The History of the McCormick Stables
On June 13 th of 1968, Willis McCormick of South Gloucester, Ontario, father of Pamela Ann and husband of Eleanor purchased two Shetland ponies for $115.00 at the Hill’s Sale. The first of the two ponies was Tyko , a beautiful well mannered mare - almost white in color. The second was Pixie , 7 days old and the filly of Tyko. Pixie was similar in appearance to Tyko, but had dapples on her hindquarters. These were the first two ponies to become the property of the McCormick Stables. Also purchased at that same sale was a red saddle and bridle. The ponies were kept out in Marveville, Ontario at Ridgetop Farm owned by Eleanor's parents Olin and Marjorie Stearns.
Now why would Willis purchase these two small Shetland ponies? Well one day Willis asked his daughter Pam what he could buy her to make her stop sucking her thumbs. And Pam responded, with buy me a pony. So Willis did, as a matter of fact he bought her a pony for each thumb!
In September of 1968, Eleanor gave birth to Jeffrey James and the McCormick family became complete...for now.
It was on November 16th of that same year that Willis purchased a very small two wheel cart to drive that ponies with.
On May 24 th, 1970, Willis moved the ponies from their home at Ridgetop Farm to his home on Highway 31, (otherwise known as Bank Street) just South of Ottawa. This was the first time that there was ever a pony on the premises. Over the next few years Pixie and Tyko lived the summers at Willis and Eleanor's place and the winters at Ridgetop Farm.
Now up until August of 1971, the McCormick’s had never showed either of their ponies at a horse show. This was all to change when Francis Goth, (now Francis Goth-Campbell), visited Willis and Eleanor asked if she could borrow Tyko for the saddle class at the Russell Fair. So on August 1st, Tyko and Francis entered the Russell Fair show ring and departed as first, (out of a class of four).
As well as having a daughter and son, Willis and Eleanor had a Melody. What is a Melody? Melody is the daughter of Goldwyn and Mary Hume and sister to Kim Hickory Hume and now the wife of Mike Jamieson and mother of Kylie and Mackenzie. Melody spent her weekends and evenings after school with the Mc Cormick’s and every free minute she had from ages 5 to 18. Melody was not thought of as a Melody, but much more like a daughter to Willis and Eleanor and a sister to Pam and Jeff.
On Friday September 29th of 1972, the McCormick’s hit the show ring for the first time! Pam showed Tyko and Melody showed Pixie at the Metcalfe Fair. Pam showed in the 1/4 mile race and received 4th, (she also showed in the Dr. Morrow’s Saddle Class and received nothing). Melody received a 2nd in the Dr. Morrow’s Saddle Class, 3rd in the Potato Race and 5th in the 1/4 Mile Race. Now this would seem like not a bad start to the McCormick’s in the show ring, BUT until this day there is still some discussion as to 1/4 Mile Race and to what course Pam was actually racing on. Oh well.
Later that same year on October 29th the McCormick’s went to Ottawa Winter Fair and showed Pixie in the Govonor’s Cart Class. Lloyd Goth was kind enough to lend the Governess Cart for the class. The following day Melody showed Pixie in the Saddle and Parade classes. In all three classes they were last in all classes, well they did have consistency.
In 1973 the McCormick Stables got bigger as Ed Wallace, (Willis’ stepfather) and Olin Stearns helped with an addition to the stable. Now for those who do not know the original barn was the old garage that Willis moved from the front yard to the backyard. The original barn/garage was 10' X 18' with the addition the new barn became was 16' X 24'. The addition saw the addition of 6' to the west and 6' to the north. Ed also brought two barn timbers to add to the height of the barn as they were set on top of the existing walls. The new barn had four stalls and the McCormick’s were ready for more ponies.
It was not until September of 1973, that Jeff hit the show ring, riding Tyko, in the Doctor Morrow’s class. There were thirty-four in the class and Jeff and Tyko came fifth and to their surprise became media legends with their pictures in the Winchester Press. The title below their picture entitled them as "The Lonely Ranger".
Also in 1973, Goldwyn Hume, Melody's father, bought her a beautiful, well trained saddle pony from Ivan Hitsman. Goldie also purchased a small four wheel viceroy from Ivan. This gelding was Rosebud Honey Star . He was shown originally by Melody, in saddle, parade, harness, fancy turnout and Govonor’s cart. After Melody outgrew Star, he was shown my Pam, Jeff, Tammy Wallace and Stephanie Culleton, (Melody’s cousin from Edmonton). Star was a permanent resident at the McCormick Stables from 1973 until the summer of 1987, we he became so ill that he had to be put down.
On July 29 th of 1974, Willis made one of the best purchases of all time - High and Mighty Sir Echo . Willis purchased this fine two year old also form Ivan Hitsman. Sir Echo made frequent trips down the victory pass of many local fairs!
In November of 1975, Melody purchased an over-pony named Wings of the Night from Bill McWilliams, in August of 1976, Mel sold Wing’s to the people who owned Dunkin Donuts. Wing’s was never to make it to the show ring with the Mc Cormick’s as he was gangly, uncoordinated and he weaved!
In September of 1976, Melody purchased Yankee’s American Ambassador from Arnold Spratt. Melody showed Yankee for years in saddle, parade and harness for a little while. Yankee showed at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, in November of 1978, in the Child’s Harness Class and won a third place ribbon, out of seven. The September before the Royal, at Newington Fair, Yankee began to kick, at the Royal again Yankee kicked, only after the judging had been completed, after the Royal that year Yankee never shoed another harness class. Once Melody was too old to show Yankee, she sold him to Willis for $1.00. Pam went onto show Yankee and then her brother Jeff, before Willis sold him back to Melody for $1.00, Melody in return sold Yankee to Neil MacIntyre , for his daughter Karen to ride and show, on July 1st of 1982. Yankee won several classes, while at the McCormick’s, but received a lot of seconds, behind Talk of the Town owned by Wayne Scharf and shown by his daughter's Kerry and Debbie.
On November 18th of 1976, Tyko had to be put down. Goldie Hume had her buried in his backyard, with her blanket and ribbons. It was a sad day for the M cCormick Stables.
On February 1st of 1977 the Canadian Equestrian Federation had it's annual award banquet, Pixie was the Reserve Grand Champion in the Parade Division. Rosebud Honey Star was Reserve Grand Champion saddle pony and High and Mighty Sir Echo was the Grand Champion Parade Pony. Pam showed Star and Sir, while Jeff showed Pixie.
