Fans ex­cited to meet star of ‘Heart­land’

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY EL­IZ­A­BETH PAT­TER­SON

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.”

EL­IZ­A­BETH PAT­TER­SON/CAPE BRE­TON POST

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.

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