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


Lawrence Carss

Lawrie Carss (1943-2003) started his career with horses when he was a young boy.  For all of his 60 years, horses were his life.  His father, Ernest Carss, bred Hackneys, as well as showing most light horse breeds at the fairs and shows in the Ottawa area.  When the daily farm chores were complete, Lawrie helped his father with care and training of the Carss show horses.  When in high school, he went to work at Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ryan's Kilreen farm near Ottawa.  At Ryan's he learned as much as he could grooming horses and ponies under such famous trainers as Monty Jones, Neil Mulcahy, Jack Redmond, Alf Jones, and Billy Pinch.  He later moved up to be manager and trainer of the Kilreen Farm.  At Kilreen he exhibited a long list of horses and ponies the included King's Gaiety and  Fernwick's Sir Echo.  After his time spent at Kilreen, he trained the Hackney horses and Saddlebreds for Mrs. Ruth Hurdman.

His next stop was at Dr. Bartletts at Brampton.  At Bartletts, he showed the large group of horses and ponies.  At this time, he became associated with Cassilis Debonaire, where Lawrie trained him for his remaining show career as well as guiding his career as a breeding stallion.  Many of the best pony mares in Canada were booked to Debonaire.  Through his guidance, Lawrie was largely responsible for improving the Hackney pony in North America.  When at Bartletts, he produced Ardkinglas Northern Light, winning the Hackney horse stake at the Royal  three years in succesion. He next moved to the Maplebrook Farm of Jim Carter, Brampton.  At Carters, he started a public training stable, continued to train Debonaire, and added a few ponies that the Armstrong family at Brampton were raising.  As the Armstrong numbers increased, he took the position as manager at Green Gables Farm. Green Gables was the home to the Armstrong's ABC Farm hackney ponies, as well as a small standardbred nursery.  At ABC, he brought Rag A Muffin to the top in the Hackney pony division, and showed Haven's Musicman to stake wins in Canada and the US. 

In 1989, he left Canada, and established a public stable in Massachusetts, showing Hackneys, Saddlebreds and Road horses.  He later moved to Kentucky, and continued to show at the leading shows in America and Canada. 

Lawrence Carss was a mentor to many young trainers. He was always more than willing to share his knowledge with others wishing to improve their training skills, or advice on wise breeding selections to improve their breeding program. (Inducted March 2010)


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