Destination Development Conference & Equine Forum

Thursday, October 18th, 2012                                                              

Presented by the Hills of Headwaters Tourism Association & Central Counties Tourism featuring John D. Nicholson, Director Kentucky Horse Park

On Thursday, October 18th the Headwaters Equine Leadership Group hosted  a provincial forum focusing on destination development and niche tourism opportunities to support regional economies.

Destination Development Conference

As part of the Headwaters Equine Forum, the afternoon conference brought together industry leaders, provincial and municipal politicians and industry stakeholders to take part in discussions with industry experts and business operators who have had significant experience in developing destinations across Ontario.

  • Horse Country:  A Vision – including a look at some of the top 20 equine destinations in America as presented by Luxequestrian
  • A Day in the Life of a Horse Owner:  The Economic Impact of the Equine Sector on a Regional Economy 
    • Panelists include:  Shelley Peterson, Stacey Coupland (Best Western Orangeville), John Dunlap (Moffat Dunlap), Roy Bryan (Bryan’s Fuels), and Dwayne Job (System Fence)
    • A video visit to a Headwaters region horse farm – with Shelley Peterson
  • Creating a Tourism Business on a Farm  Panelists include:  Karen Lada (Spring Gait Meadows), John Downey (Downey’s Farm Market), Stephen Kitchen (Director of Planning, King Township) and Mike King (Intercity Insurance)
  • TO2015 PanAm Games – Creating a Legacy (Allen Vansen, Senior VP Operations)

Headwaters Equine Forum Gala Dinner

The evening gala dinner  provided guests with an opportunity to network and mingle with colleagues and industry professionals, discuss the opportunities available for partnership & collaboration, and be inspired by a destination that has built a world-class reputation around one particular industry sector and that has expanded their brand into a niche tourism experience.

The Headwaters Equine Leadership Group was honoured to welcome John D. Nicholson, Director of the Kentucky Horse Park, as the evening’s keynote speaker.  John spoke about the Kentucky Horse Park’s  vision for the future, their experience in developing their destination as part of a State-led strategy, and their success in hosting the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

The gala dinner also included a presentation by Craig Collins, Director of the Caledon Equestrian Park, who spoke about the future of their facility in Palgrave and the legacy that the PanAm 2015 will leave for not only the equine industry, but the Town of Caledon, the greater Headwaters region, and the entire province of Ontario.