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Harley Allison Passes On - CRHA Bids Fond Farewell to 2005 Hall of Fame Member

Harley Allison (center)


ROCKWOOD, ON - The Canadian Road Horse Association is extremely saddened by the loss of its Director, 2005 Hall of Fame member, and long-time road horse exhibitor Harley Allison of Hamilton, Ontario, who passed away yesterday (February 17).  Harley and Lois were also active in Standardbred racing at various times.  Harley was 83 at the end of January, and he and his wife, Lois, were getting ready to go to Florida for the month of March. Harley is survived by his wife, Lois, son Wayne, daughter-in-law, Eileen, and twin grandchildren, Michael and Marla.


Visitation and services are scheduled to be held at the Cresmount Funeral Home,322 Fennell Avenue East, Hamilton, which is on the Mountain – (905) 387-2111.  Visitation will be held the evening of Tuesday, February 19 and Wednesday, February 20.  The service will be held at on Thursday, February 21.  Further details are pending.


Cards of condolence may be sent to the Allison families as follows:


Lois Allison

172 Rymal Road West

Hamilton, ON  L9B 1B8


Wayne & Eileen Allison

R.R. #1

1525 2nd Concession Road West

Lyndon, ON  L0R 1T0


Harley was a tremendous supporter of the CRHA as he was always willing to sell more than his share of fundraiser tickets, and he served as CRHA President from 1993 to 1995.  He continued until the time of his death as an active Director of the Association and to drive at the fall fairs.


The Allison family of Harley, Lois, and son, Wayne, has been showing road horses for over thirty years.  Harley first began with a bike and a horse called Slade Hanover, who was rumoured to have enjoyed an occasional rum and coke.  As Harley says, “he was the happiest horse in the show ring, but he didn’t do any better.”  The next step was a buggy and a team — a favourite class of Harley’s.  One of his biggest thrills was showing at Lexington, KY, and placing fourth in the bike and stake classes.  His and Lois’s favourite class was always the gentlemen’s turnout, and they won many more than they lost.  He will be greatly missed both in and out of the show ring.


A bit more about Harley excerpted from the CRHA website:


“Harley Allison’s first exposure to horses happened before he was ten when he would drive the team of farm horses into the barn with a load of hay.  Also, around this time he remembers stories from his Aunt Blanche recalling how she and his mother would race their horses home from church, to see who had the fastest horse.  This was the basis for two of Harley’s favourite classes – the team and the gentlemen’s road race.


“Then in the late 1960’s, after years of going to the fall fairs and the Royal as a spectator, Harley got his first road horse Slade Hanover.  Slade was a horse that taught Harley and his family about the show horse business and was a pretty fair road racehorse.  Even though he won few classes, he could drink rum and coke from a glass – the horse that is.


“Harley kept Slade Hanover at Ross Thomas’s and bought another horse name Key Flemington with Ross so that he had a horse for the over class.  Wanting to improve his stock and get a team, Harley bought a well-matched team from Ivan Cochrane named Lee and Dave.


“Still needing to get something better, a few years later, Harley got a nice chestnut team from Ray Boyd, King Fan and Babe; he also was able to work a deal again with Ivan Cochrane to get a horse previously shown by Les Lawrence named Noel Darnley.  Noel was one of Harley’s all time favourites and was probably good enough to show at the Royal.  But more and better horses were yet to come.  Back in the days when he would show 12 to 18 times a year, Noel went over 2½ years without losing a turnout class.


“Another deal with Ivan Cochrane gave Harley his first Royal horse.  A very hot mare named Duke’s Empress, who got a ribbon in her first class at the Royal.  Harley continues to compete at the Royal to this day.  Other horses followed:  Birdy’s Speed, KM Snazzy, World Champion Shama, Doncella, Billy, and Back Chat.  Shama was the first horse that the family showed in the States, getting fourth in the bike stake at Lexington.  Backchat got Harley his first Royal red ribbon winning the under buggy in the early ‘90’s.

“In 1995, while in Florida, Harley saw for the first time the best road horse the family has ever had – Boogily Bear.  “Boog” was reserve champion in the bike in 1997 and 1998 and then in 1999, Harley got his thrill of a lifetime, driving Boog in the victory pass in the Wagon Stake.  Boog won the stake again in 2000 as well as winning the amateur wagon stake at Louisville.”

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