Welcome to the Hackney Hall of Fame.  This section of our web site is dedicated to the greatest horses, ponies, exhibitors, breeders and trainers that have made an impact on the Hackney in Canada

Dr W.J.R. Fowler


Dr. W.J.R. Fowler

Wilfred J.R. Fowler was born in Huron County near Seaforth, Ontario, in 1878. He enrolled at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) and graduated with high honours at the age of 21 in 1899.

Dr. Fowler was a dynamic and talented faculty member who served under five principals during a period that spanned over 50 years. He was the first veterinarian in Canada to teach the surgery of domestic animals, beginning at the OVC’s Temperance Street location in Toronto. He was instrumental in moving the Ontario Veterinary College to Guelph where he lectured until his death in 1955.

Many graduates from the Fowler era considered this horse-centred period to be the golden age of veterinary medicine. Fowler's speed and skill shown during his roaring operations on horses were legendary. Former students frequently commented that they missed the actual surgery demonstration because of the speed and skill of the surgeon. They also recall his demonstrations of suturing techniques, frequently made on the lapels of his expensive tailored suits. As his reputation as a talented equine surgeon continued to grow, he was frequently invited to Britain and France.

Dr. Fowler was an accomplished judge and breeder of Hackney horses and ponies as well as Shetland ponies. He served as President of the Canadian Hackney Society from 1921 until 1925.  His earliest registrations were in 1913 and he continued to keep ponies until 1935.

He exhibited at many Ontario fairs and horse shows. He was chairman of the Ontario Stallion Enrollment board during the 1930s and 1940s. Dr. Fowler was in demand as a judge at horse shows throughout North America, officiating at the first Royal Winter Fair in 1922, and judged on five more occasions during the 1920s. He was Honorary Veterinarian Surgeon at the Royal Winter Fair until his death and was involved with his local hospital board. 

Dr. W.J.R. Fowler was instrumental in establishing the reputation that the Ontario Veterinary College continues to maintain as a world-renowned teaching school for veterinary medicine.

(Inducted April 2015)
Click on the CHS Logo to return to the main CHS web page