Tracey O’Connell, owner of Tod Mountain Guest Ranch was appointed President of the BC Guest Ranchers’ Association at their AGM on Nov. 21, for a two-year term.
Tracey grew up in Dublin, Ireland, before moving with her family to Leeds, England, where she went to school and continued on to a career in Human Resources with international organizations in the UK, Europe and Asia. As busy as she was, she still would book horseback riding vacations around the world – a passion that she picked up in the 90’s when she visited her first dude ranch and has since taken her around the world from Crete to Botswana, Wyoming to Australia.
Although an admitted ‘city girl’, Tracey recalls sitting on a porch of a cabin in Alberta enjoying a beer with a friend after a long ride and saying, “I could do this!” That was about 10 years ago – a time when she was living life large: a Fortune 500 company job in human resources while based in Hong Kong living the good life – but her heart was now set on living a simpler life, surrounded by natural beauty, and making her dream of building and running a guest ranch a reality. The question now was, where?
Visits to Western Canada quickly answered the question when she became ‘struck by the beauty of British Columbia’. A six month leave from the job to live in Canada just ‘to be sure’, cemented the dream. Within three months O’Connell had bought Tod Mountain Ranch, an 80-acre former cattle ranch in the Louis Creek Valley, close to Kamloops, and surrounded by beautiful crown land. The year was 2007, the same year she received a residency permit and immigrated to Canada. Intense construction began in 2008 and by June, 2009, she opened the ranch to her first guests and has never looked back. Able to host up to 16 people during a stay, she combines horses, adventure, personalized service, fun and relaxation into every guest’s stay.
The guest ranch is hidden in the Louis Creek Valley, offering a relaxing, adult-oriented environment for guests to enjoy horseback riding, nature and the outdoors. This small yet upscale ranch offers stunning views, great food, good company and a peaceful, calm environment. For further information visit www.todmountainranch.com
The BC Guest Ranchers’ Association (BCGRA) is comprised of the best guest ranching establishments in the province, the purpose of the association is to promote guest ranching within British Columbia to the world; sanction professionalism with the industry and establish and maintain high standards of quality for British Columbia’s Guest Ranch Industry. For further information visit www.bcguestranches.com