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How this farm's fertilizer helps enrich gardens, equestrian teams

Fundraiser runs Saturday at Foxwood Farm; proceeds benefit members of the junior and silver show squads

Gardeners rejoice as the Foxwood Farm’s fertilizer fundraiser continues this Saturday.

“The fertilizer consists of two- to three-year-old composted horse manure and is rich in nutrients for any garden,” said fundraising chair Leanne Mason. “By sharing it with the community and having the fundraising committee volunteer to help bag and shovel it for takeaway, it is a way to bring in a little extra money for the committee.”

Pickup will happen from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at 2042 13th Line in Gilford. 

Community members are invited to purchase a tractor bucket's worth — which will be transported to a pick-up truck — for $20, or a bag for $5. People are welcome to bring their own bag or purchase one for $1 on-site. Cash is preferred, but e-transfer is also accepted.

Fundraising efforts benefit members of the junior and silver show teams — who love to compete.

Ireland Fleming, Emma Meschino, Peyton Horton, Ava Costa, Emily-Ann Dufour, Madison Mason, Taylor Saunders and Alex Paul are among the 18 members of this year's silver series team; 13 additional members make up the junior team. They said they enjoy seeing everyone achieve their goals, cheering on their teammates, and spending time with the horses.

“The show team is the competitive team at the barn,” said Leanne who, like the other members of the fundraising committee, is a parent to one of the show team members. “The riders commit to train a minimum of two (times per) week with their horses along with various clinics that run throughout the year to help increase their skills in different areas. The riders own or lease their horse for the season and are responsible for all items required for themselves and their horse.”

“Show team allows the riders the opportunity to build their skills, gain experience, compete with others in the riding community and show off their hard work in the ring. It is an incredible and rewarding experience as it teaches responsibility, perseverance, commitment, self-discipline and most importantly, team (camaraderie),” Leanne said.

“My favourite part about competing is the feeling of going into the show ring and showing off all your hard work,” said 14-year-old Dufour. “Even if it ends good or bad, I always love the learning I get from each show. I also love how much fun we have as a team supporting one another.”

Others say they're driven by a desire to improve.

"It's never the same thing two days in a row so it's always something to look forward to," said Madison, 16. “I love to watch and support my friends and teammates achieve successes with their horses too."

Dufour and Madison have been members of the show team for four years.

Robyn Freer is the owner of Foxwood and the head coach of both of the teams.

“The goals for both teams are to learn and to improve from each show and to have fun,” she said.

Members of the public are invited to watch show team competitions in May, July and August through Angelstone events.

“It is exhilarating on show weekends,” Leanne said. “There is a lot of commitment that goes into the weekends as it is usually a four-day event. The girls compete in different divisions that are scheduled on different days at different times. They compete against as few as a dozen and upwards of 40-plus (individuals) at times. The parents and riders try to watch each of the girls when it is their turn in the ring so there is never a dull moment."

The 10-member committee typically organizes between four and six fundraisers per year. 

“It helps to spread the word ... as everyone knows that when your child competes at this level, no matter the sport, there is usually fundraising that helps to afford the extras," Leanne said. "Plus, who doesn't love to support a friend, neighbour or family member, right?” 

Leanne said her daughter's life has been enriched by the team.

"It helped her to get her first job at 14 years old having learned valuable and employable life skills," Leanne said. "Choosing an environment to watch your child flourish is every parent's dream and we feel blessed to be part of the Foxwood family."

After Saturday’s event, the fertilizer fundraiser will continue on Saturday, May 11.

To learn more about Foxwood, visit its website or Instagram and Facebook pages.

Amber Green

About the Author: Amber Green

Amber is a freelance journalist with InnisfilToday. Dedicated to the craft of writing, she is a storyteller at heart who writes novels, poetry, and short stories. She lives in Innisfil.
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