About Us

Lillian Tepera B.A., M.A. (Ed.), Board Member

Lillian Tepera

Lillian Tepera

Professor, Georgian College Barrie
Co-owner, Stonegate Farm. Co-founder, The Horse Sanctuary.

I had the privilege of becoming a rider at an early age, and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t in love with these remarkable creatures. You don’t have to spend much time in a stable to realize that – in the incomparable words of Winston Churchill – “something about the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man”  (or woman!). And since horses, like good wine or your favourite movie, are better when shared with others, it seemed only logical to start a therapeutic riding program that would give those who need it most a way to interact with horses. That was 2007, and we haven’t looked back since. In 2012, when the “perfect storm” of a lingering recession, an abysmal hay crop, and the decimation of the Ontario racing industry put tens of thousands of horses at risk, we made the decision to establish a not-for-profit and take in as many horses as we could support, rehabilitate, train and re-home. And while one always feels a little helpless that so many can’t be helped, there is profound joy in watching those whose lives we can affect, both human and equine, thrive. I am proud to be head stall cleaner, riding instructor, “worrier-in-chief,” and fundraiser. Thank you to everyone who makes our work possible.

Man and Dog

Robert and Ridley

Robert Timlin, Board Member
Construction Manager

Co-owner, Stonegate Farm.
Co-founder,  The Horse Sanctuary.

The Horse Sanctuary is the logical next step in our equine life.  I firmly believe that horses and humans share a profound, and important link that benefits both the animal, and the human.  Unfortunately, too many never get to experience this relationship.  My hope is that The Horse Sanctuary will act as a bridge, bringing the joy of these noble and majestic animals to those who otherwise would not have the opportunity.  The therapeutic benefits, physical as well as emotional, of equine contact are numerous, wide ranging, and still being discovered.  The Horse Sanctuary as an evolutionary step, brings Lillian’s love and passion for horses together with my desire, and commitment to giving back to those experiencing challenges in their lives.  Previously serving as VP on the board of directors for the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing (CADS), I hope to share my charitable organization experience with The Horse Sanctuary and build a strong and successful program.
Part-time idea guy, full-time hammer swinger, with a second identity of a tech nerd, I have spent over 25 years in the electronics, and technology sector as technician and customer service professional.  At Stonegate you will find me behind the camera or the computer, building or fixing the facilities, or driving the horse trailer or tractor.  I have a soft spot for horses in need of rescue, especially youngsters, and The Horse Sanctuary will bring horses in need, together with the humans that need them.

Debra Wright DVM, Board Member

Coordinator, Veterinary Technician Program and Veterinary Assistant Program
Georgian College, Orillia

I am very pleased to have been invited to sit on the Board of Directors of the new Horseplay Sanctuary. I have had a lifelong love affair with the equine breed as well as a rewarding professional relationship during the early days of my career. Now, as a professor in the Veterinary Technician program, I have had the additional very interesting experience of working with horses and Vet Tech students together and I have discovered that in addition to all their other talents, horses are great teachers! I am looking forward to participating in this not for profit rescue organization at a time when the equine industry has such a great need for help and support.

Carmen with Atticus

Carmen with Atticus


Carmen Theobald,
Board Member

FarrierGrowing up in Montreal, my horse life was limited. Moving to Ontario in 2008, I lived on a farm with gardens, maple syrup, and best of all, horses. The love of these animals overtook me completely, and I knew my life’s journey must include them from then on. After managing the farm for nearly 2 years, I was offered an apprenticeship with farrier Rodd Turnbull, and I have been working with him ever since. Now a partner of T &T Farrier Services, I feel incredibly grateful to have skills which enable me to make a real difference in the lives of hundreds of horses. Working at Horseplay Sanctuary is always a pleasure, and I am excited to be part of a facility helping horses and humans alike.
Rita with Starr

Rita with Starr

Rita Cameron
Board Member (outgoing)

Co-Owner Fairway Farm
Member of the Gaited Horse Group of Ontario

I am a lifelong horse lover and  joined Stonegate Farm’s Therapeutic program as a volunteer four years ago, and I have never looked back.  Now,  through Lillian & Robert’s vision to grow and evolve into a much needed Horse Rescue program their non-profit “Horseplay Sanctuary” was born.

Through Lillian, we got our first horse Starr, as  a rescue and she holds a very large part of my heart.  I was honoured when I was asked to become a member of this board and have seen firsthand all of the wonderful work and huge strides these loving animals have accomplished.  The young horses learn willingly and honestly. Most of their stories are unknown to us, but now their lives will be positive and fulfilling.

I am pleased to be a member of the “Kindergarten Class”, regular and last minute volunteer and neighbour of this caring group of members.

 NEW BOARD MEMBER.  Welcome Anya!

As a regular volunteer at Horseplay Sanctuary, I am honoured to be a member of the Board of Directors. Growing up, my experience with horses had been extremely limited. It mainly consisted of the occasional trail ride, begging my parents for a horse, and a brief equine care component during my post secondary education. As an adult, enter The Horse Sanctuary at Stonegate Farm. What began as a chance e-mail to a farm down the road from home, has evolved into a life changing experience. I have been profoundly touched by the riders, volunteers and horses at this facility. So, with a smile on my face, and treats in my pocket, I look forward to serving this wonderful community for many years to come. IMG_5027-2