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Wellsville graduate publishes, “The Adventures at Red Oak Farm, Stacy and Cowboy”

By Kathryn Ross, pictured is Regina Richmond with her Gypsy Vanner Dolly

A former local woman has had a dream, nurtured on the hilltops and in the valleys of Allegany County, come true with the publication of her first book.

One of the newest books on Amazon is “The Adventures At Red Oak Farm, Stacy and Cowboy” written by Regina Richmond. Regina Richmond is the pen name of Cheryl Hurd, a 1968 graduate of Wellsville High School who moved to Andover in the early 70s.

She first became interested in Andover when she boarded a horse with Deanna Russell and rode the forest trails with Russell, Marion McClure and Maryann Whitehouse.

“It was a fun time, and I learned a lot about horsemanship from those ladies,” Richmond recalled.

In Andover she honed her skills as an artist, rendering landscapes and animal portraits in oil on canvas. She also raised horses and dogs and established Shady Maples Kennels raising and training champion German Shepherds. But her pen and notebooks were never far away as she wrote hundreds of stories about her life with her dogs and horses.

In 1987 Richmond packed up a van and literally moved lock, stock and barrel to Phoenix, AZ where she planned to start a dog grooming and kennel business with friends who had recently moved there. Last year she moved to Michigan with her partner to be closer to family.

After years of toiling with short stories and novels Richmond completed her first published book this past Spring and it is now available on Amazon.com. The story revolves around the life of a six- year-old girl who survives an automobile accident which kills her parents. The youngster moves in with her grandparents where the dogs, horses, and cows on the farm help to rehabilitate her.

Richmond chose to base her novel in Western New York, in the Andover and Wellsville areas.

Why did she choose New York and not Phoenix where she lived for nearly half her life?

“Because that’s what I knew growing up and they always say write what you know,” she said, emphasizing that the landscape around Andover in Wellsville is more hospitable and greener than the desert landscape of the southwest.

And why has she decided to write a children’s book, because that is what she loves.

“My favorite books are the novels of Walter Farley (Black Stallion), Mary O’Hara (Flicka) and Margaret Henry (Misty). I have a bookshelf full of them and I still enjoy reading them,” she said.

As a successful equestrienne Richmond has her own wall of blue ribbons and trophies for horsemanship and dressage. She currently owns a registered Gypsy Vanner named Dolly that she has taught to ride and drive.

Richmond picked up a pen almost as soon as she picked up a paintbrush and credits some of her childhood teachers such as Irma Larson, longtime principal of Washington Elementary School, for her love of nature and writing.

“Years after grade school I was driving my horse on Davis Hill Road in Andover, when I came upon Mrs. Larson who was bird watching. I remember her playing us records of birdsongs in her classroom. I showed her where she could find Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Barn Swallows. We even went for a cart ride. It was great to be able to give back to someone who had given so much to me.”

Richmond plans to continue The Adventures At Red Oak Farm as a series, and has nearly completed the second book in the series, while the third is on her drawing board. The first book, “The Adventures At Red Oak Farm, Stacy and Cowboy” is currently available on Amazon for $19.95 and Richmond hopes that all her old friends who purchase it will leave a positive review.

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