CANADIAN HACKNEY SOCIETY
HACKNEY HALL OF FAME
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George and Keith Culliton
To many people in Mid western Ontario, when they hear the name Culliton, it immediately becomes connected with Stratford. While perhaps a competitive Hockey team, others, a contracting firm, but to those many others it acknowleges two gentleman, Mr. Keith Culliton, and the Late Mr. George Culliton, that became involved in Hackney horses. Many years ago, an antique carriage, made in Stratford, and used in Stratford came on the market. The Cullitons bought that carriage. The sale of this grand piece of Stratford's history being preserved locally was written up in the local Stratford Paper. Before long, a call came to Keith that the Governor General and his wife were coming to open the Stratford Festival, and would they provide that carriage to transport the honoured guests. In true community spirit, Keith said for sure, it could be done. When he passed on his exciting news to George, they had work for that new carriage, George replied, you have no horses and you have no harness. Keith said, leave it up to me, we will have horses.
Keith made a call to Wallace Munro who well known in the area as being a top horseman, and over the next few months, they had bought a pair of Hackney horses, they had harness, and with Wallace's help, they did deliver the Governor General and his wife to the Festival. Wallace suggested that they should take that pair of horses out to some upcoming fall fairs in the stratford area. With the success of that first fair, the Cullitons added a few more horses, and they competed at the Royal Winter Fair, the CNE, Western Fair, and most everywhere else in western Ontario for the next 25 years.
Doing their own training, a win in 1983 with Hallmandale Starfire in the Championship Stake at the Royal Winter Fair was a highlight and special moment for George and Keith. Showing became a family pastime, with many members of the being involved as time allowed. George served as a director of the Canadian Hackney Society for many years, and a two year term as President, Keith was a director and President of the Stratford Agricultural Society, as well as many years at Mayor and Alderman in the City of Stratford. Both George and Keith and their wives took an active role in many organization and causes in the Stratford area over a long period of time.
The next generation of Cullitons remain active in the Stratford area, involved with various businesses and professions, as well as deeply involved with Sport, Civic and varied Charitable causes within their home town and surrounding area.
It gives the Canadian Hackney Society great pleasure in acknowledging the induction of George and Keith Culliton into our Hall of Fame.
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