2016 Horse Country Excellence Awards

Photos from the 2016 gala 

Celebrating Excellence in the Equine Industry – 2016

The Headwaters Equine Leadership Group celebrated excellence in the equine industry at the Headwaters Horse Country Excellence Awards Gala presented by Terra Cotta Financial Group on May 11, 2016.  The event took place at the Best Western Plus Orangeville Inn & Suites and culinary delights were served by the award-winning team at Gourmandissimo.

The evening honoured four equine industry leaders who exemplify excellence and who, through their work and vision, have helped the Headwaters region become a centre of equine excellence in the Province of Ontario.

The awards recognized the following Headwaters industry leaders.

H. Charles Armstrong

LEADERSHIP IN INDUSTRY BUILDING Sponsored by Dutch Masters Design & Construction Services

Armstrong Family with Gary van BolderenThe Leadership in Industry Building award honoured Charles Armstrong in recognition of his significant contributions demonstrating outstanding leadership, dedication and life-long service aiming to grow the equine industry in Headwaters and beyond.

The award was presented to Lenore Armstrong by Gary van Bolderen, founder of Dutch Masters.  Gary is a long-time business associate of Charles Armstrong and Armstrong Farms.  When asked about the award, van Bolderen said, “Charlie is so deserving of this award.  He is a pioneer and mentor across numerous equestrian communities.”




Susan Grange

LEADERSHIP IN PROMOTING THE EQUINE SPORT Sponsored by Ed Stewart’s Equipment & Kubota Canada

Susan GrangeThe Leadership in Promoting the Equine Sport award was presented to Susan Grange in recognition of her long-term service and dedication to the ongoing growth and development of the equine sport and industry in Headwaters.

The award was presented by Canadian Equestrian Team veteran and Chef D’equipe, Terrance Millar who spoke about his long-time friendship with Sue and some of his favourite horses that Sue developed during her career.

“Sue’s outstanding visionary achievements and sustained contributions have made a profound impact on the equine industry,” said HELG Chair, Ross Millar.



Beth Underhill

LEADERSHIP FOR THE FUTURE Sponsored by Linda Pabst & Gryphon Farms

Beth UnderhillThe Leadership for the Future award was presented to Beth Underhill in recognition of her passion for the equine industry and her commitment to developing meaningful partnerships between youth and the industry.

The award was presented by FEI3* judge for Jumpers, past Chair of the Jump Canada Board and a professional announcer, John Taylor of Cornerstone Farms.  John expressed that the award was perfectly suited to Beth’s accomplishments and her work to develop youth in the equine industry.

“Beth is a Canadian show jumping icon who is committed to mentoring and developing the next generation of equestrians,” said HELG Chair, Ross Millar.



Ross Millar

LEADERSHIP IN EQUINE BUSINESS Sponsored by Seneca College Veterinary Technician Program

Ross Millar with Emma Brown from Seneca College Veterinary Technician ProgramThe Leadership in Equine Business award was presented to Ross Millar in recognition of his commitment to and impact on the growth and development of the equine industry in Headwaters.

The award was presented by founder of Reinblatt Group Consultants and former Senior Vice President McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, Gary Reinblatt.  Gary spoke with great humor about his long-time friendship and business association with Ross.

“Ross exemplifies leadership in the equine industry in Headwaters. He is a champion for the equine sector and a driving force behind Headwaters Horse Country,” said founder of Dutch Masters and HELG Award Committee Chair, Gary van Bolderen.



Keynote SpeakerBill Duron

The keynote speaker for the evening was Bill Duron, former Chair of Ontario Tourism and Marketing Partnership Corp and former CEO of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.  Bill spoke about what defines a premier equestrian community what the economic benefits are.  He also shared his insight about the Headwaters region and opportunities for the future.




Awards by Ann Clifford

The Award

The award was created by Ann Clifford in the design of her award winning statue entitled Wide Open Spaces.  The statue incorporates the variety of landscapes found in Headwaters including hills, rocks, streams and farmer’s fences.

Graham Maycock

The Music

Entertainment was provided by Orangeville’s, Graham Maycock.  Graham Maycock is an 18 year old singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. In February of 2015 Graham released his debut EP entitled ‘Words Less Spoken’ and is currently working on his next album with producer, ex 54-40 drummer, Grammy and Juno nominated Darryl Neudorf.



Photos from the gala 

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Event Sponsors                                                      Industry Supporters

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