Head coach, Owner
Silke was born in Meppen, Germany, and lived there with her parents until the age of 11. She began her horse career much like any other young girl – with a profound love of horses. Throughout her childhood, Silke would routinely escape to local farms both in Germany and Canada without her parent’s knowledge to stare longingly at the horses. Once in high school, Silke became a regular at local stables such as Happy Trails and the RCMP barn in downtown Ottawa, learning the basics and getting lots of advice from leaders in the equine industry. After high school Silke returned to Germany for a four year apprenticeship, including studying for a year at a theraputic barn, as well as becoming very involved with many of the country’s A-circuit horses, and Germany’s top-level breeding program.
When Silke returned to Canada in 2003, she and her parents, who already had a successful chocolate store in Ottawa, opened a stable in Dunrobin, north of Kanata, Ontario.
In 2008, after the sale of that farm, Silke and her then fiancée Justin purchased their current farm in Richmond, Ontario, and moved horses, equipment, and customers in a highly logistical summer-long venture. Silke now manages Stubbe Horse Farm from home, while coaching students, training horses, attending shows, and raising her family.
Justin Norell is the facilities manager at Stubbe Horse Farm, making repairs and upgrades as needed. Born in Calgary, he grew up on a 150 acre farm in northern Alberta which held many different animals, including horses. He performed his share of farm work, but the horses were more pets than athletes. After the family decided to sell the farm when Justin was 12, he believed his farming days were done.
A school curriculum full of woodworking classes led to a cabinetmaking apprenticeship with a general contractor after high school, teaching Justin many of the skills he would later realize benefit a farming life. A chance meeting between his relatives and Silke’s in Ottawa led Justin eventually to move to Ottawa and marry Silke, where he now assists in the day to day needs of the farm and tries to keep everyone out of trouble.