FALMOUTH — Kevin Smith is a self-described sports fanatic, particularly golf and hockey, who never imagined he would own a horse farm.
But when his daughter Abby fell in love with horses and began training with Amy Sterling, it seems fate intervened.
Not long after they met, Smith and Sterling fell in love and married.
As she got older, his daughter became more and more passionate about riding. His youngest daughter, Paige, also became interested in horses.
Last week, Smith officially became the owner of an iconic 79-acre farm on Route 100, where white fences meander over rolling hills, dotted with quarter horses.
“I bought it for my girls,” Smith said.
What was once a private farm, owned by Rick Lane, is slated to become a horse and people-filled community. The family business Smith now calls Capall Creek Farm will offer riding lessons, horse boarding, quarter-horse training, clinics and shows.
Capall, Smith said, is Gaelic for horse.
“We want this to be a place where kids can just come,” said Sterling, who is hoping to offer summer camps on the farm. She has already begun teaching a few students at the farm.
Before moving to Falmouth, Sterling owned a farm in Windham, where she gave riding lessons and trained horses for shows. Tragedy struck there in December 2008, when a fire destroyed the farm and killed eight horses.
Despite the loss, Sterling maintained her passion for training horses and the people who ride them.
“I’ve always loved working with youth. I think riding teaches them responsibility and passion,” Sterling said. “This is really good for all the kids.”
Canadian quarter-horse trainer Jeff Temple will join Sterling at the farm in October, bringing along eight to 10 horses.
Smith estimated that after they return from the annual American Quarter Horse Congress in October and get the farm fully up and running, they will have approximately 50 horses on the property.
In the old barn that sits right up next to Route 100, called the Mare Barn, they will house mares and foals, hopefully breeding show horses.
Smith said several people have already stopped by to ask if they board horses.
“Until now, people have had to go up to New Gloucester to board their horses,” said Smith. “There’s nothing like this in Falmouth.”
Abby Smith, who is now 12 years old, said she is excited to have her three best friends hang out at the farm with her. All of them are avid riders.
“Everybody in my family loves hockey, they’re all sports fans,” Abby said. “I kind of found my own thing.”
“She’s been putting in steady 12-hour days,” her father added.
As the family takes over the farm, everyone – from 22-year-old Andrew, who is designing the website, to 10-year-old Aidan, who is learning to mow the lawn, to 3-year-old Paige, who hauls corn and oats for the horses in her plastic wagon – is putting in overtime.
Even their dogs, Bogey and Skidder, spend days exploring the property, searching for new swamps to roll in.
The family recently laid new ground in the indoor show ring and are hauling hay for the winter.They have help from the previous owner, Lane, who will be boarding some of his horses at the farm.
“He said it was really emotional, he was selling his dream farm,” Sterling said. “And Kevin said, ‘yes, it’s really emotional. I’m buying my dream farm.'”
Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Smith and his daughter Paige, 3, say hello to one of the horses boarding at their farm on Route 100 in Falmouth. Smith bought the farm last week and will be turning it into a horse boarding and training business. His wife, Amy Sterling, and Canadian trainer Jeff Temple will offer lessons and training at the iconic Falmouth farm that Smith is calling Capall Creek Farm.