Joy Richardson’s legacy in the community includes the construction of the Spirit of the Horse Garden at Campbell Valley Park. file photo

Celebration of Life for Joy Richardson on Sunday

Founder of Langley’s Spirit of the Horse Garden passed away in August

A Celebration of Life will be held for Joy Richardson, a tireless campaigner for Langley’s equestrian community and founder of the Spirit of the Horse Garden in Campbell Valley park.

The event organized by the sport horse community will take place Sunday, Nov. 4 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the High Point Equestrian Centre at 658 200 St.

It is open to all.

Richardson, a long time Langley equestrienne, passed away in August at the age of 92.

Born Oct. 5, 1925, in Lincolnshire, England, Richardson emigrated to British Columbia in 1957, and in 1969 bought Heritage Stables in Aldergrove. She won many awards with her quarter horses, Hyline Gentry and Hyline Paladin.

Later, after returning to England for several years, she came back to Langley and purchased a small farm near Campbell Valley Park.

She started up a small boarding business while working to improve the equestrian offerings of Campbell Valley Park, including the creation of the Spirit of the Horse Garden on 208 Street.

The garden, at the official entrance to the park, features the names of over 300 horses and their owners on bronze plaques, resting on a four-foot brick wall.

It has a stone carving of a rearing horse, surrounded with flowers, along with flowers and shrubs in beds throughout the three-quarter acre property.

In 2011 Richardson left Langley and moved to a retirement home in White Rock. That same year, she was presented with a certificate of appreciation for her work on behalf of the Township.

READ MORE: Joy Richardson honoured

Despite leaving her farm, Richardson remained interested in local equine related activities and the welfare of horses.

In 2014, she wrote to the Times to thank the people who work to care for and maintain the Spirit of the Horse garden.

Former Langley Times editor Frank Bucholtz recalled Richardson as “a fascinating character and memorable person — obstinate, passionate and single-minded, but definitely a very representative member of that hard-working generation.

“I enjoyed talking to her about her Second World War experiences in working up close with top British government officials, while she was still in her teens.”

On Aug. 21, Richardson died peacefully in the presence of her son and close friends.

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