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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Robert’s column
Robert Barron column: New hospital shouldn’t charge for parking

Paying a parking meter is the last thing people visiting a hospital should have to worry about.

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Asparagus root, dug up from the old patch and ready to be transplanted. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Some tips on growing asparagus

When choosing asparagus I recommend buying male plants for juicier, plumper spears.

If you’re looking for a goat time, visit Russell Farms Market! (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Looking for a goat time on Good Friday

If you drive by the farm market a little slower you see the goat pen.

The McCloskey-Hydro Rain Garden, located in a sunny Hydro corridor and receiving about 2.5 million litres of rainwater runoff per year from the roof of nearby McCloskey Elementary School. (Deborah Jones photo)
A&E column: From nature to poetry to puppets, there’s plenty afoot

What’s going on in the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment scene

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Most Read