Centaur Riding School and Breeding Farm has been in operation since 1970 and is situated just outside the village of Navan (east of Ottawa and south of Orleans) in Ontario, Canada. Facilities include a 30-stall stable, well-maintained indoor and outdoor rings with ideal sand footing, a hunter ring, and large turn-out areas. Groomed riding trails run through 25 acres of woods. The indoor arena is heated during winter and has a large, comfortable lounge, with kitchenette, attached for viewing comfort.
Centaur has always been a family affair. The Riding School had its actual beginnings in 1970 when Claire and Jean-Louis (Johnny) Guertin and their daughter Shirley returned from a five-year stay in Germany deciding to settle in the Ottawa area. The school started informally when word spread that Claire was a certified instructor from Germany. People would simply drop by whenever they wanted a lesson ($5/hour for a private lesson!!). Qualified instructors in those days were rare.
The riding school was officially formed in 1973 when Shirley decided to pursue riding as a career and the indoor arena was built. Since the beginning, thousands of riders have ridden at Centaur and hundreds of horse shows have been held!
During the 1980Õs Centaur distinguished itself with its breeding programme. Centaur was one of the first places in the area to breed mares with Hanoverian and Trakehner bloodlines. Two Centaur-bred horses, SOLOMON and his son ABSALOM were awarded the National Dressage Achievement Award by the Canadian Sport Horse Association. This cross-Canada recognition is given to the most successful dressage Canadian Sport Horse in Canada in a given year. Solomon sired many horses that became successful in the dressage arena.
In 1989 Shirley bought the business from her parents.
Centaur Riding School is a professional riding school with approximately 100 students who are coached in the dressage and hunter disciplines. We have earned a first-class reputation for the quality of our coaches and riding school programs. Essential to the development of riders are well-trained horses ... and Centaur is proud of its school horses, some having competed successfully at national and provincial championships, each with something special to teach.
Centaur also holds 10 competitions per year. Horse shows range from competitions for the new rider to National Dressage Competitions.
The present breeding program has been in effect since 2001 with the acquisition of our first stallion and broodmares. This was the brain-child of Mike Cook, who takes pride in breeding top-notch horses for the Canadian market. Since, CBF has expanded to several top-quality CSHA broodmares with European bloodlines and our top-notch Hanoverian black stallion DON RICO. Don Rico is a son from the first crop of Don Frederico, famous Celle stallion. Don Rico gives his get great temperaments, lots of bone, and beautiful movement
is to continue the tradition of producing superior quality horses for the North American market.