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  • Type:
    Day camp, After-school / weekend classes
  • Focus:
    Horseback Riding/Equestrian
  • Cost:
    $539 to $694/week
  • Ages:
    9 to 15
  • Gender:
    Coed
  • Main language:
    English
  • Capacity:
    30 to 50
  • Programs:
Request more info
  • Summary Profile

    About Whitchurch Riding Academy

    Horseback riding academy & camp operating 40 years in GTA. Qualified instructors accredited by Ontario Camps & Ontario Equestrian teach English riding (2 lessons daily), beginner to advanced, with hands-on horsemanship approach. Indoor & outdoor rings on 10 rolling acres, arts & crafts barn, in-ground pool, certified lifeguard, plus 18 experienced horses!

    Due to the pandemic we are continuing to limit campers to 9 years of age & over. Daily busing is also on hold. We will review the situation and revise restrictions in May if possible. Please email to be added to waiting list for an update (no deposit required).

    For those 9 years and over, and don't require busing, please register online from our website!

    View e-brochure
    • Special needs: Not available


    COVID-19 Response 

    January 2021

    Whitchurch Riding Academy has been able to successfully provide a safe program of riding lessons and riding camp throughout the pandemic by putting in place stringent safety protocols in accordance with provincial and regional health guidelines. And we look forward to continuing our lesson and camp programs throughout 2021.

    Please note: Due to the pandemic we are continuing to limit campers to 9 years of age and over. Daily busing is also on hold. We will review the situation and revise these restrictions in May if possible. Please email to be added to our waiting list for an update (no deposit required).

    For those 9 years and over, and don't require busing, please register online from our website!

    Best Regards, Whitchurch Riding Camp www.whitchurchriding.com

    View recent COVID-19 updates from Whitchurch Riding Academy



    Video Gallery

  • Programs, Rates & Dates

    Programs and Sessions Calendar

    Choose the right programs and sessions for your child; Whitchurch Riding Academy currently has 1 program available.

    Filter activities available:


    Name
    Type/Gender
    Specialty
    Location
    Date
    Bus
     Cost
    Email
    Day Camp
    Coed
    Ages: 9 - 15
    Horseback Riding/Equestrian
    $539 to $694
    Newmarket, ON
    19480 McCowan Road
    Jul 05-09 $669 - $694
    Newmarket, ON
    19480 McCowan Road
    Jul 12-16 $669 - $694
    Newmarket, ON
    19480 McCowan Road
    Jul 19-23 $669 - $694
    Newmarket, ON
    19480 McCowan Road
    Jul 26-30 $669 - $694
    Newmarket, ON
    19480 McCowan Road
    Aug 03-06 $539 - $564
    Newmarket, ON
    19480 McCowan Road
    Aug 09-13 $669 - $694
    Newmarket, ON
    19480 McCowan Road
    Aug 16-20 $669 - $694
    Newmarket, ON
    19480 McCowan Road
    Aug 23-27 $669 - $694
    Newmarket, ON
    19480 McCowan Road
    Aug 30-Sep 02 $539 - $564
    Arts & Crafts|CIT/LIT Program|Strength and Conditioning|Horseback Riding/Equestrian|Swimming



    Financial Aid & Payment Details

    Payment Options:

    Deposit required with acceptance Yes
    Maximum installments available 2
  • Insider Reviews & Perspectives

    The Our Kids review of Whitchurch Riding Academy

    our take

    Dianne O'Brien founded Whitchurch Riding Academy in 1979, and has since introduced thousands of students to the joys of riding, both for recreation and for competition. Her own passion began early in life, when as a ten-year old when she joined the Canadian Pony Club and went on to complete the Equine Studies Program at Humber College. In addition to competition and coaching, O'Brien has worked as an exercise rider at Woodbine Thoroughbred Racetrack, and has trained a variety of horses to a Grand Prix Level with Olympic Dressage Medalist Ashley Holzer. Her experience is vast, to be sure, and the other trainers and coaches have similar CVs. Riding is a sport, but it’s founded in a passion for working closely with animals, and stewardship and care are important aspects of the WRA programs. Sessions are available for all ages and levels of experience, from tyro to advanced rider, accredited by Equestrian Canada, Ontario Equestrian, and the Ontario Camps Association. Summer camps offered in addition to year-round instruction. Situated on 10 acres east of Newmarket, the site includes indoor riding arena with heated viewing lounge, regulation dressage and jumping rings. Busing is available.



