Thomas Bassett MacAulay
was president of the Sun Life Assurance Company in Montreal, and
established his Mount Victoria Farm in 1900 as a country home for
his family. Mr. MacAulay was chosen president of the Sun Life Assurance
Company in 1905 and continued to hold the position until 1925, retiring as
chairman of the board. He was involved in many civic causes in the
Montreal area as well as within the insurance industry worldwide.
Mount Victoria Farm was
located at Hudson, outside of Montreal. He started to breed pedigreed
livestock with Hackney horses in 1905. In following years, Mr. MacAulay
arranged for yearly importations of Clydesdales, Hackney and Shetland
ponies, sheep and cattle from England, Scotland and Wales.
Spending time on his farm
increased his interest in agriculture. Homebred stock was exhibited
at major exhibitions in the region and his farm soon became known for
winning Clydesdales, Shetland and Hackney ponies, cattle and sheep. Dr.
W.E. Watson was hired to manage the farm. As his ponies began to collect
ribbons and championships, ponies with the Montvic prefix became in demand
as show harness ponies. His imported stallions, Glendermott Wildfire and
Christopher North, can be found back in the pedigrees of many winning
Hackney ponies. Ponies were sold into the northwestern United States, and
into Ontario and throughout Quebec. Many of the Manor Hackney Farm and
Daviburn Farm ponies of the 1920s and 1930s were of Mount Victoria Farm
breeding. Many of Mrs. Loula Long Combs’ ponies carried the bloodlines as
well as those bred by the Appin Farm in New York.
What might be
considered one of Mr. MacAulay’s greatest achievements was the
establishment of the Montvic Holstein herd, considered by many as the most
influential herd in Holstein history. The purchase of the bull, Johanna
Rag Apple Pabst, in 1925 to mate with his select Montvic herd of cows was
to become one of the greatest transactions in breed history. The Montvic
influence in Holstein genetics is still acknowledged as being of the
He supported agricultural learning with large
donations to the University of Edinburgh and McGill University in Montreal
for research in soils and crops.
In a short period of time, using
his considerable financial resources, Mr. MacAulay's energies to producing
superb quality livestock in many different breeds made Mount Victoria Farm
a destination of quality breeding stock for many breeders and exhibitors.
T.B. MacAulay passed away in 1942.