Heartland is the longest-running one-hour drama series in Canadian television history! Millions of horse lovers around the world watch and love the show. How much do you know about the show and its production? We’ve got 8 interesting facts for you!
Heartland is a Working Cattle Ranch in Alberta, Canada
The familiar Heartland barn and ranch house are all part of a working cattle ranch in Millarville, Alberta. We know from Roy Foster that his parents moved to the ranch in 1928 to raise White Faced Hereford cattle. Today, the ranch is privately owned, and only the Heartland cast & crew have access. While you can’t visit the real Heartland Ranch, you can swing by other filming locations in Millarville.
Fans Can Visit Maggie’s Diner in High River
The set for Maggie’s Diner, Tack and Feed can be found on 3rd Avenue of High River, Alberta. High River appears as the fictional town of Hudson in the show and is around a 30-minute drive away from Calgary. While Maggie’s is not a working diner, fans can visit the building and look through the windows at any time.
Most Heartland Horses Belong to the Legendary Wrangler John Scott
John Scott is the head wrangler of Heartland, who coordinates all scenes involving horses. Not only that, but he also supplies the show with horses, cattle, tack, and some of the filming locations.
Stormy Has Been Playing Spartan Since Day One
Stormy is a black Quarter Horse gelding who portrays Spartan on Heartland. He has been Spartan’s main “equine actor” throughout the entire series, starting from age five.
The Heartland Studio is in Calgary, Alberta
Heartland has four primary filming locations. All outdoor scenes around the barn and ranch house are filmed on the ranch in Millarville. The dude ranch is a separate set located close to the Heartland ranch, and High River that takes up the role of Hudson in the show and gives home to Maggie’s Diner. All interior scenes at the ranch or the vet clinic are filmed in a studio in Calgary.
Some Heartland Actors are also Directors
Both Michelle Morgan (Lou Fleming) and Chris Potter (Tim Fleming) have directed episodes of the show. Season 14, Episode 9, “Find Me in the Dark” marks Michelle’s directorial debut. Chris Potter has directed 23 episodes to date, some of which are fan favorites!
Many Heartland Actors are Real-Life Horse Lovers
Several of the main Heartland actors are passionate horse lovers in real life! Amber Marshall and Alisha Newton, to name a few cast members, have many years of experience around horses. Both ladies have also been COWGIRL covergirls!
Shaun Johnston Originally Auditioned for the Role of Tim Fleming
It might surprise you at first that Shaun Johnston originally wanted to be Tim Fleming on Heartland. He thought Grandpa Jack too old for him to play, as Shaun was only in his mid-forties when he auditioned. However, once he read the script, Shaun instantly connected with Jack’s character.