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Kenny Harris Left His Mark On The Pony World



 

Kenny Harris showed one of the top pairs in the country.

Mr. Dee and Mr. Jody are pictured winning

the Pairs Class at the 1965 Eastern States Show.

 

by Bob Funkhouser

 

Earlier this year the Hackney world lost one of its longtime supporters in Kenny Harris of High & Mighty Farm, Philmont, New York. For nearly 50 years Harris and his wife Evelyn devoted their lives to animals, especially Hackney ponies.

 

Harris ran a garage and school bus company in Philmont but always had horses and ponies. His first pony was Cassilis Beaucaire who became instrumental in establishing the High & Mighty breeding program. Harris traced his pony back to Mrs. Willets of the famed Cassilis Farm. It was there that he became good friends with Cassilis trainer Dean Bigford. Harris’ weekly trips to Cassilis Farm planted the seeds for what would become High & Mighty Farm.

 

Harris and his bride bought 45 acres, cleared it and built High & Mighty Stable. Six years later they would build a home on the property as well. It was here that they would breed and raise ponies, deer, peacocks and other exotic birds. Harris’ niece, Judy Preusser estimates there were 50 or more ponies on the farm at one time.

 

“Uncle Kenny had a great eye for a horse or pony,” said John Preusser. “He had some beautiful ponies.”

 

“They had 50 plus,” agreed Janet Lavio. “We [she and her husband Bud] were good friends with them for 30 years. We probably bought six ponies from their breeding program over the years. They were wonderful people and they raised nice ponies in addition to all kinds of birds.”

 

“Kenny was a good pony man,” stated David LaSalle. “He had a pair that was hard to beat. He raised a lot of ponies.”

 

Mr. Dee and Mr. Jody made the pair of Hackneys LaSalle referred to. They won at all the major shows. Some of Harris’ other stars included Twinyews Twinkie, Reedann Gambler, High & Mighty Beau Petite, and High & Mighty Miss Dolly. They were consistent winners from the mid-50s through the mid-90s at such shows as Eastern States, Royal Winter Fair, Devon, Great Barrington, St. Judes, Syracuse, and Children’s Services. Some of the people he was associated with or showed ponies for him included Dr. Alan Raun, Rodney Root, Michael McGrady, Jim Borden, and Liz and Jack Jackson.

 

To remember Harris, friends donated a trophy in his honor that was awarded in the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Championship at Eastern States.

 

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