A generous donation of $100,000 has been made to Equine Guelph by Sheryl and David Kerr of Toronro, ON, to establish the Kerr Fund for Equine Education and Community Outreach, a portion of which will support much-needed ongoing operational funding for the University of Guelph’s not-for-profit Centre for the horse owner.
Sheryl Kerr is the owner of Strathfield Farm in Stouffville, ON, home of team Irwins’ Stoney Lake Equestrian. David W. Kerr is a director of global investment company Brookfield, chairman of real estate company Halmont Properties Corp., and a director of the Canadian Special Olympics Foundation.
Sheryl was inspired to set up the fund after enjoying courses on TheHorsePortal.ca, Equine Guelph’s online learning platform. Taking the Horse Care and Welfare course, which included the National Equine Code of Practice, helped her create a Covid-19 response plan for her 150-acre farm and training facility. Kerr was impressed with the practicality of the Equine Guelph course and how lessons learned could be directly applied to daily operations. “Having learned so much myself from Equine Guelph’s online courses, I know first-hand how much value they bring to the horse community. Our horses deserve the very best, and Equine Guelph has access to the latest advice from experts across a range of topics that are essential for any horse owner – from beginners to barn owners.”
The Kerrs have made several other notable donations, including $3.5 million donation to McGill University Athletics and Recreation to support the advancement of women as athletes, coaches and decision-makers in 2018. The couple met there while playing varsity hockey.
“My hope is that the Kerr Fund for Equine Education and Community Outreach will bring greater awareness for the excellent programs and resources that Equine Guelph has to offer, as well as to inspire others in the horse community to give,” said Kerr. “Any horse enthusiast can benefit from what Equine Guelph has to offer, and programs like this rely on donations to survive and thrive.”
Equine Guelph director Gayle Ecker expressed gratitude, saying, “The funding will help us to continue to build our practical and affordable educational programs and industry resources that help improve horse welfare.”