It was on June 12th, 1978 that the McCormick’s learned a life long horse lesson. It was on this day that Willis sold Pixie to people from Manotick. The lesson that Willis learned was to always check out the barn that the pony being sold was to go to. This barn was a ‘bank barn’, dark and very dirty, and they hay that they fed Pixie was dirty old hay and poor Pixie soon had a major case of the heaves and had to be put down.
In November of 1978, Goldie Hume drove Yankee and Star to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, as mentioned previously Yankee came third in his class. Rosebud Honey Star also placed third in the Governess Cart Class out of nine, with Pam driving accompanied by her brother Jeff.
One of the scariest days in the history of the McCormick Stables was September 4th, 1979. This was the day that a lump was found under the jaw of Sir Echo. Goldie Hume drove Sir up to Dr. Butler's in Kempville, where he was again X-rayed, this time Dr. Butler found an infection eating out the center of Sir's jaw. The lump was growing to protect the jaw from breaking . If the infection could not be stopped the jaw would eventually break into two. We started to treat by giving injections three times a day. Several days passed and finally the lump under his chin broke open - Willis started administrating the injections directly into the opening in the lump. Within three days there was a marked improvement. On November 24th of 1979, Sir Echo returned to Dr. Butler's for more X-rays, the results were negative and Sir Echo was going to live a long happy life. At this part of Sir Echo's career he had been shown as a Parade Pony and a Child’s Harness Pony and had barely ever lost - losing Sir Echo would eliminate a lot of the McCormick talent in the barn, thank the good Lord they didn't.
In the Spring of 1980 Jeff was to take over as Sir Echo's rider, as Pam was now too old to ride him. Until this time Jeff had been showing Star and now he was to ride the best Parade Pony ever. Jeff and Sir Echo got along well - but they never had the chemistry that Sir and Pam had. The highlight of the year for Jeff was winning the Parade Pony Stake at the Ottawa Winter Fair - it would be Jeff's only Eastern Canadian Championship.
The following spring brought bad luck to Sir and Jeff. It was Jeff and Sir's first ride of the year, the workout had been light and Willis had said, "that's enough - put him away when your ready!" Jeff's response was for one more lap around the ring, Jeff took his feet out of the stirrups and turned the pony. Sir Echo jumped up on his back feet, Jeff lost his balance and pulled back on the reins, causing Sir to lose his balance falling backwards on top of Jeff. All in all, Sir Echo did a backwards somersault and Jeff lay on the ground hurt and with his nose bleeding. Goldie Hume was called and drove his van up to the McCormick’s to take Jeff to the Hospital. After taking X-rays it was learned that Jeff had cracked two vertebrae in his lower back. Jeff never rode Sir Echo in the show ring again.
Sir was turned into a Fine Harness Pony in 1981, and had much success. In 1986 Sir Echo was turned into a Roadster Pony and again was very successful.
It was in the fall of 1980 that the McCormick Stables would begin their search for a new over pony. On September 7th, Willis, Jeff and Kirk Douglas drove to Toronto in search of such pony. We travelled to the Burton’s and the Robillard’s, but no such luck, but Kirk found a pony at the Robillard’s that he liked and took it home on trial - he later returned her. Then on September 27th, the three travelled back to Toronto, to visit the barn of Harold Patton. When we arrived the elderly Mr. Patton was standing on top of a plastic milk carton clipping the young stallions ears and foretop with an old pair of cow clippers. And remarkably the young over pony did not move. The young pony was King’s Laddie and that day after watching Kirk run the young pony down Harold Patton’s driveway, Willis paid seven hundred dollars for him. Now Laddie was still a stallion and quite a hyper young stallion at that. His life before arriving at the McCormick’s was that of living in a barn only seeing daylight when a mare would come for breeding from his father Hartzett Paddy, and young Laddie would be shipped back to owner of the Mare’s to make room for the mare at Harold’s place. Needless to say Laddie was very excited by the time he reached the M cCormick’s.
Laddie was probably the hardest of all ponies that the McCormick’s had to break. The first year Pam and Jeff took turns riding him at home and it was Pam that showed him in 1981. His first year in the show ring was a tough one for Pam. Laddie would leap, jump and rear at anything that he had never seen before, which was essentially everything. At the end of 1981 Pam decided that she no longer wanted to show Laddie and her younger brother eagerly offered to replace her. It was Navan Fair 1992, that King’s Laddie won his first class. Ok, so he was the only one in the class, but he did pretty good, until the line up when he would not allow the judge to walk around him, but he still won! Victories were far and few between. But as he calmed down and got use to the competitions he became much more competitive, losing only to Talk of the Town, owned by Wayne Scharf.
In July of 1984 at Kars Fair, King’s Laddie had his day, with judge Laurie Carrs, Laddie beat Talk of the Town. And to make the story even cuter, when the judge asked him to back up, Laddie stretched his front legs forward, crossed them and appeared to be bowing to the judge. On September 29th of 1984, at Metcalfe Fair Laddie would show for the last time, He won both of his classes but something was bothering Laddie and Jeff didn't even want to show him in the stake. Laddie had lost his appetite which continued on the next day. Willis called Dr. Cherry who came three times that Monday to see Laddie. He thought maybe that Laddie had foundered and made us soak his feet in ice - he was wrong. Later that night Willis called Dr. Butler's office - he sent a young female vet. She did a rectal examination and found a knot in the bowl and stated that the pony had gone into shock and would die shortly. Lloyd Goth was there and Willis gave him the OK and Lloyd then had the vet put the pony down as Willis headed to the house. It was October 2nd and King’s Laddie was dead - just two days before his classes at the Ottawa Winter Fair. Talk of the Town won the Eastern Canadian Championship at Ottawa Winter Fair - untested by Laddie.
It took four years to truly say that Laddie was ‘broke’. It wasn't until the fourth year that Laddie beat Talk of the Town, but everywhere that he went he was admired. Only four days after Laddie passed away, a gentleman approached Jeff to purchase King’s Laddie, he wasn't the first, but he was the last.
