Around 1981, this barn in the Rural Municipality of St. Francois Xavier was featured in a Manitoba Co-operator series on rural architecture. The original caption for the photograph is given below.
The barns of Manitoba are most often associated with shelter for livestock or the work animals from yesteryear’s agriculture. Some barns hold other distinctions, such as this long, low version set along the Assiniboine River near Headingley. Built in 1962 for Riverbend Farms, the stable and riding arena were used for shows and training of some of Canada’s top dressage and jumping teams. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Sellers, the design was determined after a tour of riding arenas in other provinces. Measuring an estimated 200 feet by 60 feet in the main arena, and about 40 feet by 70 feet in the stable portion, the barn cost about $40,000 in 1962. Mrs. Sellers was one of Canada’s top dressage riders at the time. The outside facilities and courses made the Riverbend Farm one of the finest in Western Canada. Mr. Sellers was also a central figure in western agriculture as President of Federal Grain Limited, at the time the largest private grain company in the West. Federal sold its grain facilities to the three Prairie Pools in 1972.
As of 2014, the building is still standing.
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Co-operator Rural Buildings Series
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Carpenter Housebarn (RM of St. Francois Xavier)
Memorable Manitobans: George Henry Sellers (1914-1986)
Memorable Manitobans: Margaret Anne Aikins “Peggy” Sellers (1915-1999)
“Horseshow opens new riding stables,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 December 1963, page 11.
We thank Jean Ammeter for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Bob Hainstock, Ed Ledohowski, and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 25 April 2021
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