will start on February 6, 2010.  If you rode in the fall session and haven't been contacted yet about registering for the spring, please let us know asap by calling the office at 780-435-3597.
Volunteer/Board Profile
Board Chair Linda Olson-Lipinski with her horse Caffi responds to our questions:

Linda & CaffiHow did you get involved with Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association? I rode at the site as a child when it was LeeColl's, had a dream that one day the site could become a world class facility, designed an International Equine Centre as part of the Masters of Architecture program at the University of Manitoba. I love horses and believe in the power of horses to help us all and want to participate as much as I can.

How long have you been a Board member? On the Friends Board since 1995, on the WELC board since 2001 and have been the Chair since 2006.

What do you most value in your colleagues on the WELCA Board?  Their willingness to give their time and their talent.

What do you consider is the Board's biggest accomplishment since the amalgamation in 2007? Developing our Vision and moving ahead with the Business Case and redevelopment.

What are you looking forward to in 2010? Gaining more support, having fun. Doing successful friend raising and fund raising - building confidence in our goal.

See Linda's bio and those of other Board Members 

Lesson Horse Profile
WillyWilly is a 24 year-old sorrel gelding whose job is teaching beginner walk/trot.  At 15hh, Willy is very tall but very gentle.  It took him a while to learn his job (he used to think he should just stand in the middle of the arena and watch the other horses work), but now he understands what he needs to do and he does his job well.

Willy is the perfect all-round horse.  He is quiet to catch, groom, tack and ride.  He is gentle with his handlers and riders, giving lots of confidence to a nervous rider.

Willy is trained to the mechanical lift used by the Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Association which makes him invaluable for their programs.
New Website
Worth A Look!
New websiteFor the last couple of months, we have been developing and designing a new website. The new website is almost ready to launch. It will feature an events calendar, a photo gallery, an online donation program, a document manager, and other facilities that will better promote the Centre as well as streamlining some of our adminstrative activities. As soon as the website is finished, we will convert some of the articles that visitors have been posting to our old website over the past couple of years into a new forum that matches the look and feel of the new website.

Once the website and new forum are completed, we will replace our old website files at www.whitemudequine.org with these new website and forum files. We expect that the website and the new forum will be completed in the next week or so. In the meantime, we invite you to take a look at the new website on it's development domain at www.whitemudequine.ca. Our next newsletter will include a survey that will invite you to provide feedback on our new website.
Afghan Horse

Val Wilson sent in this picture and story about her friend Matt who was serving in Afghanistan: 


afghan horse"While Matt and several other Canadian soldiers were waiting for the local Police Chief to return, Matt heard a trotting sound, and up came the Chief on his horse. 


Now, Matt likes animals, so he started petting the horse. The Chief asked him if he would like to take a ride and Matt accepted.  Near Kandahar,Matt had seen camels, donkeys, and horses on and off road.  The Afghan people like to decorate their bridles ornately as you can see in the photo. Anyway, the horse quietly walked Matt's 6'1" frame around and when they stopped, the police chief offer to sell him the horse for $500 USD.  A little hard to ship home so there was no sale this time, just a nice horse visit and a good experience to share with family and friends!"


Frequently Asked Questions
What everyone is asking us!
frequently asked questionsThe answer to the questions we are most frequently asked go here.   We invite you to provide us your suggestions for the FAQ section of the website and for our upcoming newsletters in the eNewsletter survey you'll find below.

Can we rent a horse and go on a trail ride in the river valley?
The short answer is no.  Whitemud Equine does not rent horses for casual riding because our horses are too busy working in our lesson and therapeutic riding programs. 

In order to ride on the trails, people are required to put bum bags on their horses to collect manure.  The alternative is to pick up and haul out the manure.

How old do you have to be to take riding lessons?
For regular lessons, riders must be 6 years or older to start.

Starting in January 2010, Whitemud Equine began offering a Mom, Pop & Tots program for children 3-5 years of age.  This program runs Friday mornings and a parent or guardian is required to lead the horse or sidewalk.

The Keillor Legacy
Using his own words, Sheila Edmonds demonstrates how much Edmontonians and the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre owe to Dr. Fred Keillor.

"Everything I build will last 90 years."

ww1 photo keillor brothersSo said Captain Keillor, MD in 1918.  In addition to the log and stone homes on the Whitemud Equine site, Keillor constructed furniture for each of his children and grandchildren. The stone house continues to be used as a residence, housing the security staff for Whitemud Equine Learning Centre, while the log cabin has become a meeting facility and popular site for wedding and family photographers.

"It's an honour to serve"

Dr. Keillor served as Financial Steward of his church, as a medical officer in WW1, manager of South Edmonton Veterans Hospital, City Coroner, and City Alderman (refusing to take a salary).  He gave Edmonton a tree farm to restore its beauty after an insect infestation, used his sheep to clear thistles from parks, put every penny earned back into the farm that is now Whitemud Equine Learning Centre, supported four canoe clubs, developed our first indoor curling rinks, provided electricity for the ski clubhouse and rope tow, welcomed people to enjoy this farm year-round for hiking, picnics, fishing, biking, skiing, boating, snowshoeing, dog sledding and horse riding.

The Doc turned down a fortune for his farm, to save it from being carved up for private homes.  He wanted this magical oasis kept intact, for the people.

"I will never eat beans again!"

Young Fred Keillor had to eat so many beans that he made this famous vow - which to all accounts he kept!

The power of genetics. 

The Keillor family always loved and owned horses.  'Doc' Keillor much preferred driving his horse and buggy to visit patients, rather than going by car.  His granddaughters learned to ride here.  Today, each of them works to improve life for animals and people in our Alberta Horse Industry: 

  • Mara Coote Freeman manages Animal Health Science at Olds College, and

  • Jennette Coote raises horses and chairs The Canadian Warmblood Society.  She also is a board member for Alberta Horse Industry Association and started the Alberta Stables Initiative to support owners and managers and provide a professional voice for  the industry.

Read more about how the Keillor Farm became Whitemud Equine Centre
About Us
About WELCAOur Vision: The Whitemud Equine Learning Centre is a cherished asset for our city; environmentally sustainable and community-enhancing, an unparalleled equine learning centre that is a landmark and a source of pride for all who use it.

Our Mission:  To create a centre of excellence in equine learning, therapy, recreation, research and sport that supports a growing equine industry and the growing demand for equine programs
to spot.
eNewsletter Survey
How can we improve our next issue?
SurveyWe have had such positive feedback on the first issue of our enewsletter. However, we know there is always room for improvement. Please take five minutes to complete our short survey so we have a better idea how we can make the enewsletter more interesting and informative for you. We will include the responses to this survey in our next newsletter. Thank you in advance.
Go to enewsletter survey

Please join us and be a supporter of the First Annual Little Bits 'n Bites Breakfast Round-up taking place at 7:30am, March 23rd, 2010 at Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Edmonton. This fund raising breakfast is the first event of their 35th Anniversary celebrations.

See more about the event and order your tickets.