BARRY FINN: Publisher/ Editor/Advertising Manager

KELLY BOWERS: Advertising Sales

GLENDA FORDHAM: Entertainment Columnist

Established in 1970, Published By 1677849 Ontario Ltd.

P.O. Box 378, Fonthill, ON L0S 1E0 (905) 387-1900

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• Eastern Ontario Quarter Horse Association • Ontario Cutting Horse Association • Ontario Xtreme Cowboy • Ontario Quarter Horse Association

ObituaryVirginia Ann (Nee Day) Hanson

VIRGINIA ANN (nee DAY) HANSON, currently of Corn- wall, Ontario, Canada (formerly of Big Oak Morgan Horse Farm, Lunenburg, Ontario) age 91 years. Born January 14, 1929 in Newton, Massachusetts. Sur- vived by her son Calvin Hanson of Cornwall. Predeceased in 2009 by her husband of 60 years, the late Merton (Bud) Hanson, retired resident civil engineer with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, Corn- wall. Virginia graduated June 1947 from Newton High School in Newton, Massachusetts, and was valedictorian. She graduated from Academie Moderne Model- ing School in Boston, Massachu- setts December 1947; and also attended Marjorie Webster Junior College in Washington DC ma- joring in Art and English. Vir- ginia channeled her love of nature and animals into her paint- ings, artwork, and writings of po- etry and stories. Virginia loved horses and in the equestrian sport she was an avid horsewoman throughout her lifetime. Virginia started riding horseback at age 10, also riding in the Newton

From Our Founder

Remembering January 1986

For us in Southern Ontario it

has indeed been a mild winter. We are now more than half way through the cold season in more ways than one.

Way back in 1969 Walter

Hellier president of the Canadian Quarter Horse Association held the annual clubs convention in Toronto so he and others of the Ontario Quarter Horse Associa- tion made the decision to hold a Quarter Horse Show along with the convention at Exhibition Place. This was not well advertised

High School equestrian club pro- gram, and with private equestrian establishments in Massachusetts perfecting both saddle seat and hunter seat equestrian riding. In her youth, she rode American Saddlebreds and hunters winning awards at horse shows. Decades later Virginia, Bud, and Calvin became heavily involved in the equestrian sport in the 1960s while residing in Cornwall. To accommodate the growing num- ber of horses they acquired, a 200-acre farm was purchased in Lunenburg in 1967 which quickly earned a national and in- ternational reputation as the highly successful Big Oak Mor- gan Horse Farm where Cham- pion registered Morgan horses were bred, raised, trained, exhib- ited, and sold. Horses became a full-time commitment for Vir- ginia, and as a horse breeder for four decades her contributions continue to have a significant in- fluence on the Morgan breed today. Virginia had a very special talent for selecting and matching key bloodlines that would ulti- mately produce Champion cal- iber

foals. Two Champion

as there was no western equine media in order to get the message out to people to see the event. The show relied on the Grapevine, the Moccasin Express or as we call it today social media. Well the show was sort of a flop, as far as outside atten- dance was concerned. During a meeting of the An-

caster Saddle Club in the early winter of 1970 the club president started off by talking about a new show Quarterama, (most of the founders are still with us). As a newspaper publisher I watched people scrambling to write down the various shows that were up- coming for the spring. That is when the light came on. Here I am a publisher and owner of newspapers, I could help. It was not long when the family decided to approve of me starting a West- ern Horse publication. Then in June 1970 the Western Rider was

affair exhibiting throughout On- tario, Quebec, New York, Ver- mont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Virginia won her share of awards including Grand Champion Morgan Pleasure

Obituary Passed away peacefully at

Lakeridge Health Ajax-Picker- ing on Saturday January 18, 2020 at the age of 73 years Beloved husband of Kath-

Morgan stallions spearheaded the farm’s


Waseeka’s Serenade and Big Oak Black Tie, the latter was bred by Virginia. Virginia was exceed- ingly proud that offspring from the farm won and or produced Champions at the world, grand national, international, regional, state, and provincial shows. She was also proud that Morgan horses carrying the Hanson-bred bloodline have claimed 77 World Championships and Reserves. Showing Morgans was a family

born. One of our first employees was Barry Finn. At 5 years of age he peddled newspapers at the various shows. The first show the newspaper was distributed at was the Ancaster Saddle Club show at the Ancaster Fair Grounds. Of course Barry was in the Lead Line class on his pony Happy Harry and peddled papers be- tween classes. The rest is history we turn 50 years old in June. Barry has been there along with me since before day one. Re- cently he was Inducted into the Can-Am Walk of Fame.