To close the King’s Laddie chapter, I have but one more story, although I could tell many. Several weeks after his death Jeff ran into Harold Patton at the Royal. Harold was very sad to hear of Jeff's loss, for Harold had kept in touch with Jeff and Laddie’s progress and I do believe that he was very fond of the pair of them. Harold made an offer to Jeff, one surely not to be repeated by any other man. Harold had another over pony in his barn and if Jeff wanted it was his to take, free, to replace Laddie. The next day Harold Patton, Willis, Jeff and Harold Wallace drove out to Mr. Patton’s barn. Upon seeing the young pony Jeff overheard Harold Wallace asking Harold Patton if the pony was for sale, and heard Harold Patton respond that this would depend on whether Jeff wanted the pony. Jeff told Harold Patton that he thought that he was too old to be training another over pony for the show ring. Harold Wallace purchased that pony from Harold Patton.
Harold Patton died in 1996. The show ring lost a true gentleman that I am afraid they will not be able to replace. I envy those that new Harold better than I did. I thank God that I did get the chance to meet the one of the few and truest gentleman of the horse business.
September 7 th , 1981 should be marked in the history books as one of the biggest days for the McCormick Stables. This was the first time that Willis was to show. It was Newington Fair and Willis was driving High and Mighty Sir Echo in the Fine Harness Pony Open. There were a total of five in the class and Willis and Sir finished in second. And we had trouble keeping Willis out of the show ring ever since.
On March 26 th of 1983 Willis purchased a four horse trailer from the Ottawa Kennel Club. Until this time Goldie Hume had driven the McCormick’s to every horse show - whether Melody went or not! The new horse trailer was a lot of work for Willis as it had been in an accident before he purchased it and need to be rebuilt. It also had no side ramp, Willis built one. It was a good trailer, but a little too small.
On May 12 th of 1984 Jeff made his first pony purchase. Not able to attend Jeff had told his father and Grandfather that if a certain pony that Billy Stackpole was taking to the Ottawa Valley Hackney Futurity Sale, in Metcalfe, was to sell cheap to buy it for him, as Jeff had to work and would be unable to attend. The pony was Poppin’s Coed and it did sell. Jeff's Grandfather had purchased the pony and told Jeff that he was to pay half as they were now partners.
On August 4 th of that year Kirk Douglas showed Coed at the Ottawa Valley Hackney Futurity, winning the Senior Championship - beating Billy Stackpole’s own pony. In the Grand Championship Class - Coed was to come in second.
On July 25 th of 1984 Willis purchased a Wilform viceroy show buggy from John Leroux. This buggy was to replace the slightly large buggy that the M cCormick’s had been using forever that they had bought from Lloyd Goth.
In November of 1984 - the McCormick’s hit the Royal again. Jeff showed Lloyd Goth’s pony Country Road in the Junior Driver Class, placing sixth out of twelve. It would be Jeff's first ribbon at the Royal. Jeff also showed Poppin’s Coed in the Junior Showmanship and did not place. Kirk once again showed Coed in the three year old mare class - she received fourth out of five. Coed seemed to have lost her heart on her trip to the Royal that year and would never return to Toronto again.
The following year was a tough one in training Coed to drive. Once hooked to a buggy, Coed would buckle at the knees, lie down and eat grass. She showed a few times in harness but never materialized as a top pony. The following spring while long lining the young mare, Coed kicked Jeff in the ribs, knocking the wind out of him. That same day Jeff received a phone call from Morris Douglas, who told him that he had buyer from the States looking for a brood mare - Jeff told Morris to come that day and bring his own halter otherwise she would be sent to the Livestock barn. He did and there ended another chapter in the McCormick Stables.
It was in November of 1985 that Jeff hit the Royal again - this time with more success. Again he showed Lloyd Goth’s Country Road in the Junior Driver Class this time placing second. He was only beaten by Sheila Stackpole from Greely.
It was one year later at the Royal that Jeff would retire from the junior division. On November 10th, Jeff showed Kirk Douglas's pony Colonel in the Junior Showmanship Class. Jeff had driven up to the Douglas stables a few times before the Royal to practice and again at the Royal - Jeff practiced with Colonel. But at the Royal Colonel did not like trotting next the slanted boards. Every night Kirk would coach Jeff in preparation for his last junior class. Things did not look good as Colonel kept shying from the boards. Before the class Jean Tinkess, (now Jean Oxley), comforted the nervous Jeff, Kirk told Jeff to forget everything he had told him and go in and show him like he showed every line class. Jeff hit the ring and let out a holler startling Colonel, scaring him enough that he trot straight down the boards. The ring was already full and Jeff had to line up on the other side of the judge's booth in the middle of the ring. The Colonel would not stand still - but Jeff kept a close eye on the judge and when he was on his way judge Jeff and Colonel - Jeff gave the Colonel a quick knee, again startling the pony enough to make him stand still. The judge asked Jeff to trot his pony up and down the boards - Jeff gave out a holler as they approached the boards again startling the pony enough to make him trot straight. That day the M cCormick Stables received their first red ribbon at the Royal as Jeff and Colonel won the Junior Showmanship Class. Jeff was happy and the Colonel calmed down eventually.
Earlier that year, May 10th, the McCormick’s had purchased another pony from Bill Stackpole, The Southern Troubador . Possibly the prettiest pony to ever trot in the Ottawa Valley. In August Troubador showed as a Fine Harness Pony, he placed fourth in the Open and the Stake. After purchasing Troubador Willis noticed that one of Troubador’s legs did not trot as high as the other. Upon talking to a friend in the United States, Willis learned that when Bill Stackpole had shipped Troubador to Canada that he had got his leg caught in hay net, for hours. The leg had permanent damage, Willis tried corrective shoeing and radiation therapy, but nothing was to help Troubador’s leg.
In September 1987, Willis showed Troubador at the Shawville Fair, in Quebec, in the Roadster Pony Class receiving a 3rd and a 5th in the Open Classes. Jeff, arriving after working the day at Boot’s Drug Store, showed the Stake Class receiving 6th - this was Jeff’s first Roadster Pony Class.
The following day at the Newington Fair one the biggest show downs of all time occurred. Pam was showing Sir Echo and Jeff Troubador. In the Open Class Jeff was first out of four and Pam was second. Then in the stake class - it happened. They were lined up. Pam grinning at Jeff knowing that she had beat him, Jeff grinning back knowing that she hadn't and then they announced it. "Would number 41 and number 42 please go out to rail to your right." Everything got quiet. The judge had called a workout, otherwise known as a drive-off. Suddenly this small fair seemed over populated with spectators as Pam and Jeff had been called out to the ring. Pam decided to be the aggressive, Jeff nervous, being only his third road pony class ever went conservative, but as Pam went to pass Jeff, Sir Echo broke into a canter, Jeff smiled and drove even more conservatively as he knew he had won. It would be the only time for Jeff and Pam to ever be in a drive-off against each other, but not the only time for two McCormick ponies to meet in a drive-off.
