History of the OVLHA

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Before World War II, a spring horse show was held at the corner of Preston Street and Carling Avenue.

There were no shows held during the war, but after the war, a group of devoted horse people such as Fraser Hurdman, Donald Cherry, Barbara Lerner, John Harvey and T.A.G. Moore decided to get the horse show running again. Their first meeting was held at the CFRA auditorium (now the YMCA on Argyle Street) and took on fifty members. On May 28, 1948, their first horse show was held at the Aylmer Fair Grounds. It consisted of twenty five classes.

Members went to extraordinary means to draw attention to the show. There was a pony named Belle who was placed in the bryson Graham's store window in downtown Ottawa. As the pony munched away on hay, she was part of a window display of trophies, saddles and bridles for curious bystanders to view.

Stake classes were sponsored but more funding was needed in order to pay for the horse show.

A tradition was started to hold an annual dance to raise funds in keeping the show going. The first dance was in 1949 and made $400 in profit.

In those days, OVLHA events were covered regularly by the local newspaper. One highly publicized event at the 1957 show was that Mr. Albert Quesnel, dressed in a toga and driving a chariot pulled by four palominos. This was shown on the CBOT Sportscap.

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