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KATHY GALBRAITH
GUNNAR, HALIE, & JARI WAGNER


Kathy Galbraith, the oldest daughter of Don and Joanne Heath, lives in Hastings, ON, with partner, Gunnar, and their children, Halie (not Haisy) and Jari (not PC). Currently, a stay-at-home Mom who assists Gunnar with their business, Kathy is also a director of the CRHA and webmaster of this site. As well, she chairs the Light Horse & Pony Division of the Norwood Fair, which is held the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend (contact Kathy for a class list -- come one and all!!!) and seems to run the roads all summer with soccer and in the winter with hockey!

Kathy started showing in 1974 with a longtail Hackney in the junior exhibitor division -- Calloway's Little Lady -- and finished with a cobtail -- Poppin' Up -- who certainly lived up to his name. Her brother, Ken, soon joined her and had a great deal of success with Treasure Trove. Art and Brenda Alderman and their four children, all supporters of the road horse, had a great influence on Kathy, Ken, and Laurie during their "junior" days and often loaned ponies so that everyone could have a chance at showing.

From this start with ponies, Kathy and Ken moved onto the roadsters. They both began showing road horses in 1979 with Tracey Chenier, Mike Patten, and Sean Merritt when the first junior exhibitor roadster classes were created. Sherri and Steve McLean soon joined in the show as well. Do you remember how those "wonderful guys" (with help from Mike's brother, Steve, and George Teeple) were always so "helpful" in volunteering to polish the girls seats for them right before the classes? (It usually took Grandma Pearl to keep them in line.)

One of the things Kathy enjoys the most about showing is the people -- "it's like one big extended family that you got to choose." It is because of this people factor that the Royal is one of her favourite shows of the season. It brings together friends (and family, in some cases) from all breeds and across Canada and the U.S. and provides a unique opportunity for everyone to renew acquaintances each year. Kathy also derives great pleasure from prepping the horses for the show ring -- turning "ugly ducklings" into "swans."

The quality of competition within Ontario is also tremendous and makes for a great showing experience. She's become especially aware of this since she began judging light horse classes a few years ago. Kathy is currently without a road horse to show (but always looking) having sold her "first" -- Mr. Bowling Green (BG) -- down in the States after doing quite well with him in the USTA Classic at the World Championships in Louisville. Her Dad, Don, after putting the "finishing touches" on this son of Balanced Image, showed him with great success at numerous shows before he was sold.

Kathy provided a retirement home for her favourite, Bold Warrior, for many years until his death on April 12, 2006. Vince did his part to teach the kids their way around the barn. They also have two Hackney ponies in the barn at present -- Cockleburr's Black Cherry, and Breezeland's Aristrocrat. In 2004, "Goober" introduced Halie to the wonderful world of the show ring just as Lady did for Kathy all those many years ago. Perhaps 2008 will see Jari make his show ring debut as well.

 
Kathy Galbraith (and daughter, Halie Wagner)
atop Bold Warrior, aka Vince, winner of the
Roadster Under Saddle at Erin Fall Fair in 1998.
Also pictured, Leah & Cody McLean. (Photo by Bill Keith)