Making a mark
I just heard the news Lloyd Newcomb passed away. Newcomb was ring master at horse shows and exhibitions throughout the Maritimes over the last half century. He kept classes moving along, and schedules on time. He was also a sport horse breeder, host of the Fundy Hunter Show, and a fine man. As I sourced old photos for this issue, Newcomb appeared repeatedly – smiling, and stylish in his tie and sports jacket. Anyone winning a ribbon in Nova Scotia between 1960 and 2010 likely has his photo in their collection. Newcomb’s warm presence and contribution is missed, and HP sends condolences to his family and friends.
It was a treat to work on the pony breeding story for this issue. Eastern Canada has produced a great number of notable ponies over the years. There are an equal number of passionate “pony” people in the region. Ron Rogerson of Oaklawn Farm Zoo – a horseman of the best kind – generously shared stories about his pony mares, and his wonderful stallion Khoraff. He also talked about the Hackney Horse breed, and how the trappy athletic horse has fallen out of favor over the past decades. The breed now sadly sits on the Livestock Conservatory’s critical list along with the Canadian Horse and Newfoundland Pony.
My fascination with pony breeding started as a child when my parents purchased the spirited two-year-old Windsong (by Coed Coch Ballog). She loved to jump everything, including pasture fences. Her dam, Gay Matilda, came over from England on the top of a ship, where legend has it she was fed corn flakes on the journey. Matilda’s dam was a Dartmoor pony, and her sire was the 14.3hh Thoroughbred stallion Gay Presto (by the influential Precipitation). Gay Presto played a significant role in the development of the British Riding Pony breed. Windsong’s pony hunter career ended at 24, on course at the last Atlantic Winter Fair, when she fractured an ankle and had to be euthanized. She was put to rest shod, braided, and looking beautiful. Sadly she was never bred.
The value of blood is further illustrated in this issue in Judith Scrimger’s story on the adventures of the elderly Morgan stallion, Quietude Red Vermont. The Morgan breed is also celebrated in Carolyn Wanamaker’s story on distance rider Jean Bridges, and Mary McIntosh talks to Sara Stewart about her experiences with Thoroughbreds after they are finished doing what they were bred to do.
There is still time to nominate a special horse for Atlantic Therapy Horse of the Year. Michael LeFave shares an essay in this issue on the benefits therapeutic riding and therapy horse Jazzmin add to his life. Go to the Atlantic Therapy Horse link on RuralLife.ca and share your story.
After a great fall and early winter of riding outdoors on good footing, we now have knee deep snow. If you are a fair weather rider sit back and enjoy this issue of HP, and start planning for warmer days.
Atlantic Horse & Pony wishes to apologize for an error appearing on the November - January cover, within the table of contents, and in the headline on page 15. Brittany Fraser and her teammates earned team silver in dressage for Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games – not team gold as reported. The information contained within the story on page 15 is correct. HP regrets this error, and offers our sincerest apologies to Brittany Fraser, her teammates, and our readers. USA finished just ahead of Canada to take home team gold. Brazil claimed the team bronze medal.