CRHA Hall of Fame
Les & Pearl Lawrence - 2007 Inductees
The Lawrence’s, Les, Pearl, Jean and Harold added a great deal to the Road Horse Association. It was at Les’ home where the first meeting of the Association was held. Les and his father had showed Commercial horses for many years, but in the late 60’s, les bought his first read team. He bought a mare named Sonny’s Twinkle from Alvin White and a gelding named Pioneer Frank from Ross Thomas. He showed this pair in St. Catherines in 1969. Jean was along to lady drive and Pearl looked after the harness. In 1970 he bought a horse named Billy Castle from Ivan Cochrane and showed him with Speedy Giers. Les had fun with these two horses. Billy Castle was a good Bike horse and won many ribbons. Speedy Giers and Pioneer Frank were often driven in road races. One year at Lindsay Fair, les started the road race and didn’t know it was a false start. He completed the race in fine time only to discover he had to race again. This time it was a “Go” and Les was off to a good start. This time he came out the winner, over at least five teams. His first trailer came from Sam Curly. When he needed a new trailer he purchased a trailer from Clare Pettapiece.
In 1974 Les bought a horse from Don Heath called Coverly Bud. This was a good horse, but pulled a lot. One year when Les was showing him at the Royal, he cut the ring on Les and the buggy rolled. No one was hurt, not horse, many or buggy. Some spectators thought Les did this for excitement and came back the next night to the show to see if he would roll the buggy again. Bud won several red ribbons before Les sold him. In 1975 Coverly Bud was the Canadian Equestrian Federation Champion.
About this time Harold started helping Les, often driving a team for him. Les owned several horses after Coverly Bud, Mary Steinway, Dutch Boy, Tolson’s Rapsody, Fred G.B., and Armbro Iowa to name a few. In 1992, when Les was age 75 he drove Dutch Boy and Armbro Iowa in the apir class at the Royal Winter Fair. In 1988 Harold drove Dutch Boy and Tolson’s Rapsody and won the pair class.
The Lawrence’s were great show people but always seemed to have things happen in the ring. Les los the front wheel of his buggy at the CNE and another year Harold had the pole drop down while driving the team.
Les’ tack room was an open house. No matter what time of day or night, there was always a euchre game going on. When one pair of partners lost, someone else move in and the game went on.
Poor physical health caused Les and Harold to quit showing, but both continued to be supporters of the Canadian Road Horse Association.