In 1988, Willis purchased another roadster pony cart from Charlie McNeely in March and another set of road pony harness from Billy Stackpole in September.
In the spring of 1989, Willis purchased Cockleburr’s Crimson Pride, otherwise known as Rosco, from Karl Dronshek. That September at the Perth Fair, Rosco was shown as a Fine Harness Pony for his first time.
In the fall of 1989, we leased Country Road’s from Lloyd Goth, with very little luck. The highlight being that we won the Hackney Pony Line Class at the Richmond Fair, beating Lloyd and his pony New York Swinger. Country was returned after Richmond Fair to the Goth’s. They later showed him as a pleasure pony.
That same fall we leased High and Mighty Sir Echo to the Brunton Family. Sir was shown by Rae Anne Brunton in the Parade Classes. Unsure that Sir Echo was still any good, and also because he didn’t want to part with Sir, the Brunton’s leased Sir and I do not believe that he lost too often. Sir Echo won the Eastern Canadian Championship that October at the Ottawa Winter Fair and then returned back to the McCormick Stables for the fall.
The following spring John Brunton phoned to see if would lease or sell Sir Echo. After consulting with the family, Willis decided to sell Sir Echo. After sixteen years at the McCormick Stables and at the ripe old age of nineteen, Sir headed to the Brunton’s for his final home. Sir Echo showed for several years repeating as Eastern Canadian Champion every fall that he competed with Rae Anne and finally with Gregory. In 1994, John Brunton had to put Sir Echo down he was 23 years of age. He will always be remembered as possibly the best Parade Pony that ever lived. I’ll never forget the way that Pam was able to make him look like he was climbing when she rode him, higher and mightier.
On April 29th, 1990 Willis sold his horse trailer to Less Brown of Smith Falls. He then went over to Dwight Douglas', (formerly Wayne and Joan Cochraine's) and purchased his three horse, 29 foot long gooseneck trailer, the difference in price of the two trailers was $5.00. A great deal for the McCormick's.
On May 30th, 1990 Melody Jamieson took Hayes Star's & Stripes to Don Morrow's to be bred by Tim Tom!
On June 23rd, 1990 Willis and Jeff moved Lynda Studholme's mare, Maple Ridge Amazing Grace and her colt that Jeff had purchased Willowood's First Impression, (aka Buck), a half brother of WGC Willowood Balladeer and Willowood Warlock. Grace would stay at Melody's farm for about a year. Buck was purchased by Melody from Jeff at about the same time for the same price that Jeff had paid for him.
On July 7th the very first Hackney Pleasure Pony Class in the Ottawa Valley, and possibly Canada was held at the Ottawa Valley Light Horse Show. Jeff showed The Southern Troubador and was the only one in the class. He showed in both the open and the stake class and was judged by Ken Alderman who trains for ABC Farms in Brampton.
On July 11th, 1990, Roy Spratt and Willis drove to Searches, New York, where they met Rodney Hick's to pick up Pride's Cadet . Willis had purchased the pony through Denny Lang. Willis rented a small two horse trailer from Horse World for the trip! On the 21st of July, Cadet was shown by the McCormick's for the first time at Kars Fair. He was third in the open and again third in the Stake although he did make it to a drive-off in the Stake Class, this was Jeff's second drive off of his life, and he over drove a little. Paul Richardson was the judge.
On November 5th of 1990 Lloyd Goth shipped Pride's Cadet to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. Jeff showed him the open and got 6th, Pam in the ladies class getting 4th and Willis showed him the amateur getting 6th out of 13, and then in the championship, where he did not place.
In the fall of 1991, Willis purchased a small Fine Harness Pony from Richard King of South Lyon Michigan, the pony was Cres-or Lar's Prince Charles . Also from Richard King came King's Royal Countess , purchased by Jeff!
At the Richmond Fair, in the Fall of 1991, (September 15th), while lined up in the Hackney Pleasure Pony Championship, The Southern Troubador, while being driven by Jeff, flipped over when judge, Ruth Webster was standing at his side. Troubador and Jeff asked to be excused. The pleasure cart suffered a broken shaft and was later fixed by Laurie Campbell and Willis. Long after the Fair Ruth Webster went onto tease Jeff about how he could always find a way to lose classes that he had won! Also at the Richmond Fair Jeff showed King's Royal Countess in a line class that she won. This was her first class ever.
On November 4th of 1991, Harold Wallace took Cadet and Countess to the Royal Winter Fair for us. Cadet got a fourth, 2 - sixths and a seventh. Countess got sick while at the Royal, and was unable to show. Dr. Lester gave her a shot that cost $50.00. We were stabled by the loading doors and nearly froze to death! It was one of the worst Royal's of all time. Willis spent much of the week driving back and forth between Ottawa and Toronto as Willis' mother Florence Wallace was very ill and passed away the week after the Royal!
On April 3rd Melody to Hayes' Stars & Stripes to Claire Hayes which she traded for another young pony she calls Buddy.
On July 4th of 1992 at the Ottawa Valley Light Horse Show, Cres-or-Lar's Prince Charles showed for the first time with the McCormick's. He was first in the Open and second in the Stake.
On July 10th of 1992, Willis sold Cockleburr’s Crimson Pride, (aka Rosco) to Brenda James. Rosco had become very hard to hitch and would flip if you did not lead him. We became very tired of this act and he was sold for a loss - just to get rid of him.
In August of 1992 at the Ottawa Valley Hackney Futurity, judged by Rodney Hicks, Cres-or-Lar's Prince Charles was second out of twelve in the open showed by Willis and then Jeff showed him for his first time in the Championship Class and won it, (there were 13 in the Stake).
On September 20th, 1992, Willis sold The Southern Troubador to Duck Trudeau. Duck then sold him somewhere in Quebec and the McCormick's have never seen or heard of him since. The following day the McCormick's purchased a new Roadster Pony, named Heartland's Federal Express, (aka Al) from Ed Langfel. Willis and Roy Spratt picked up Al in Windsor, Ontario.
