Then & Now

Killerney Farms

August, 2021

A passion for horses and a pivotal romance shows its roots at Killerney Farm

Killerney Farm, an equestrian site near Spruce Grove, is one of the oldest stables currently operating in Edmonton. With a legacy almost 50 years old, the space has a mellow and welcoming atmosphere that may be part of why it has been voted one of the Edmonton area’s favourite equestrian facilities. And regardless of skill level among the riders on the premises, Killerney Farm has a rather engaging vibe. That might have something to do with the spot’s reputation for a glowing passion for horses, and in the case of its founders, a love for each other.


Killerney Farm’ was the brainchild of Colin and Erika Crone, drawn together by their infatuation for showjumping. Colin Crone—nicknamed  “Irish”—was training with members of the Canadian Equestrian Team, which at the time included James Elder, a showjumper who won the only gold medal for Canada in the 1968 Olympic Games held in Mexico City. While Crone never competed in Mexico, he was featured with the team at other major jumping competitions held in famous venues like Madison Square Garden.

Around that time, Erika Steinborn rode at a local stable in Ontario, where she cared for the horses and educated visitors. Soon after, Crone and Steinborn married and had one child together. The pair decided to turn their love of horses into a viable career path, operating training and boarding staples in Edmonton and Ontario during the 1970s. Afterwards, they moved to Ireland, operating stables in the hamlet of Killerney, where they trained and sold horses. The couple also competed at such prominent meets as Strokestown and the famous Royal Dublin Society Horse Show.

They eventually wanted to open and operate their own stables. That dream became reality after they moved back to Canada.

Late 1980s – 1990s

Opening their doors in 1989, Killerney Farm has always been a family-operated business that prides itself on the excellent treatment and education of horses and their riders. Shortly after opening, Crone gutted the barn, cleared the surrounding trees, and developed new stalls and outdoor rings.

Throughout the 1990s, Killerney Farm hosted an abundance of horse shows. In 1997, they started their regular dressage shows (best described as “ballet on horseback”), where riders from across the country competed in events ranging from beginner to Olympic-level riding.


Being one of the oldest stables in Edmonton has given Killerney Farm a certain rustic charm. “We’re not a big, lovely, or fancy facility, but the horses are very happy and content here,” says Kathleen Schirmaier, daughter of the Crones.

In 2001, another massive dressage competition was held at Killerney Farm. The farm hosted the Western Canadian Regional Dressage Championships and welcomed judges from across the world to take part in the event. In 2008, shortly before his unfortunate passing, Crone sold the farm when it was at the height of the real estate market. The new owners then leased the farm back to the family and Erika Crone ran the business.

2010s – Today

First and foremost, Killerney Farm is a boarding facility for horses. To be able to take lessons, people either have to own or lease their horses. Most of the riders at Killerney Farm are at beginner and intermediate levels, although some regularly compete on the A circuit—the second-highest equestrian level—in Spruce Meadows, where provincial, national and global horse events are held. Although there are some semi-professionals, most of Killerney Farm’s clientele are pleasure riders. “They enjoy coming out and getting away from it all by riding their horses,” says Schirmaier.

The farm loves to facilitate entry-level, grassroots horse shows, where people of all ages can practice their riding skills. Schirmaier says that Killerney Farm act as that stepping-stone for the riders who want to move onto bigger shows. “It’s recognizing that we fill a niche market that allows people to practice, and it’s that development that I’m most happy with,” adds Schirmaier.

Today, Killerney Farm accommodates 44 individual heated stalls, along with an indoor riding arena, tack rooms, and an amazing outdoor facility. The outdoor jumps are where patrons can best enjoy the experience of pleasure riding with the horses.

“If we were to focus on something we would want to focus on the experience of the rider,” says Schirmaier. “It’s not a big fancy barn, but it’s laid-back and that’s what we offer.”  t7x

Killerney Farm

51303 Range Road 262,
Spruce Grove, AB