Horse Heritage Hall of Fame award goes to Kerr family

ERIN – The Erin Agricultural Society’s Horse Heritage Committee recently announced the Kerr Family as this year’s recipient of the Horse Heritage Hall of Fame award. 

The family was acknowledged under the “lifetime achievement” category for its contributions to the hackney horse breed and its support of and involvement with the Erin Agricultural Society (EAS) and the Erin Fall Fair.

 The award was presented to the Kerr Family by past EAS president Garry Brown.

The Kerr family brought a six-year-old hackney horse, Liberty Bell, to the equine tent at the Erin fair to be part of the Heritage Award presentation. Liberty Bell is a relative of their original hackney bloodline. 

Robert Kerr Sr. began showing hackneys in 1900; he would continue to do so for another six decades from country fairs, to the CNE, to the pinnacle of the Royal Winter Fair. 

Robert Sr. would eventually become president of the Erin Fall Fair in 1923 and later became president of the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies. He was also president of the Canadian Hackney Society in 1938.

Robert Sr.’s son, James (Archie), continued to breed and show Hackney horses until the early 1960s. Grandchildren, Bob Jr. and Betty Ann, were also involved in showing at this time. Bob Jr. would continue with the breeding programme into the 1990s. 

Great-granddaughter Christine proudly represented the Erin Fall Fair as Fair Ambassador at the CNE in 1989. A decade later, following in her family’s footsteps, she also showed the Kerr hackneys at the Royal Winter Fair. 

In 2018, the Erin Agricultural Society established the Horse Heritage Hall of Fame. Its purpose is to celebrate Erin’s rich equine history and to recognize leaders within Erin’s horse community. 

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