Franklands Farm lies on
the banks of the Saint Lawrence River just east of the town of
Brockville, Ontario. From the moment the iron gates open, one
realizes that there is something unique and historic about the farm.
Owned by Bill and Faith Berghuis, Franklands is much more than a horse
farm. It holds a special place in Canada's past and continues to have
a major impact on Canada's equestrian scene.
Franklands Farm is
very much a family affair. The farm has owned, or been a major
shareholder of, many top show jumpers and dressage horses on the
Canadian Equestrian Team.
- ridden by Gina Smith on Canada's gold medal-winning
dressage team at the 1991 Pan-American Games
ridden by Gina Smith representing Canada at
the Atlanta Olympics as part of the tenth
placed team. In 1997, the pair were named Grand Prix
champion at every show entered including the
Canadian National Dressage Championships.
- ridden by Ian Millar at the Pan American Games
and was a member of the silver medal-winningCanadian jumping team.
The pair were also on the Canadian Team at the World
Championships in Holland in 1994.
- ridden by Gina Smith, who was a member of the
bronze medal team at the 1997 North American Dressage
Championships in Maryland. The pair won the Swarovski
Canadian League World Cup Final at the Royal Horse Show in
1999 and represented Canada at the World Cup Final in
Holland in 2000.
The original Jones family arrived in Brockville from the Boston area just after the American Revolution in 1776. They were founding
members of the town of Brockville and were prominent in the government of
Upper Canada (now known as Ontario).
Franklands Farm was acquired by a descendant of the original Jones
family in the early 1920's. It consisted of eighty acres on the
shores of the St. Lawrence River. On the farm, there was an old
stone house built in the 1840's and an old barn. The stone house
was burned down by the homeless men in the depression of the early 1930's.
These men were traveling in search of work along the old road in front of the
farm which used to be the main road between Toronto and Montreal.
They had sought shelter in the house and burned any wood they could
find to keep warm. The present buildings were built from the fire-blackened stone salvaged from the old house.
his death, Frank Jones left the farm to his sister Elsie
Bedford-Jones, who named the farm after her brother. Elsie came from
a family of horse people. Her mother, Eliza Jones, was fond of
horses and rode well. Her favorite horse was "Hawke," a black horse
given to her by her future husband, Chilion Jones, as an engagement
present. Chilion Jones, an architect, was a partner of the firm
Fuller and Jones, which designed the new Parliament Buildings in
Ottawa. In September 1860, when the Prince of Wales (the future
King Edward VII) laid the corner stone of the Parliament Building,
the architect's young bride rode a handsome grey in the welcoming
Elsie Bedford-Jones and her daughter, Gwynneth, were active members
of the Montreal Hunt, which to this day remains the oldest continuous
hunt in North America. It was founded in 1826 by British army
officers. Elsie was one of the first women to compete at Madison
Square Garden in New York City. She was also commissioned to find
horses to serve overseas in World War I.
Gwynneth Bedford-Jones inherited the farm from her mother in the
1950's. She continued the tradition of breeding and showing
outstanding horses, and was a founding member of Ian Millar's
Big Ben syndicate, Canadian Show Jumpers Ltd. She planted many
trees at Franklands, which to this day enhance the beauty of the
Upon Gwynneth's death in 2000, Faith Berghuis, also of the Jones
family, inherited Franklands. She and her husband Bill encourage
their grandchildren to continue the family legacy. They are the
sixth generation continuing the love of horses. Bill and Faith have
been active in their support of Olympic riders Ian Millar and Gina
Smith. Faith received the first annual Owner's Award in 1995 at the
Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, recognizing her support of the Canadian
Equestrian Team. The pursuit of excellence in equestrian sport has
and will continue to be an integral part of Franklands Farm.
Faith on Fledermaus
Bill and Faith's daughter, Kate, with their
grandson, Jamie, riding Mozart.
in the woods
abundant in the woods at Franklands. They were harvested by
Native Americans and by herbalists for their medicinal
properties. The plants cannot survive if their flowers are
cut, and they are now a protected species. The woods are left
untouched at Franklands to protect the rare original growth of
trees and the trilliums, the official flower of Ontario.