Mr Pepper and Wally McKaig
Wally McKaig spent his life as a professional horseman working first at the Dufferin Stock Farm in Quebec, then at the Cambridge Farm at Preston Ontario.
Growing up in Ormstown Quebec, he took his first job following WW2 working at Dufferin Haven at Mont Tremblant and at the farm in Dundee Quebec. He was assigned to the saddlebreds and riding horses that were used at the summer home of Mr. Franceschini at Mont Tremblant. The Franceschini family enjoyed riding the trails and lanes throughout the property. A group of palominos and saddlebreds were required to be ready for weekend rides and private horse shows when guests would be present.
Ten years were spent working at Dufferin, and his next opportunity was working with the dozens of breeding and show ponies that went through the barns and fields at Preston Graham's Cambridge Farm at Preston, Ontario. Mr. Graham was operating on a large scale with as many as 15 mares foaling per season, home bred show stock plus complete stable procurements that bought bring as many as 20 new ponies of various ages and stages of development. Wally would be getting these ponies going in harness and ready for sale to new owners. The Grahams would exhibit at the leading shows such as Devon, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Springfield, Illinois plus Canadian shows in St.Catharines, Toronto, Ottawa and Ormstown. The American Hackney Horse Society Futurity at Devon was a major event in the spring for Cambridge Farm to show at, and Wally would have young 3 and 4 year olds in harness plus ponies and horses for the open classes. Throughout the season there would be ponies sold at shows and at the farm, preparing new stock ready to go took alot of time and patience. Wally was gifted with patience to give the ponies their best start. In November was the Winter Fair in Toronto and there would be 9 or 10 ponies and horses to be shown there. Toronto would have hand classes and Cambridge supported these with entries as well. Wally was a complete horseman that he could do pairs of horses and ponies, gig classes, tandems and entries for the amateur driver. Great ponies including Cambridge Starflight, Cambridge Wally's Pride, Cambridge Midnight, Cambridge Marvelous, Cambridge Laudydale Rajah, and Cambridge Sureflight are a small few that Wally worked on. Perhaps his most famous and personal favourite was his three time Toronto and five time Devon champion harness horse Mr. Pepper (Kilreen Shan Og). A hackney with great heart and motion, Wally's hands were the only ones to touch him during his short but successful career in harness.
Wally was a polished professional and a fun loving friend to many, and guided many great hackneys to outstanding show ring careers.
(Inducted April 2020)