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  • Norfolk Farms

Fletcher’s Horse World Known World Wide

Updated: May 10, 2023

John and Sharon Fletcher are two very busy people who love to pursue their first passion – horses, reining horses to be exact - and this passion has taken them to all corners of the USA and Canada.

John and friend a 2-year-old American Quarter and American Paint Horse.

If you’re from this area you are familiar with what many would call “the old Hellyer Farm” on Cockshutt Road just outside of Waterford. Purchased by the Fletcher’s in 2004,they have done many changes over the years to the facility and, in turn, kept many things the same.

What was once the country school known as S.S. No. 15, est. in 1881, now serves as a part of their office. It once served as the one room school that Walter Hellyer himself attended. With an addition a few years down the road to expand the school, Hellyer’s own children attended there so it holds a special nostalgia that the old has become new…so to speak.

Another interesting fact about the farm is that, with Nanticoke Creek running right through the property, it housed the generator that produced the first electricity in Waterford. That generator is now housed at Waterford Heritage Agricultural Museum as a part of our local history.

John and Sharon Fletcher

The Fletcher’s have lived on the farm, at the top of the hill, since buying the property in 2004. ”There were about 300 acres when we bought the property and Nanticoke Creek runs right through it. The Heeg family has farmed the land since we bought it and they take good care of it. They are good stewards of the land” adds Fletcher. “I’m a mechanic by trade but we purchased a horse farm in St. Thomas back in the 1990’s…just because we love horses…and it’s grown from there”.

In the past the Fletcher’s attended at the Quarter Horse Congress and were able to see all types of riding disciplines. “They’re a registered breed and usually associated with cowboys.

At the event we saw every discipline from Reining to Cutting, English and Barrel riding. When we saw the Reining we really liked it” adds Fletcher. “We’ve held some barrel and horse cutting shows in the past but decided we enjoyed the Reining class better”.

The Fletcher’s have held a variety of competitions in the enclosed arena. “It can hold about 600 to 700 spectators, with an average of about 150 horses per show. With Covid we lost some of our crowd but attendance was up last year. The Canadian Reining Championships will mark 20 years this year and the Grand Finale will be held here in Sept. of 2023. The Canadian Reining Classic is going to be here the last weekend of July as well. We’re usually sold out at these shows.”

Not only have the Fletcher’s hosted shows but they have attended a large number over the years. ”If there’s a show in Ontario we’ve gone to everyone of them. We travel the States as well. We recently got back from Oklahoma. We went down to see some of the horses that we’ve raised over the years” adds Fletcher. “Horses that we have owned and trained have won $530,000.00 and horses we have raised have won $325,000.00”. Fletcher added “We have won 3 NHRA World titles and 2 Reserve World titles. We’ve also won hundreds of trophies and saddles and have given some away. You can only keep so much”.

In the past there were more breeders but there are not as many now. A young horse can run anywhere from $30,000.00 to $500,000.00. “We still have show breeders here. We have 2 Brood mares for now. Both are World Champions. We like to keep 8 to 10 babies if we can.

90% of them will go to the USA, Europe and South America with about 10% staying right here in Canada” adds Fletcher. “The horse business is short on good workers... It’s a specialized field. We have one full time and a few part time staff to take care of the 30 to 35 horses we have here on sight.”

Fletcher has found over the years that you get attached to the horses.” We bought Maggie as a yearling…she was very little and we immediately fell in love with her. Every grandchild has rode her. She has had 10 babies with 4 of those born in embryo only. We breed only to top stallions most of which are on large Texas farms” adds Fletcher.

While owned by Hellyer, riders could purchase horse trailers on sight and Fletcher has continued and expanded on the interest. With competitions held at Fletcher’s Horse World there has been a demand for trailers and their assortment offers prospective buyers any and everything they need and are looking for in travel. Travel is easier and you are always close by your horses – in the same trailer, in fact. As luxurious as any regular travel trailer, they offer everything you could need in your travels.

With their busy schedules, however, the Fletchers have left the trailer sales operation to their Grandson Brandon Sparkman. Sales have continued to increase every year and their on sight stock has a great selection to choose from. Stop by or give them a call and check out their stock of a home-away-from-home on wheels.

While horses have become their passion, the Fletchers started out in a very different kind of racing. With John’s background as a Mechanic the Fletchers spent several years around cars…fast cars… and once owned their own Drag Race track. John was inducted into the Drag

Racing Hall of Fame in Montreal a few years ago and his wife, Sharon is one of a very few ladies to have been inducted into the Canadian Motor Sports Hall of Fame in Toronto. Racing has always been in their blood!

For the Fletchers their life has been a busy but interesting one and they continue to enjoy every day, every horse, every event…Whatever life throws at them. Retired? I guess. Going to slow down? Definitely not! They’re loving the ride and they’re in it for the long haul. 


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