    Editor's Review

    Editor’s Top 3: Whitchurch Riding Academy

    Hear the three things that Our Kids’ editors see when they look at Whitchurch Riding Academy



    User reviews of Whitchurch Riding Academy  — Read all 7 reviews


    Amazing Riding Camp Program
    Bonnie (Parent)

    You have an amazing riding camp program and my daughter had a fabulous time. She can't wait to come back next summer. Not only have you provided great memories for her, you provided me with peace of mind with all your safety protocols. Not once did I worry about her while she was attending your camp. I will be highly recommending your program to all my friends. ... Read More

    Impressed
    Lori (Parent)

    I was totally impressed with the comfort the girls demonstrated around the horses, and the skills they had in controlling their movement. The girls have completely enjoyed their experience this week at Whitchurch Riding Camp. I'm sure they'll ask to return next summer. ... Read More

    Thank you
    Christina (Parent)

    We wanted to pass on our thanks to you and your staff for the great visit today at riding camp. It was terrific to see how smoothly everyone worked together and we were amazed with how well our daughter Georgia was doing! Your counselor, Jaime, was a pleasure to meet, and she and Georgia have a lovely connection. We appreciate the opportunity to visit. Thanks again. ... Read More

    Love and care given to horses.
    Dagmara (Parent)

    My daughter has been riding at Whitchurch Academy for 4 years, and there aren't enough good things to say about the staff, owners and horses there. The love and care given to the horses is one of the primary reasons we ride at Whitchurch. The owners of the barn are not only wonderful and professional to deal with, but they rescue many of their horses from terrible conditions and give them a beautiful second chance at life at the barn. The staff are knowledgeable, pleasant and friendly, and quickly become like a 2nd family if, like me, you have a child who lives for the barn and spends most of her free time there. The horses are well-mannered, gentle and beautiful, and Tessa and her feline friends are the warmest welcoming committee you could ask for. There are numerous barns in the area one could chose from, but Whitchurch will always be our choice. When people love what they do, it shows. Whitchurch demonstrates their passion for animals and riders in every aspect of their riding school ... Read More

    I Love Horses
    Sarah (Camper)

    Thank you so much for an amazing two weeks at Whitchurch Riding Camp. I only started riding this summer and it was a great experience. I love being around horses and the staff were so nice that it was truly enjoyable. This is something I will remember forever. Being in the advanced group for the second week made me work hard and taught me how to care for my horse. You do an amazing job with the horses and I thank you for letting me be a part of this camp. ... Read More

    No place I'd rather be!
    Elizabeth (Camper)

    I have been riding here for 8 years and have done both the summer camp and riding lessons. The instructors and amazing horses have allowed me to excel in an environment that is welcoming and fun. The horses are very well taken care of and the facilities are clean and well organized. Would recommend for anyone wanting to learn the basics or wanting to advance. The barn is in a beautiful location and easy to find from the 404 or surrounding areas. The owners care deeply about the horses they have and the safety of all riders. The website is very easy to follow and clearly details what lessons entail as far as number of students, levels of ability and length. At Whitchurch you are given the opportunity to learn all aspects of riding including grooming, tacking up, and stable management. There is no other place I would rather be ... Read More

    Strongly recommend.
    Katherine (Camper)

    I went to Whitchurch for both lessons and camp and I would strongly recommend it! The atmosphere is positive and friendly, the horses and barn are well cared for, and the staff are always knowledgable and helpful. When I was first learning to ride at camp the instructors were so patient teaching me all the skills that you need to ride and care for horses. Now as a more advanced rider I really benefit from their expertise and love how friendly everyone is. Having ridden at some other barns while away for school I can say that Whitchurch has become my gold-standard: they've always clean, organized and attentive ... Read More

  • Location & Site Details

    Address

    Newmarket, ON
    19480 McCowan Road, Mount Albert, Ontario, L0G 1M0
    Bridle Path, Toronto
    81 Ranleigh Ave (Bus Stop), Toronto, Ontario, M4N 1X2
    Markham, ON
    230 Calvert Rd. (Bus Stop), Markham, Ontario, L6C 1T5
    East Gwillimbury, ON
    Online, Mount Albert, Ontario, L0G 1M0