In November of 1992 the McCormick's did not show at the Royal Winter Fair as Jeff had just purchased a new house and was too strapped for time to make it to the Fair. Willis went but did not show!
December 4th, 1992 Taylor Leigh Cholette was born, a granddaughter for Willis and Eleanor and a godchild for Uncle Jeff. Oh ya and a daughter to Pam and Frank Cholette
1993, would bring something new to the McCormick Barn, Jaime Edwards . Jaime was a young lady from Osgoode that loved driving, grooming and showing ponies. She quickly became the McCormick's Junior Exhibitor and showed for several years adding laughter to every show we went! Jaime presently resides in the Peterborough area and is involved with American Saddlebred's. Jaime will always be known as the best groom to ever grace the McCormick Stables.
On June 7th, 1993, Willis traded Pride's Cadet to Ed Lanfel for Suzanne's First Class Male , (aka Hannible). Willis and Jeff went to London, Ontario where they traded ponies on June 11th. Hannibal bit Willis as he loaded him onto the trailer, this should have been a sign.
June 26th, 1993 - Ottawa Valley Light Horse Show, Willis shows Hannibal for coming third in open behind Jeff and Chuck and Bill Campbell and Noble Reflection, in the Open and then moving up to second behind Jeff and Chuck in the Championship Class. Jeff won a cooler with Chuck in the Fine Harness Class and another with Al in the Roadster Pony Championship Class! All in all a great day of showing for the McCormick's. John Fullerton was the judge.
In August of 1993, the McCormick Stables showed at the Canadian National Exhibition for the first time. Cres-or-Lar's Prince Charles won the Fine Harness Open Class with Jeff at the whip.
In November of 1993, Willis and Jeff took Prince Charles and Heartland's Federal Express to the Royal Winter Fair. The Roadster Pony had a terrible show, and looked terrible!
August 15th 0f 1994 Willis traded Heartland's Federal Express for Elijah Blue with Eddie Langfel over the phone. Willis drove Al to Barry's Bay where Heather Miller drove him to Kentucky on August 22nd, she returned on the 30th of August with Blue. Blue would not stand still and tramped in the trailer as Heather drove him. When he arrived one could count the ribs on his sides as he was so skinny.
November 1994, Prince Charles and Blue went to the Royal, Chuck was 4th in the Amateur, 5th in the Open and 9th in the Stake. Blue showed in the Amateur and Stake and got nothing.
Spring of 1995 at the Arnold Spratt auction - Willis sold his Jerald Road Cart to Lorne MacDonald. Later in the year, (September 25th), Willis bought another better road cart from Wayne Cochraine.
September 16, 1995 - Richmond Fair - judge Roger Lucas. Jeff and Willis make a deal that what ever Long Tail does the best goes to the Royal in November. Hannibal wins Ladies and Chuck wins Open. In the Championship class Francis Goth-Campbell shows Hannibal against Chuck and Jeff, there were eleven in the class. Mr. Lucas calls for a drive off between our two ponies, Jeff and Chuck win - although a lot of people said Hannibal should have. Too close to settle they both get to go to The Royal!
November 5, 1995 Jeff and Willis took three ponies to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, King's Royal Countess (Roadster Pony), Elijah Blue (Hackney Pony) and Suzanne's First Class Male (Fine Harness Pony). Lloyd Goth brought Cres-or-Lar's Prince Charles for the McCormick's. Blue was second in the Under Hackney Pony class - this was our best result of the show. We made $505.00 in prize money - our expenses in entry fees and stalls were $805.00. (Not the most profitable show for us!)
June 1st, 1996 - Jeff and Joan (Quarrington) get married.
June 24th, 1996 Willis purchases a second hand horse trailer from Celine Hutchson. It was a small pony trailer needing lots of work.
July 27th, 1996 Ontario Hackney Futurity - Provincial Championships - Elijah Blue and Willis win the Hackney Pony Championship - this is the best that we have ever done at a big show! Blue won a cooler, this is the first cooler for Willis to win!
Spring, 1997 purchased all of the horse equipment from the estate of Ivan Hitsman - sold a lot of it immediately at the OVLHA consignment auction, keeping two sets of Freedman pony harness, a holly whip and bits and pieces.
July 26th, 1997, Markham Ontario - Ontario Hackney Futurity Championship. Elijah Blue was fourth in Amateur and then won the Ontario Championship. This was the second year in a row for Blue to be provincial champion! Cres-or-Lar's Prince Charles was fifth in the Open and then came second in the championship class making him the 1997 Reserve Grand Champion Fine Harness Pony! He lost to Black Magic - owned by Junior Schutt, who won the World Championship. Blue received another cooler and a crystal pitcher with a hackney pony engraved in it.
November 1997, took Cres-or-Lar's Prince Charles, Suzanne's First Class Male and Elijah Blue to the Royal. We shared stalls with Billy Keith. Hannibal was 6th in the open and 5th in the Championship. Chuck was 6th in the Open and 9th in the Stake. Blue was 5th in the Ladies - shown by Dorilyn Henderson, 3rd in the Amateur and 7th in the Stake both shown by Willis.
Spring, 1998 Willis and Jeff drive to London to meet Ed Langfil to trade ponies - We received Breezeland's Moon-N-Stars (Cob tail) and King Lear's Madeira CC (Roadster Pony) for Suzanne's First Class Male (Fine Harness) and King's Royal Countess (Roadster Pony). Ironically Hannibal was the pony purchased to replace Chuck - he just did have the heart that Chuck has!
July 1998, Taylor drives her first hackney pony - Cres-or Lar's Prince Charles.
July 25th, 1998, Elijah Blue and Willis end their Provincial Championship Streak at two years, placing third in the Ontario Hackney Pony Championship.
November 10th, 1998 - Willis and Jeff return from the 76th annual Royal Winter Fair. Elijah Blue placed in every class and when shown by Amanda Henderson in the junior exhibitor classes - they placed second in the driving and showmanship - making them the 1998 Reserve Grand Canadian Champions in both divisions. The highlight of Amanda's classes, (her first at the Royal), was during her showmanship class - when she put her lines and crop between her knees and fixed her hair while the judge wasn't looking. Jeff has promised to fix this problem by shaving her head! King Lear's Madiera C.C. also went to Royal and also placed in all of his classes - his best class was the Amatuer placing fourth!
