Our Featured Alumni is Donna Maguire

"Seventy years later, Lancer Alumna, Donna Maguire, finds her way to give back by donating a painting in our time of need"


In the midst of our difficult summer, Donna Maguire contacted us out of the blue upon hearing the news of our quarantine in The Chronicle Herald. Although Lancers had lost touch with her over the many decades, Donna expressed her deep desire to help the horses and our organization in the time of need. Donna is a talented artist with her own studio near Peggy’s Cove and as she told us, she “felt compelled to do something” and donating a piece of her artwork was something she could do to help. With the purpose of holding a raffle to raise funds, Donna donated us one of her beautiful paintings. As the raffle draw is just six days away, we thought we would have Donna as our featured alumni for Throwback Thursday!


Donna grew up in Dartmouth but also spent part of her childhood in Ontario where she rode in Cooksville, just outside of Toronto at a riding academy. Donna and her family returned to Nova Scotia when she was about 11 or 12 and with her riding experience, she joined Lancers in 1947/8. She remembers the legacy of the stables fire in 1942 that led Lancers to relocate to the Forum. She also recalls the riding ring across the street from the stables and riding around the Commons and to Point Pleasant Park! Two horses called Mystic and Magic, which Donna affectionately referred to as “little devils”, came to her mind, especially when one of them stood on her foot and wouldn’t move. Donna rode at Lancers under Dick Zwicker whom she remembers as a perfectionist and rather a character. She also shared with us that she hated school because it made her feel confined but at Lancers, she enjoyed going to the Mitchell Room to receive instruction on proper horse care. Equally, Donna remembers helping with new riders and the sense of responsibility this brought her. It is wonderful to see that the Mitchell Room is still being used in the same way and peer mentorship was, as now, very much part of the Lancer programming!

Art Raffle.jpg

We are very appreciative of Donna’s generous contribution to us and are touched that her short time at Lancers over seventy years ago inspired her to help her fellow Lancers. It is powerful that Donna’s sentiment can be shared by Lancers of any generation when she explained: “Lancers was a part of my riding life but it made me part of who I am today and I just love horses”.

The raffle will be held on Wednesday, January 23rd and tickets can be purchased at the stables office (during our Facebook hours) or via e-transfer and photo proof by commenting on this post. Tickets are $5 each of 3 for $10. Bring this special painting home.

Thank you to the Chronicle Herald for sharing our story this summer and helping us reconnect with Donna! 

Janet Hawley