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Love of horses is a family affair

They are three generations of equestrians.

As a Bennett High School student, John Cobb -- reasoning that it "looked easier to ride a horse than to march" -- enrolled in the New York National Guard, joining the 121st National Guard Horse Cavalry at Main Street and West Delevan Avenue.

Cobb, who also donated 45 acres of forest and streams in Franklinville to the Finger Lakes Trail, later passed on his equine interests to his daughter, Lynn. A graduate of Amherst High School, Lynn Robinson -- now grown-up and married -- received her first horse from her father when she was 13.

"I rode bareback through the hills of Ellicottville for hours on end," Robinson recalled.

Now years later, Robinson -- with the help of Gary, her aeronautics-engineer husband -- has designed Brookfield Farms, the first large equestrian center to be built in Clarence in years.

But the love of horses did not stop with father and daughter.

Lynn and Gary Robinson's daughter, Tina, 11, a Nichols School sixth-grader, has won hundreds of trophies and ribbons in Western New York shows, and has her eyes on a national title.

The Robinsons rescue injured racehorses, like the mare they dubbed "Hope."

"We were just hoping she'd make it. Her legs were bleeding; she was about dead from starvation," Lynn Robinson recalls.

Despite having been abused before her rescue, Hope has since gained 300 pounds and soon will have a new home in one of the 36 luxurious stalls in the Robinsons' 43-acre Brookfield Farms Equestrian Center on Salt Road.

Tina is committed to the equestrian sport, but is more dedicated to the care and well-being of such magnificent, kind and giving animals.

"They're so sweet, they deserve the best," she said.

Thanks to her parents, they're getting it.

Brookfield Farms features state-of-the-art equipment including automatic waterers and video-surveillance equipment including a Web-cam and 24-hour alarm service.

The spacious, covered arena would be at home in the horse farms of Kentucky. Riders in an outdoor arena have the benefit of Olympic-caliber jumps crafted by a local blacksmith.

The stall area connects to the indoor arena -- similar to Toronto's Casa Loma -- eliminating the need to go outdoors in inclement weather, Robinson said. The 12-by-12-foot stalls have automatic waterers to guarantee the horses are never without fresh water.

Each stall has a sliding window for additional light and ventilation plus video surveillance providing security for horses and peace of mind for owners.

There are more than 20 acres of clover-timothy pasture.

There also is the 300-by-150-foot outdoor show arena, with state-of-the-art footing and Olympic-caliber jumps, and even a veterinarian-blacksmith stall.
Opening soon, and just in time for the Town of Clarence's bicentennial, Brookfield Farms takes its name from the maiden name of Robinson's mother, Brook. Also, Tina's middle name is Brooks, and the name of her first pony was Brookfield Prince Charming.

Have an idea about a local person whose life would make a good profile or a neighborhood issue worth exploring? Write to: Louise Continelli, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240, or e-mail lcontinelli@buffnews.com

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