December 25 1998 Willis (aka PAPA WILLY) gives Taylor a pony for Christmas - the pony is a six year old mare of unknown breed! Taylor road the pony for about five minutes before demanding that we take off the lead line so that she ride alone. She quickly took to giggling and squeling in delight as she rode "BLACK BEAUTY" around the barn yard!
May 29th, 1999 - Joshua James McCormick is born - Willis and Eleanor's second grandchild - and first grandson! (Joan and Jeff's first child!)
July, 1999 The McCormick Stables move. Willis and Eleanor sell their house on King's Hwy 31 and move south to Vernon, Ontario. The move took three weeks.
September 8th, 1999 Willis purchased Shania - a 3 year old hackney mare - daughter of World Grand Champion Mark of Excellence! She was barely halter broke.
July 29th, 2000 Willlis purchases Master Of Ceremonies from Vern Houston. A four year old fine harness pony gelding! Master Of Ceremonies had won the Junior Fine Harness Pony and came second in the classic at the Ontario Hackney Futurity that day. September 3rd, Shawville Fair, Willis shows M.C. for the first time winning the Open and the Stake!
September 2nd, 2000 Perth Fair, look out world! Taylor Cholette hits the show ring for the first time! Showing in Junior Driving, (placing 3rd out of 3) and in the Parade Pony Open, (2nd out of 2) and Stake (1st out of 2)! Taylor showed Elijah Blue in all three classes!! Way to go Monkey!
September 9th, 2000 - Taylor wins the Parade Pony Championship at Spencerville Fair - winning the perpetual trophy that her mother had won 25 years earlier! Taylor also won the Parade Pony Championship at Richmond and Metcalfe Fair in 2000!
October 26th, 2000 - Cres-Or-Lar's Prince Charles becomes terribly ill with colic and has to be destroyed. Chuck was to be shown at the Royal only one week later. He was Jeff's favourite pony!
November 2000, - The McCormicks hit the Toronto Royal WInter Fair - highlighted with a 3rd in the Junior Fine Harness Pony with Master Of Ceremonies and a 6th by Shania in the Junior Hackney Pony.
March 28th, 2001 - Jeff, Joan and Joshua move to their new hobby farm in North Gower, Ontario, (part of the Ottawa mega-city).
April 25th, 2001 - Adele Margaret McCormick is born - a beautiful, healthy little girl - Willis and Eleanor's third Grandchild! (Jeff & Joan's second child).
May 2001, Willis sends Shania to Jean & Tom Oxley's to be bred to Seventh Heaven, (owned by Karen & John Brunton).
August, 2001 - Willis purchases Black Diamond's and Lace from Vern Houston
September, 2001 - Jeff & Joan purchase Just Fabulous, (Fanny), from Don McAllister - Fanny was in foal to Flame of Fire at the time of purchase.
November, 2001 - the McCormicks hit the Royal once again - showing Black Diamond's and Lace and Master of Ceremonies.
April 12th, 2002 - Just Fabulous gives birth, (two weeks early), to Ridgetop's Likity Split, (sired by Flame of Fire).
April 19th, 2002 - Shania gives birth to Ridge Top's Ishewawa - sired by Seventh Heaven - two weeks late!
May 2002 - Just Fabulous is bred to Buckle Up and Shania is re-bred to Seventh Heaven!
September 2002 - Jeff purchases Chandler Bing for Josh and Adele - he is approx. 10 hands and quiet with the kids.
October 5th, 2002 - Metcalfe Fair - Elijah Blue wins Parade Pony Open and Stake with Taylor, (plus wins the Lead line with Josh)
October 15th, 2002 - With failing health, possibly liver problems, Elijah Blue is put down - he was the greatest Hackney Pony the McCormick's have own. He was 20 years of age - and had been shown by three generations of McCormick's. (Elijah Blue - AKA Ladue - 1982 - 2002)
November 2002 - the McCormick's head for the Royal once again with King Lear's Madeira C.C., (3rd, 5th & 6th), Black Diamond's & Lace (4th) and Master of Ceremonies, (5th & 6th).
November 11th, 2002 - while Jeff and Willis are in Toronto at the Royal Winter Fair - Pam gives birth to Riley Joseph Racine!
November 14th, 2002 - the McCormick's head home from the Royal with a new pony K-Cee's Touch of Class .
December 22nd, 2002 - King Lear's Madeira C.C. (Slappy), sold to Nancy Blaisdell of B allston Spa, New York.
April 16th, 2003 Ridgetop's Lady Conundrum is born - Dam Just Fabulous and Sired by Buckle Up.
April 28th, 2003 Ridge Top's Marcus Twain is born - the McCormick's first colt... sired by Seventh Heaven and the dam is Shania...
May 2003 - Shania is bred to Status Symbol, owned by Clare and Mary Hayes - foal will 2004 Sweepstakes eligible!
August 2003 - Chandler Bing - is found dead in the barn by Josh and Jeff...it is believed that he must have coliced in the night...
August 2003 - Jeff purchases Bry-Den's Mr. Personality from Clare Hayes. (3 year old gelding Hackney Pony)
November 5, 2003 - Willis turns 70 years old and heads off to the Royal with Jeff - highlight of the show - Willis placed 3rd in the Fine Harness Pony Stake with Master of Ceremonies.
November 6, 2003 - Ridge Top's Ishewawa is put down after four days of vetting - it was found out that she had a huge blockage...
November 12, 2003 - Master of Ceremonies and Willis place 3rd in the Royal Winter Fair Fine Harness Pony Championship
March 5, 2004 - Jeff and Joan purchase 'Navigator' from Maple Hill-Midland Hackney Pony Farm, Leonard and Sarah Jane Servinski - Buzz was picked up by Jeff and Harold Wallace on April 9th, 2004.
May 3, 2004 - Shania gives birth to a new foal, Ridgetop's Tikity Boo, sired by Status Symbol.
October, 2004 - Willis buys small painted pony "Patches"
November 2004 - another show season concludes - Jeff bring's I Am What I Am home with him from the Royal - for a one year lease from Jill Pettapiece
May 12, 2005 - Shania is bred to Radiant Creation - a CHS Sweepstake's baby!!!
