David and Sara Simmons seemed a little bewildered to be recognized by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary for the care and service they provide to the force’s mounted unit.
It all started at a coffee shop in 2010 when David offered officers the facilities at their farm anytime the horses were in western Newfoundland for a visit.
Not thinking much more about it, a long-standing tradition soon unfolded that has Vince, Townsend, Fraize or Dobbin at the stables of what is now Pure Holstein when the horses need to rest before or after participating in an event in the area.
David seemed somewhat reluctant to accept a token of appreciation during a ceremony held at the headquarters in Corner Brook Thursday.
“It’s kind of embarrassing to receive something like this, because it’s just a pleasure to do it,” David said, adding they are truly honoured to be recognized.
The horses are a spectacle in any community they travel to and it is no different at Pure Holstein.
Sara said they enjoy having the horses there, especially their young daughter Felicity.
“We really enjoy the animals’ company,” she said. “They are a pleasure to be around. They are pretty.”
At the former Hammond Farm dairy facility, the horses are provided their own stalls, complete with bedding and quality hay.
Although the farmers themselves don’t necessarily think the service they provide is a big deal, the force certainly does. Supt. Brian Dowden says he has no idea what the alternative would be without the Simmons’ stables — he doesn’t even want to consider it.
Dowden said the citizen award was the least the RNC could do as a police organization. He said officers regularly praise the couple’s treatment of the horses, which was described as above and beyond.
“Members have the utmost respect for Mr. and Mrs. Simmons for the professional care and treatment of the animals,” he said. “From the accommodation of late arrivals and early departures due to travel times across the province.”