A Barn Tour de Force

The Riding Club of Barrington Hills hosted its fall Barn Tour on Sat.,
October 8, 2016.


story by Lisa Stamos | photograpy by Linda M. Barrett

More than 80 guests enjoyed a progressive dinner event across three equestrian venues, traveling by tour buses to reach each location. The barn owners hosted guests at their equestrian properties to showcase each barn’s unique purpose, design, and facilities. The evening started with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at Walk On Farm, dinner and wine service at Matchmaker Farm, and desserts and liqueurs at a recently built private family farm. Guests watched presentations and mingled at each location and learned about the focus of each barn and how they are used.

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Welcome to Walk On Farm



At the first barn of the tour, Walk On Farm, the focus was about how the nonprofit’s participants receive life-changing care from their therapy horses. A terrific kick-off to the tour, guests learned about the therapeutic services provided to a range of participants including those with Autism to helping veterans who suffer from PTSD.

Guests were offered Champagne and hors d’oeuvres upon arrival and then given a presentation by Mary Iling, a Licensed Occupational Therapist, PATH Certified Master Level Instructor, and Certified Carriage Driving Instructor. Iling has 30 years of experience in equine assisted therapy. Volunteers, an important part of Walk On’s programs, helped demonstrate some of the services provided. Guests learned about the value and intelligence of horses that provide physical, social, and emotional benefits to those who need them.

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Dinner and Demonstrations at Matchmaker, Ltd.

Guests rode comfortable buses to the second stop, Matchmaker, Ltd., where they were greeted in style, offered wine, dinner, a barn tour, and hunter/jumper demonstrations inside the barn. Hostess Connie Stevens discussed hunter and jumper riding styles and the differences between the two. Riders Hannah Stevens of Matchmaker, Ltd., and Colby Hassfurther offered demonstrations in the indoor riding arena. When the dinner bell was rung, guests then enjoyed a buffet dinner and drinks at long tables in the main aisle set of the uniquely designed barn. The stable was spotless and beautiful candelabras and floral décor adorned tables and the buffet. After dinner, guests returned to the arena for a few jumping demonstrations.

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A Starry Night and Desserts at a Private Residence

The final stop on the Barn Tour gave guests a chance to mingle over dessert, coffee, and liqueurs under the starry fall sky at a private residence showcasing a spotless four-stall horse barn that is efficient in design. A paneled tack room and indoor dressage arena were newer additions to the existing barn. A walk-through section was added to combine the two. A post and beam constructed facility with elegant accents is the pride of the homeowners who offered a stop on this year’s Barn Tour. “Horses are the heartbeat of Barrington Hills, connecting a thriving community,” the hostess said. “We came to live here to have our horses, and to enjoy the brilliance and beauty of this quiet, special place.”

To learn more about the Club, visit www.ridingclubofbarringtonhills.com.