Carol, Ashley and Doug Roe display one of their horses along with Valley View Farms students Tegan Yakimovitch and Max De Nardi. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Carol, Ashley and Doug Roe display one of their horses along with Valley View Farms students Tegan Yakimovitch and Max De Nardi. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Big opportunity for Valley View Farms

Duncan equestrian business selected for one of four grants in North America

Valley View Farms has been presented with a phenomenal opportunity.

The equestrian business near Duncan was recently chosen for a business development grant from the Kentucky-based American Saddlebred Horse Association that could open new doors for their enterprise.

Under the grant, Valley View will get six months of coaching and business development work with Elisabeth McMillan, who Doug Roe, who runs the farm with his wife Carol and daughter Ashley, calls “the world’s top equine business consultant,” followed by another 12 months of follow-up.

Valley View is one of four farms in North America to receive the grant, picked out of thousands. The American Saddlebred Horse Association identified four regions on the continent that were considered underdeveloped in terms of the saddlebred presence, but which have potential. Valley View was selected for the West Coast region.

Although all of the big saddlebred shows on the West Coast are held in Washington, Oregon and California, the association opted for a farm located in B.C., much to Valley View’s surprise.

“When we were chosen, we spoke to [McMillan], and we said, ‘we’re gonna be honest, we’ll be the hardest client you’ve ever had,” Roe recalls. “She said, ‘that’s why I chose you.’”

McMillan’s consulting will help Valley View redevelop their brand, website and social media, and get better at attracting and developing clients.

“It’s kind of a neat program to be gifted with,” Roe says.

Through the program, Valley View will become the main ambassadors for the saddlebred horse in the region, something they’ve already been doing to a degree for 20 years in the Cowichan Valley and 20 years in Langley before that.

“That’s why we’re excited,” Doug Roe says. “We’ve been working the last 40 years to promote this breed of horse.”

Under the American Saddlebred brand ambassador program, which awards points to farms and individuals for things like attending shows, promoting the breed and having a media presence, Valley View was the regional champion for five years in a row before being named regional reserve champion in 2018. Ashley Roe has been regional individual champion for six years in a row and was named reserve world champion for 2018. She recently took on the role of head trainer at Valley View.

“Ashley has travelled all over North America learning to be amazing,” Doug says. “And now she’s bringing her knowledge and skills back to the Island.”

A small farm in the scope of the industry, Valley View has developed several elite riders, many in the saddle seat style of riding, but Roe thinks that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“We do very well,” he admits. “But we can do better.

“This year especially, we’ve got several new horse owners, new riders going to international shows and winning. Our lesson program is about as big as we can handle, but there’s always room to do better.”

Valley View has six lesson horses and four show horses, and typically has about 25 lesson riders a week. They took four riders and two horses to the regional finals in Eugene, Oregon at the end of September, and they all took either first or second in every class they entered, regularly beating barns with 40 horses.

There are no other saddlebred barns on Vancouver Island, but the Roes would like that to change.

“It’s a magnificent breed of horse,” Doug says. “Their versatility is hands-down the greatest of any breed. They can do anything you ask of them.”

Saddlebreds, the Roes note, can be used for jumping, dressage, eventing, western pleasure and trail riding.

Valley View’s main goal, says Doug, is to teach people to enjoy the horse world.

“People need to understand that if they come to visit us, we will show them how great this horse is.”

 

Valley View Farms’ Ashley Roe shows off a ribbon after a big win. (Submitted)

Valley View Farms’ Ashley Roe shows off a ribbon after a big win. (Submitted)

Big opportunity for Valley View Farms

Just Posted

Capitals’ Kahlil Fontana blueliner evades Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Ethan Hersant during second-period B.C. Hockey League Island Division action at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Susan Quinn/Black Press Media)
Cowichan Capitals go out with a bang

Caps finish BCHL season strong with 6-1 thumping of Clippers

The MS Society flag flies at Duncan city hall to mark MS Awareness Month. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan and CVRD help mark MS Awareness Month

MS Walk scales back, but fundraisers are still vital for MS Society

“Keeping fit for Mother’s Day: Participants of Cowichan Lake Recreation’s Mother’s Day hiking event make their way down the Trans Canada Trail, Sunday, May 8. The morning event later wrapped up with snacks and prizes.” (Tyler Clarke/Lake Cowichan Gazette May 11, 2011)
Flashback: Bears, elk, salmon, candidates, and lumber graders

This week around Cowichan Lake in years gone by

Sign up to fundraise to help those affected by dementia. (Submitted)
Not too late for Cowichan residents to join Alzheimer’s Walk

Set a walking or fitness goal for May and raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Robert’s column
Robert Barron Column: Poachers in forest reserve should be treated harshly

‘Poachers need to be rounded up and prosecuted as soon as possible’

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read