Our Story

Almost aboard the Titanic (1912)

In 1912, Mr. & Mrs. von Doeler of Germany, headed for Canada. Initially booked on the great Titanic, they were refused due to their dog, and boarded the President Lincoln instead. They received distress calls from the Titanic, but their ship was too far to help. Despite the tragedy, the von Doeler's made it to Canada, and settled in Northern Ontario, where the Ranch is located to this day.

Making a Life In Canada

The von Doelers made their home in Canada and had five children. They all helped, working long days, plowing fields, working the crops & caring for the farm animals. It was in the early 40's, when the youngest of the family, Ulrich, took full responsibility of the farm. He went on to build two new barns & started an egg business aside from his already established crops & livestock. Ulrich also built and sold beautiful wooden boats. 

The 2nd Generation (1950)

In the early 50's Ulrich began writing with Brigitte from Germany. Ulrich & Brigitte wrote letters for a year, when she decided to make the journey to Canada & meet Ulrich. Ten long days aboard a ship with scarce food, she made it. They instantly connected & Brigitte decided to stay in Canada and make a life with Ulrich.

The 3rd Generation (1950's- 1980's)

Brigitte & Ulrich had four children & the family worked hard together to keep the farm going. Ulrich skidded logs, built his boats & plowed the fields with his team while the rest of the family made hay, helped care for the animals & do what needed done on the farm. Horse and buggy were the main means of transportation for many years and it wasn't until the mid 60's they got power and running water at the farm house. 

Bruno & Linda

It was the oldest son, Bruno, who continued the tradition and kept the farm running. He was determined to keep it in the family. Himself, with his wife Linda, continued the Egg business his parents ran. They also started a Mushroom business as well as raising Red Deer. They built a beautiful log home on the property and purchased an additional 80 acres of land to ad onto the original farm. 



The 4th Generation (1990's)

Soon came the fourth generation, twin boys, Shane & Dave, and their little sister Elana. They grew up learning how to drive a tractor, build barns & look after the farm animals. Elana was, like every little girl, horse crazy. She begged and begged to get a horse, but with Bruno being allergic to horses, this wasn't an option. It wasn't long before they found Bashkir Curly Horses, a hypo-allergenic breed. 

Seastar (1998)

After much convincing, Bruno & Linda decided to let Elana get a horse. They found a yearling Curly / Quarter Horse Cross, whome Elana named Seastar. She had never been handled before and Elana, with the help of her coach, Hailey, learned to train her first horse. Together, Seastar & Elana competed in every discipline possible, they were inseparable. 

The Drought

In the early 2000's there was a severe drought in Alberta. Hay was in very short supply. The family decided they could head West and get a couple more horses, to help the breeders in Alberta and so the family could enjoy rides together. Elana & Bruno drove to Alberta and wound up bringing 8 yearlings home. Within a year, they went to Alberta 3 times and brought home 21 young Curly Horses, all of which had not been handled before. 

The Curlies

In order to cover costs, the plan was to train and sell a majority of the Curly Horses. However, they sold just two of the Curlies before getting incredibly attached to them all. Sales were put on hold and they began taking friends out on Trails for fun and Elana started teaching Lessons on evenings and weekends after school. Soon enough, it was a summer business for Elana and she no longer wondered what she was going to do after High School. The family supported the business idea, and it wasn't long before the Ranch became official. 

The Ranch

After High School, Elana dedicated her life to travel, Rodeo, Eventing & Business. She studied online receiving a diploma in Equine Science & Business Management. In the summer months, Elana dedicates her life to the Ranch & Competing. In the winter months, she travels to different Farms and Ranches in the United States & around the Globe to Ride, Train & Compete. She has gained valuable knowledge the past 10 years for both the Ranch & her Training. 

The Ranch today

  • Bruno works 8 Days "on" at Detour Gold & works his 6 days "off" here at the Ranch! 
  • Linda works in North Bay, helping at the Ranch on weekends wherever she is needed. 
  • Our Wrangler, Sophie, helps throughout the year to look after the animals & Guests.
  • The Twins live in Alberta & visit when Possible.  
  • Oma still lives on the Farm, she makes sure no detail is missed by anyone! 
  • Opa passed away spring of 2017, but his touch on the farm will never fade.
  • There are currently 46 horses on the farm, 10 of which are boarded horses. 
  • There are between 6-20 cattle and 15-20 chickens at the Ranch.
  • The Ranch Dogs, Rosco & Wiser, make sure no rodents get too close, and no food ever goes to waste. 

A Big Thank You

We'd like to thank everyone who has supported the Ranch over the years. Whether it's reading this page, coming out for a ride or joining us for a season, we couldn't do it without you! 

                                 Sincerely,

                                           -VDR FAMILY