    Busing

    • Bus 1 (Bus fee: $59-$129)
      Location Address Pick up Drop off
      Stop 1 81 Ranleigh Ave, Toronto, Ont (Bedford Park Community Centre) 7:50 am 5:05 pm
      Stop 2 396 Spring Garden Ave, Toronto, Ontario (St. Gabriel School) 8:05 am 4:50 pm
      Stop 3 230 Calvert Rd, Markham, Ontario (Ashton Meadows School) 8:30 am 4:25 pm
      Stop 4 Aurora/Wellington Rd at Hwy 404, Aurora Ont (Carpool Lot) 8:45 am 4:10 pm
      Stop 5 Davis Drive at 404 Hwy, Newmarket Ont (Carpool Lot) 4:50 pm 4:05 pm


    Accommodations

    More details about accommodations: 24 trained school horses specializing in beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of riding. With an indoor sand riding arena, fenced outdoor jumping ring, and regulation dressage ring with mirrors. Plus a large arts & crafts barn, a 16' x 32' in-ground pool with a NLS Certified Lifeguard, an indoor lunch area, and Pot-a-Pot toilets. Plus all of our qualified counselors are trained by the OCA and have First Aid & CPR certification. For busing, a certified yellow school bus and driver are used.



    Property Details

    Sports facilities

    • Horseback Riding Arena (indoor/outdoor)
    • Swimming Pool

    Landscape

    • Nature Trails
    • Open Field

    More details about property: Located on 10 acres of rolling hills just east of Newmarket (6 minutes from Hwy 404), facilities include a full service stable, indoor arena, outdoor riding ring and regulation dressage ring. Plus an in-ground swimming pool (16' x 32'), fenced paddocks, and a large arts & crafts barn. Campers are immersed in English riding, plus hands-on horsemanship activities every day. Providing then with a lifelong bond and love of horses, which translates into confident riding skills. Ideal for beginner, intermediate or advanced riders.



    Rentals & Services

    Offers children's birthday party packages: Yes
    Whitchurch Riding - Birthday Party Package For birthday party packages, we organize a beginner riding experience much like our Introduction to Riding Package, splitting the time between riding and horsemanship (see below). Everyone has a lot of fun, learning the basics of riding in a safe environment. Whether they plan to pursue riding for fun, fitness, recreation, or as a competitive sport, it's a great starting point for all ages. Introducing them to the fundamentals of horseback riding, the hands-on program builds confidence through bonding with the animal, and creates an awareness of safety both on the horse and on the ground. We are an accredited member of the Ontario Equestrian, Equine Canada and Ontario Camps Association (OCA), and have been teaching riding to beginners and advanced riders for over forty years. The riding portion will take into account the age, riding level, and confidence of each rider, with safety as the primary focus. And the horsemanship portion covers grooming and tacking, promoting a bond with the animal, plus safety awareness. There is additional time available (1 hour) for a birthday celebration in our indoor lounge, or on our outdoor picnic tables. If you bring food for the party, we strongly suggest "no nuts" due to potential allergies. All leftovers and trash will need to be taken with you at the end of the party. Introduction to Riding - Birthday Event On-ground Horsemanship Instruction (45-60 minutes/group) Bridle & saddle, preparing horse, and safety fundamentals Groom kit, grooming and stable fundamentals On-horse Riding Instruction (45-60 minutes/group) Mounting, basic position, navigating a serpentine course Posting trot and diagonals (based on progress of riders) The group will need to arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled time, and bring boots with a heel. Rubber rain boots, or a hiking boot work fine. Flat-soled running shoes are unacceptable because they can slip through the stirrups. We also suggest long pants such as leggings or track pants, because jeans have a thick inseam that can rub the inside of your leg raw. The package includes approved riding helmets. Every rider is required to have the attached registration & risk awareness form completed (by a parent/legal guardian if under 18). Please contact us for a quote.


