Fans excited to meet star of ‘Heartland’
Western dreams came alive this weekend for some fans of horses and the television show that celebrates them.
Dawn Cooke managed to be the first person to get her photo taken with Amber Marshall, the star of the long-running CBC drama “Heartland,” who appeared Saturday at the Sydney Horse Expo at Centre 200.
“I’ve been watching her show since it came on, from Day 1,” Cooke said afterward. “I’m a big fan.”
And when she wasn’t getting her photo taken with television celebrities, Cooke was spending the weekend working at the show.
“I do own a horse and I show competitively but I opted out for this weekend,” Cooke said. “I’m the rink stewardess for the weekend with the judge so it’s great — I’m learning all kinds of new stuff.
“I’ve been very busy and enjoying every minute of it.”
Artist Kimberley Wells has loved horses all her life and she also enjoys “Heartland.” In addition to taking part in the weekend’s trade show, she did a portrait of Marshall, which she planned to present to the star later in the day.
“I watch ‘Heartland’ every week — I’ve been into horses since I was a little girl so it’s nice to be able to see a Canadian actress that’s talented be able to make horse lovers happy every week,” said Wells, who also specializes in drawing horses.
Meghan Farrell of Mira owns the horse Perfectly In Motion, a nine-year-old quarter horse that Marshall rode in the two Ross Millar and Horse Power shows that took place Saturday afternoon.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said Farrell when asked how she felt about Marshall riding her horse. “It’s a great opportunity.”
For the popular actress, the Sydney Horse Expo was a welcome chance to connect with her fans.
“It’s amazing to finally be able to come out to the East Coast because I know there have been so many fans who have been asking for nine years now and this is the first time we’ve been able to make it out, so I’m really happy to be here,’’ said Marshall, 27, who plays Amy Fleming, the horse-whispering girl at the centre of the show.
Marshall has been riding since she was a child and owns an Alberta ranch.
The Sydney Horse Expo opened Friday and ran all weekend, featuring competitions, displays and a trade show. About 70 horses from across the Maritimes and Toronto took part in the inaugural event, which Centre 200 facilities manager Paul MacDonald said went well.
“We’re very happy, very pleased — there’s always a few little things here and there but otherwise I think people seem to like it — I know the participants like it and yeah, it’s been great.”
Longtime fan Dawn Cooke got to meet television star Amber Marshall, shown seated on Perfectly In Motion, during this weekend’s Sydney Horse Expo at Centre 200 this weekend.