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Stables ask for financial help during pandemic

 | May 13, 2020
A pair of horses from Sun Peaks Stables pull a sleigh. Photo Sun Peaks Stables

Cost of care continues despite no business

Horse drawn sleighs have become a symbol of winter time in the village at Sun Peaks, delighting visitors and locals of all ages. 

Now Sun Peaks Stables, who operate carriage rides as well as summer trail rides, are asking for help from the community. 

A GoFundMe fundraiser created on May 9 has asked for donations to meet a goal of raising $35,000. 

Like other tourism operators the stables have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, stopping winter business early and leaving summer revenue opportunities up in the air. Meanwhile the horses kept at the stables still need care. 

“It is likely that our core business, our sleigh rides in winter and horseback trail riding and lessons from May to October will be impacted for the foreseeable future, with inter-provincial and international travel being discouraged or restricted from some time to come,” operators Robert Taylor and Rebecca Spray wrote. “The costs of feeding and keeping the herd continue of course. Unfortunately, our small business like many others has not met the qualifications for the Canada Emergency Business Account loan guaranteed by federal government.” 

One goal of the campaign, they said, is to create a storefront for people to visit and have experiences with working horses and the stables.

“We want to invite people in to see and experience our whole operation, how we train and prepare our horses for work, where they live, what they eat and how and why we do what we do,” they wrote.

The money will also be used immediately to pay for veterinary and farrier care. 

“One of our sleigh horses was recently sick and in the veterinary clinic in Kamloops for almost a week and there is a substantial bill that we need to address. We have two foals to be born in June and need to keep our vet account current should they be called upon to assist with the mother mares.” 

The pair would also like to improve the stables and property to be more suitable for public to visit and enjoy as well as purchase steel fence panels which have a variety of uses, and connect the property to the internet in order to use security videos as well as share content with the public. 

Everyone who donates will be invited to a private stable tour for their family when current restrictions are loosened. As of May 12 more than $2,500 has been donated. 

Those who wish to donate or want more information can visit the GoFundMe page here