May 14th, 2005 - Lace gives birth to her first foal Ridgetop's Hi Definitition (AKA Hidee) - special thanks to Joan who looked after everything, with some help, while Jeff worked at the OVLHA Conosignment Auction... HiDee is sired by Dun Haven Master Cadet of Maple Hill-Midland Hackney Pony Farm.
May 14th, 2005 - Willis sells Patches - the small painted pony at the OVLHA Equine Consignment Auction
May 25th, 2005 - Bry-Den's Mr Personality is sold to Amy Lowe of New Hampshire.
June 7, 2005 - Just Fabulous is given to Diane Haaksman of North Gower, Ontario.
August 2005 - Ridgetop's Likity Split wins CHS Sweepstake's Pleasure Pony Championship!
October 01, 2005 - Kristen Gallagher becomes the new owner of Black Diamond's & Lace and Ridgetop's Likity Split
October 01, 2005 - Jeff & Willis purchase B.R.S. Chocolate Chip from Micheal and Kristen Gallagher.
October 12, 2005 - Zachary Cyr, Ken and Connie Callaway become the new owners of Ridgetop's Lady Conundrum!
November, 2005 - Willis and Jeff head to the Royal with Master of Ceremonies, B.R.S. Chocolate Chip and I Am What I Am - Chip received a ribbon in every class, MC did well in all classes and Barney placed an impressive 4th in the Stake class before returning to the Pettapiece Stables! Thank you Jill for the lease on Barney! All in all this was one of the most fun Royal Winter Fairs in years!!
January 2006 - Willis starts radiation for cancer and wins...
April 17 2006 - Ridgetop's Ready Set Go is born - sired by Radiant Creation and out of Shania. She is born with all the chrome - four whites and star!
September 2 2006 - Josh does his first line class - showing Studley to a 3rd place finish!
September 2006 - Mike Kachura sends Bubba Gump to Jeff's to prepare for the Royal!
October 21 2006 - Jeff purchases In Your Dreams from Judy and Joe Lowry, Illinois - a pony for Josh and Adele to ride and drive!
November 2006 - Jeff takes road pony BRS Chocolate Chip and Bubba Gump - owned by Betty & Mike Kachura to the Royal - receiveing highs of 3rd with both ponies in their perspective classes! Thank you Mike and Betty!!!
December 24, 2006 - Jeff and Willis drive to Napanee, Ontario to purchase Adele a miniature horse Udey's Dusty from Keith and Barb Campbell - Adele was surprised the next morning for Christmas!
December 30, 2006 Studley is sold to Luc, Julie, Justin and Karl Lafleur - best wishes!
March 2007 - Jeff judge's Manitoba Royal Winter Fair
April, 2007 - Ridgetop's Toute Suite is born - a bay filly with a star and two hind whites, sired by Mark's Snuffy and out of Shania.
July 2007 - Karen Lyon shows In Your Dreams for the McCormick Stables - this is Karen's first class.
July 2007 - Willis purchases new cobtail pony - Kenhurst Constantinoble
August 2007 - Phyllis Beggs purchases Udey's Dusty with his show harness, cart and work harness and cart.
August 2007 - Jeff judges Expo du Quebec in Quebec City.
August 2007 - Jeff trades Navigator to Mike Herron for Bristolwood Expressionaire.
September 2007 - Jeff purchases Michigan's Little Dickens from Ron McRostie.
September 2007 - Willis purchases Michigan's Apache Chief White Foot from Ron McRostie.
September 2007 - Willis sells Kenhurst Constantinoble to Linda McGowan, Edwards, Ontairo.
November 2007 - Royal Winter Fair - Jeff takes 5 ponies to the Royal - Josh showed Michigan's Little Dickens becoming the first of the third generation to show at the Royal Winter Fair. Jeff showed Heartland Prime Time for Les Phillips of Nova Scotia.
Winter 2008 - Josh and Adele take riding lessons from Courtney Drew
March 2008 - Meghan and Lois York loan Lucky to Josh and Adele for the 2008 show season
May 2008 - Jeff sells Shania to R. Jack Rupert Jr. of Virginia.
May 2008 - Jeff & Joan purchase The Joker from Ed Langfels.
July 2008 - Ontario Hackney Futurity - Josh shows his first driving class - with Michigan's Little Dickens
August 2008 - Shawville Fair - Josh shows his first CHS Junior Driving class - showing The Joker
October 2008 - Lucky returns to Meghan and Lois York's.
November 2008 - the Royal Winter Fair - Jeff takes Willis' Shetland, Michigan's Apache Cheif White Foot, and his own Shetland Michigan's Little Dickens and cobtail - The Joker to the Royal.
April 25, 2009 - Jeff sells In Your Dreams to Emily Lucas, Lanark, Ontario.
June 2009 - Jeff acquires Fitz's April Sass and Pitter Patter Let's Get At 'Er from Greg Dehning, Iowa
July 20, 2009 Jeff sell's Bristolwood Expressionaire to Veronique Dumas of Calgary, Alberta.
November 2009 - Josh shows for the first time at the Royal in the Big Ring!
November 2009 - Willis trades Ridge Top Marcus Twain for Heartland Image to Duck Trudeau!
January 2010 - Jeff sells Michigan's Little Dickens to Joanne Leonoff of St. Anne, Manitoba
April 2010 - Jeff sells The Joker and Ridgetop's Hi Definition to Joanne Leonoff of St. Anne, Manitoba.
May 2010 - Jeff purchases Heartland Invincible from Jansal Saddlebred stables.
July 2010 - Jeff sells Ridgetop's Tikity Boo and Ridgetop's Toute Suite to Walter Foster.
August 2010 - Jeff sells Ridgetop's Ready Set Go and Pitter Patter Let's Get At 'Er to Rachel Martin.
October 2010 - Karen and Paul Lyon purchase Kingsley Isabella from Misty Hills.
November 2010 - Royal Winter Fair - Jeff takes Heartland Invincible and Fitz's April Sass - but ponies did very well. Josh showed Lucky In Love for the Trudeau Stables and won the Canadian Hackney Pleasure Pony Championship.
November 2010 Karen and Paul Lyon purchase Le Marc from Kathryn Boyd and Larry Ella.
December 2010 - sold Fitz's April Sass to Jennifer Turley of California!
April 2011 - Murray and Barb Meadows gives Jeff Jamacan Me Crazy
June 2011 - Jeff acquires Bry-Den's Free Agent from Clare and Mary Hayes.