    Offers outdoor education program for schools or corporate groups: Yes
    Whitchurch Riding - Group Event For group events, we organize a beginner riding experience much like our Introduction to Riding Package, splitting the time between riding and horsemanship (see below). Everyone has a lot of fun, learning the basics of riding in a safe environment. Whether they plan to pursue riding for fun, fitness, recreation, or as a competitive sport, it's a great starting point for all ages. Introducing them to the fundamentals of horseback riding, the hands-on program builds confidence through bonding with the animal, and creates an awareness of safety both on the horse and on the ground. We are an accredited member of the Ontario Equestrian, Equine Canada and Ontario Camps Association (OCA), and have been teaching riding to beginners and advanced riders for over forty years. The riding portion will take into account the age, riding level, and confidence of each rider, with safety as the primary focus. And the horsemanship portion covers grooming and tacking, promoting a bond with the animal, plus safety awareness. There is additional time available (1 hour) for activities in our indoor lounge, or on our outdoor picnic tables. If you bring food for the group event, we strongly suggest "no nuts" due to potential allergies. All leftovers and trash will need to be taken with you at the end of the event. Introduction to Riding - Group Event On-ground Horsemanship Instruction (45-60 minutes/group) Bridle & saddle, preparing horse, and safety fundamentals Groom kit, grooming and stable fundamentals On-horse Riding Instruction (45-60 minutes/group) Mounting, basic position, navigating a serpentine course Posting trot and diagonals (based on progress of riders) The group will need to arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled time, and bring boots with a heel. Rubber rain boots, or a hiking boot work fine. Flat-soled running shoes are unacceptable because they can slip through the stirrups. We also suggest long pants such as leggings or track pants, because jeans have a thick inseam that can rub the inside of your leg raw. The package includes approved riding helmets. Every rider is required to have the attached registration & risk awareness form completed (by a parent/legal guardian if under 18). Please contact us for a quote.


    Available for private rentals: Yes
    Contact us for a quote.


    Associations

    Ontario Camps Association Associations
    Ontario Equestrian Associations


  • What's New

    Director's Message

    Dianne O'Brien, WRA Camp Director
    Successfully competing and teaching many disciplines, Dianne completed the Equine Studies Program at Humber College, and was short-listed for the Canadian Pan-Am Dressage Trials. She founded WRA in 1979.

    Having taught riding for over 40 years, it is rewarding to now see past campers return as accomplished and happy adults, successful in a wide variety of fields. They have such fond memories of summer riding camp, the horses and counselors, and how it affected their lives in such a positive way. That's why I am so proud to continue with the tradition of providing a safe, positive, and inclusive learning experience when it comes to horseback riding.



    In the News

    February 15, 2021
    WRA Summer Riding Camp 2021 - Register now!

    We are pleased to announce that spring horseback riding lessons & summer riding camp are permitted under current provincial guidelines. ... Read More

    February 17, 2019
    WRA - Free Tour

    Free tour of our riding school and summer riding camp! Email us to arrange a date and time to visit.... Read More



    Stories

    • Great Experience

      Thank you so much for an amazing two weeks at Whitchurch Riding Camp.  I only started riding this summer and it was a great experience.  I love being around horses and the staff were so nice that it was truly enjoyable. This is something I will remember forever.  Being in the advanced group for the second week made me work hard and taught me how to care for my horse. You do an amazing job with the horses and I thank you for letting me be a part of this camp.

    • Fantastic Counselor

      We wanted to pass on our thanks to you and your staff for the great visit today at riding camp.  It was terrific to see how smoothly everyone worked together and we were amazed with how well our daughter Georgia was doing!  Your counselor, Jaime, was a pleasure to meet, and she and Georgia have a lovely connection. We appreciate the opportunity to visit.  Thanks again.

    • Enjoyed Riding

      I was totally impressed with the comfort the girls demonstrated around the horses,; and the skills they had in controlling their movement.  The girls have completely enjoyed their experience this week at Whitchurch Riding Camp. I'm sure they'll ask to return next summer.

    • Lifelong memories

      You have an amazing camp program and my daughter had a fabulous time.  She can't wait to come back next summer. Not only have you provided great memories for her, you provided me with peace of mind with all your safety protocols. Not once did I worry about her while she was attending your camp. I will be highly recommending your program to all my friends. 
       