So lets have a look down

memory lane to January 1986. We had a front page story called “Just What is a Horse”… “writ” by Leroy ‘Cowboy’ Kufske. The story was in Kufske language which Linda Harrison Sisson ed- ited.

Do you love Fergus? Visit his website at:


leen (nee Gunter) for 51 years. Loved brother of John & Georgina Sellwood and brother in law to Dennis & Debbie Gunter. Reed was predeceased by his parents Reginald & Gladys (nee Reid) Sellwood. Cherished uncle to Gregory, Carol Ann, Michael, Erin, Mark and their families. Reed spent 28 years as an

accountant with the former On- tario Hydro, but his true passions were his 30 years spent praising the Lord through song, spending many weekends singing with The Sellwood’s Gospel Band. He was also very active in the

Quarterama ‘86 was boast-

ing an added purse of $40,000 in the lucrative Versatility class. Barrel Racing purses were at an all time high. Absorbine and Zev along with Sterivet Rags to Riches Futurities were there for the best rider and horse. Ralph Pearson was OQHA president and Chair, Harold Mather was co-Chair.

Dee Morrison, was the edi-

tor of Corral Chatter for the WHAO in The Rider. Dee is now living in the Dominican Republic running an animal rescue centre. She needs lots of help so you can contact her on Facebook or make a donation through Lynden Ani- mal Clinic in Lynden, Ontario -

Way back in 1986 the horse

industry had reached a milestone in its history as semen transfers were now legal.

Remember back in

1986 we were being robbed in broad daylight by the banks and lending institutions with interest up in the 20% category? Well we ran a story on the hardships of ranchers and farmers. There were fi- nancial casualties every- where. At the time we were not sure if The Rider could continue publishing but we have made it to 50

The Ontario Rodeo Associa-

tion news was written by Susan Parker. She did an amazing job, but the cowboy profiles were dis- continued.

A new Colic surgery proce- dure was saving horses.

My Turn I took a donation to the

Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue Centre in Hagersville. The dona-

Aidan W. Finn CD

Founder of The Rider 1970 President, Orange aPEEL

years, 34 years later. Gennie Cuthbertson was the

editor of the Quarter Racing Horse Association of Ontario news. Gennie was a very good writer. We never experienced a single complaint about accuracy.

We had a full page in The

Rider promoting the first book by LeRoy ‘Cowboy’ Kufske. The Rider published this book after sitting on the manuscripts for several years. We just could not publish what LeRoy had written. So we sent it out for editing and no one wanted to touch it. I read the manuscript a few more times and then the bell rang. I will do the absurd. I will publish the book the way Leroy “WRIT” it. Well it turned out that we sold out our print run. So if you can get your hands on a copy and read it. It is like Leroy is sitting across the table talking to you! He will never be gone while his book is out there.

tion was on behalf of my late wife Katherine. She always made a donation there. Well I arrived at the wrong time. A starving and weak horse, about 16 HH, had just arrived. Brenda Thompson took the blanket off this poor creature and it was just a standing skeleton. I cursed the owner. How could anyone do this to an animal? Remember it is your re- sponsibility to report cruelty of any kind to animals, children and elders.

It looks like the warm

weather will bring out the horses to the upcoming spring shows. Blankets coming off and mud everywhere.

Anyway, the show season is

about to get underway. Ancaster Fair Grounds will soon be an ideal venue for your shows and booth operators. Good luck to them for taking the horse busi- ness seriously. They have been supporting horse shows since be- fore The Rider began. A Big Thanks and a Tip of the old Stet- son to the folks there.

Thanks for looking down in this corner.

• Ontario Reined Cow Horse Association • Ontario Reining Horse Association • Ontario Trail Riding Association • Quarter Racing Owners Of Ontario, Inc. • Western Horse Association Of Ontario

Horse with the Ontario Morgan Horse Club in 1969 with her beloved Morgan mare Dancette. In addition, Virginia enjoyed summer vacationing in Maine and at the cottage on Island 17 in

Long Sault, Ontario. She had a flair for growing flowers and vegetables in her many gardens; and she adored her St. Bernard dogs Bruno and Juno.

Reed Sellwood

quarter horse show circuit throughout Ontario.

Memorial donations may be made to Parkinson Canada Horse Journal®

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