4H: Heartland, Horses, Hutterites, and Halfway there

Posted on Jul 31, 2014

Okay, 4H members (and I know a lot of you watch Heartland), I was just having a little fun. I know that the 4 'H's actually stand for Head, Heart, Hands and Health, so don’t go picketing the offices of the CBC or sending me nasty comments.

I was just noticing that the four ‘H’s I wrote above all come into play and I guess I should explain…

1) Heartland. This one really doesn’t require too much of an explanation. Heartland is - as you read this - filming its 8th record breaking season for CBC. By season’s end there will be 139 episodes in the series and Heartland will be the longest running one-hour drama in Canadian television history. 'Street Legal', the current record holder, also ran eight seasons and had 124 episodes.

2) Horses. Again, this is kind of a no-brainer, for what is Heartland if not a horse ranch? From Spartan to Sugarfoot and from Pegasus to Phoenix, Heartland has been a showcase for horses that fans have watched and grown attached to. This season there will be a variety of horses on the various episodes, but I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of the draft horses I have mentioned on social media. These big boys (photo below) actually live less than a mile from where their scenes were filmed. They appear in episode 807 and are horses brought to Heartland for Amy to look at. This brings us to our third ‘H’…

3) Hutterites. The draft horses brought to Heartland are from a nearby Hutterite colony. For those of you who are not familiar with Hutterites, they are a communal branch of Anabaptists who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the 16th century. Today, most Hutterites live in Western Canada and the upper Great Plains of the US. In the photo below the horses John Bourgeois plays Walter. He is walking towards his daughter, Hanna, played by Julia Lalonde. I'll have several photos to share with you when we get closer to this episode airing. It’s going to be a good one.

4) Halfway. Yep, although I still can’t get the broadcast date of the season 8 premiere down, I can say we are over halfway between when the season 7 finale aired on CBC and when season 8 will premiere in the fall. I have a hunch within a couple of weeks I will have the actual date verified so we can start doing that 'tick… tick… tick…' countdown thing that we all love to do.

Now halfway also is of significance, for on August 13 production will start on the fifth block of the nine being filmed this season. So at the midpoint of that block we will be halfway through filming the eighth season of television’s favourite family drama.

On that note, I do have something to share regarding the upcoming fifth block, which contains episodes 809 and 810. Both scripts are written by Heartland Showrunner Heather Conkie, and these are the two episodes which will bookend the December break from new programming, when CBC plays its traditional Christmas and holiday programs.

In the past these have been very special and dramatic episodes - In 209 Tim was shot; in 309 Scott and Ty were in a plane crash, in 409 Ashley and Caleb discovered they were not legally married, in 509 Ty and Wade joined forces to save a racehorse, in 609 Amy & Ty were engaged and in 709 Amy was knocked out and landed in a coma.

So it's not too much of a reach to predict that episode 809, titled 'The Pike River Cull', will be a very interesting episode in the Heartland saga.

I know some of you are going, “Pike River. Pike River? THAT Pike River?”

Yes, for the first time since December 2010, when 'A Heartland Christmas' premiered on CBC, filming will once again take place in the hamlet of Pike River. With that location is going to come some other very interesting things that I can’t quite reveal yet, but I will be able to in the near future. In the meantime I have included a couple of recent photos of the location for you.

So that’s about it; next week I will have something different for all of you and of course on Tuesday I will have another pesky Time Killer. It’s what your Blog Whisperer does.

In the meantime enjoy the dog days of summer. I know I am doing that as soon as I post this. Woof!

Until my next post I remain, as always, obediently yours.