    • WRA Summer Riding Camp

      Whitchurch Riding Academy Inc. located just east of Newmarket, has been home to York Region's longest established Summer Riding Camp. For over thirty-five years we have provided a complete riding experience for children of all levels, beginner to advanced. Activities include a one-hour English riding lesson, horsemanship, arts & crafts, swimming, games & singsongs. Our Facilities include trained horses, indoor sand riding ring, outdoor (fenced) sand riding rings, large arts & crafts barn, rainy day activities, indoor lunch area, port-a-pot toilets, and an in-ground supervised pool. Our Advanced Camp includes an additional hour of riding every day, dressage, jumping, hacking, mounted games, presentation skills, advanced horsemanship, counselor-in-training program. To get to day camp, school-buses are provided from five convenient pick-up points in Toronto and York Region. Campers can also be dropped off directly at riding camp. We have lessons all year long! Whitchurch Riding Academy Inc. is accredited by the Ontario Camps Association (OCA), and the Ontario Equestrain Federation (OEF), and provides private, semi-private, and group lessons all year long. Don't forget to pack a lunch and snack, bring a hat, protective sun gear, swimsuit, riding helmet, boots with a heel. Our qualified riding instructors are certified in first aid & CPR. All horses are schooled to ensure your child's safety. A NLS Certified Guard supervises pool activities the entire day.

    • Horses!
      The things I liked about camp were the riding (obviously), the crafts, the games and the counsellors were very nice too. The horses were great too. I think you should bring back Bullwinkle (I love him!), Beau and a couple of others.
    • I Love Riding!
      I first attended Whitchurch Riding Camp when I was 8 years old. I remember getting all excited to go and ride a horse for the first time in my life! Before this the only encounters I had with horses were seeing them in the field. I arrived at camp extremely excited but also nervous since I didn’t know anyone. The moment I got off the bus I was welcomed by amazing counselors who made my camp experience the greatest. Within a day of being at camp I felt right at home and had made many new friends. When I first attended Whitchurch Riding Camp I knew nothing about horses. I came with my bicycle helmet, some tight pants, and some leather boots with a heel. Who knew that after getting off that bus and then getting on a horse that I would become passionate about horses? Everyday I would come home from camp and have a different story to tell. It wasnt just the horses but the swimming, arts and crafts, the games, the counselors, and most of all the sleepovers. After experiencing camp for the first time when I was eight years old, I have spent every summer there for the past 10 years. I became addicted to camp. I moved on from being a camper to being a volunteer/counselor-in-training. While being a volunteer I was able to improve my horse skills and my people skills. Now I have become a counselor and have realized that it can be stressful at times but it is also rewarding to see the campers enjoying the experience of camp as much as I did when I was little. They are always excited to be there and complain when the session is over. It is also exciting to campers improve their riding skills. In many of the campers I see myself, they are becoming passionate about horses just like I was. The experience at Whitchurch has been a very important part of my life as it has become like a second home to me. It is an awesome camp to go to and if you ever do go, I ensure you that you will have a fantastic camp experience.
    • Riding Camp!
      I will always remember my first time at Whitchurch Riding Camp. I lived in the city and had never been near a horse before. I was eight years old and nervous about all the people I would be meeting (as well as the horses). All the counselors and other kids on the bus were very friendly, and after a bus ride filled with songs and games we arrived at the camp, which was sprawling with horses and kids of all ages. There are many fun activities. The morning commences with songs and games in order to help everyone make friends. After being split into smaller groups we did arts and crafts, swimming, lunch, horsemanship and of course riding. In arts and crafts we do creative activities such as paper mache, friendship bracelets and tie dye. Swimming takes place in a large pool with a diving board and change rooms right on site. During lunch we sit outside while watching riding lessons or playing games within our group. Horsemanship allows every level of rider to become more knowledgeable in all different aspects of horse care, including first aid, grooming and show preparation. Riding provides everyone with the chance to learn how to handle a horse in a safe environment. Being a little nervous around horses at first, I quickly found myself becoming confident. As I got older I attended Advanced Camp which includes riding twice a day, counselor training, and my favourite – overnight camp that includes an extra ride and swim, as well as sleeping in the barn and night games. Our group became truly inseparable. I loved coming to Whitchurch Camp so much that I volunteered for weeks at a time. I had taken up lessons at Whitchurch Riding Academy during the year since discovering a real love for riding. I joined the Whitchurch Pony Club and competed at many horse shows and events. Last summer, I was privileged to become a camp counselor after many years of Counselor-In-Training, and I hope to be a counselor for many more years to come.


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