July 2011 - Josh and Adele are given for the season Templeton from Julie Holmes.
August 2011 - Josh wins Jr Exhibitor High Point Trophy at Ontario Hackney Futurity - includes winning the Jr Showmanship, Junior Driving and a 3rd in the Jr Pleasure Driving (he also won the Shetland Jr Driving)
September 2011 - Josh wins CHS Jr High Point trophies at both Richmond Fair and Spencerville Fair (where he also met Kevin Costner!)
October 2011 - Murray and Barb Meadows give Jeff - Calling All Angels.
November 2011 - Jeff purchases Just Whistlen Jazz
December 2011 - Willis sells Heartland Image to Hannah Martin
December 2011 - Willis and Jeff trade BRS Chocolate Chip for Ridgetop's Ready Set Go with Rachel Martin
February 2012 - Jeff trades Just Whistlen Jazz to Terry and Chad Simmons for a 4 year old Seventh Heaven mare, Sevemth Inning Strech.
March 2012 - Josh is awarded the Dr. Bovaird Memorial trophy for CHS Jr Exhibitor High Points and also the Sportsmanship Award for 2011!
April 2012 - Jeff trades Calling All Angels to Mary and Wayne Davis for Heartland Heart of Blue
April 2012 - Willis purchases Palisades Mr. Manhattan at the Robertson Equine Sale - this young colt was previously owned by Sandra Surber.
July 2012 - Adele shows her first CHS Jr Showmanship class!
July 2012 - Dave Dawson gives Jeff and family Heart of Stone.
July 2012 - Josh and KC win the Ontario Hackney Pleasure Pony Jr Exhibitor class and Adele wins reserve Championship in the CHS Jr Showmanship Class!
September 2012 - Jeff purchases Heartland Viking from Ed Langfels and High Gait Remarkable from Liberty Stables.
November 2012 - the McCormick Stables hit the 90th Anniversary of the Royal Winter Fair - high lights of the show were Josh placing 2nd in the showmanshuip class with Kingsley's Isabella and Adele placing 2nd in the Junior Driver with K-Cee's Touch of Class
November 2012 - Jeff trades High Gait Remarkable with Zachary Cyr for Bry-Den's Rare Treasure.
March 2013 - Jeff trades Heartland Invincible, Seventh Inning Stretch and Bry-Den's Free Agent for Backstreet Boy and Sugar Ridge Souvenir King
April 2013 - Jeff pony swaps with Greg Brunton - BryDen's Rare Treasure for Cockleburr's Titan
April 25, 2013 - A new foal - Chester is born - sired by BryDen's Free Agent and out of Jamacan Me Crazy
May 2013 - Willis sells Palisades Mr. Manhattan to Tyler Keniston.
June 2013 - Carolyn Helton gives Josh and Adele Romeo's Master Sargeant LF
July 2013 - sold Sugar Ridge Souvenir King to Marie Toon.
August 2013 - acquired Fitz's Grand Knight from Maney McNeil
November 2013 - the McCormick's hit the Royal Winter Fair again - with Adele, Josh and Jeff showing - the 2013 highlight was Jeff winning the Canadian Open Harness Pony with Heartland Viking, Josh getting a second with Fitz's Grand Knight in the CHS Jr Showmanship & Adele placing third in the CHS Jr Pleasure Driving with Master Of Ceremonies .
November 6, 2013 - January 20, 2014 - Jeff completes the slowest pony sale ever due to a shipper cancelling at the last minute and having to find another- sending JJ, Cockleburr's Titan to California to Jennifer and Chuck Turley.
April 2014 - Willis purchases Heartland Undeniable from Matt Schuckert. (Karen Lyon and Jeff go with Willis on the road trup to Kentucky to pick him up!
July 5, 2014 - Adele shows her first roadster pony class!
August 1, 2014 - Jeff sells Backstreet Boy to Noah Frey
August 2, 2014 - the McCormick Stables have a terrific horse show with Josh winning the Junior Showmanship & Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving with Fitz's Grand Knight, Jeff winning the Fine Harness Pony Chanpionship with Heartland Viking, Chester and Josh placing second in the yearling Futurity, Karen, Willis and Josh all picking up 2nds with Izzy in seperate roadster pony classes.
September 8, 2014 - Jeff and Eddie Langfels do some pony trading again - Jeff sending Romeo's Master Sargaent to Eddie's in return Jeff acquired K & J's Amber's Choice
November 2014 - loaded up the trailers and take Heartland Viking, Master of Ceremonies, K&J's Amber's Choice, Fitz's Grand Knight and Heartland Undeniable to the Royal. Highlight of the 2014 Royal was Josh's victory in the CHS Pleasure Pony driven by a Junior!
May 2015 - Jeff and Adele purchase Showtime's So Tuff from Jessie Richardson.
August 2015 - Karen sells Le Marc
September 2015 - Jeff sells Ridgetop's Ready Set Go to Noah Frey
September 2015 - Jeff gives Jamacan Me Crazy to Eric Roy.
November 2015 - Royal Winter Fair - Jeff takes 5 ponies - Heartland Viking, Heartland Undeniable, K&J's Amber's Choice, Fitz's Grand Knight and Showtime's So Tuff - highlights - Josh showing a line class in his kilt coming 2nd - Jeff winning the Canadian Owned Roadster Pony class and Adele with a reserve Grand Championship in the Pleasure Pony driven by a junior.
November 2015 - Jeff gives Fitz's Grand Knight to Eric Roy.
April 2016 - Josh leases CH Brass Spirit from Mike Kachura
June 2016 - McCormick Stables show at Syracuse International Horse Show for the first time!
September 2016 - Jeff purchases Twin Willow's Kaitlyn from Adam Bovaird
October 2016 - Karen sells Kingsley Isabella to Lisa McGowan.
November 2016 - Jeff takes four ponies to the Royal: K & J's Ambers Choice, CH Brass Spirit, Showtime's So Tuff and Heartland's Undeniable. All four ponies did well with all ponies getting as high as a second place! The other highlight was watching 3 junior exhibitor's from the McCormick Stables compete against each other in the Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony class, (Josh, Adele and Anna Husson).
NOTE: This has been written by Jeff McCormick and is not meant to offend anyone. If you notice any errors please contact me and I will correct them immediately! This has been written from notes that my father has kept over the years and from our memories! I will try and keep it updated!