Richard Durrant is a Desert Storm veteran who grew up on Chicago’s South Side. After serving in the US Army for 8 years, Richard received an honorable discharge in ’92 and returned back to his Chicago roots.
As life would have it, Richard discovered the joys of driving horses in Chicago’s Goldcoast neighborhood and learned that he had a natural talent to gain their trust and developed a close working relationship with each horse that led him through the street traffic.
In 2005, Richard bought farm property in Northern Illinois, where he and his future wife would have the space to keep horses – and Sugar Maple Farm was established. Over the years, they got involved with the draft horse community. Annual plowing events were held at Sugar Maple Farm for several years, where many seasoned and novice teamsters could test their skills at plowing and cultivating 30+ acres – all done with animal power. Passion for sustainable agriculture was ignited!
In time, the herd grew and on any weekend, the Durrants could be found out in the field or arena with the horses. The time spent driving was so cathartic and peaceful.
Equally important is spending time with veterans who care deeply about horses and want to experience the serenity that horsemanship offers.
The Durrants are cognizant of fellow veterans who struggle with being former soldiers in a civilian world. They want to introduce farming with horses to veterans in the local area – to make a difference in their lives and those that they serve.