Hall of Fame
The North American Six Horse Hitch Classic Series Board of Directors would like to introduce the “Classic Series Hall of Fame”. The Hall of Fame is being established to honor past and present members who have contributed to the organization. These individuals have dedicated their time and effort to benefit our organization and the Board of Directors along with the membership would like to honor individuals for their contributions.
2021 Hall of Fame Inductee:
Dick Ames- Ames Construction
Many words can be used to describe Dick Ames, hardworking, dedicated, and charismatic just to name a few. His family had a long history in the draft horse industry. Dick’s great-grandparents had immigrated to America from England in 1874. On that voyage Dick’s great-grandfather, John had made the trip without the family so that he could transport six Percheron draft horses, which would become their farming foundation. Dick’s grandfather, Charles and great-uncle, Georgie continued the legacy as the next generation to farm together with their horses. They also began raising the showing Percherons at state and county fairs where the Ames’ prized Percherons captured top honors.
As a child Dick worked the family farm, where he learned the value of hard work, honesty, and a commitment to “family first” that would carry through a lifetime. During the miles of field work with his team of Percherons the love of horses was instilled in Dick. In 1952 he followed his father Chester’s advice and left the farm to work as a laborer for a highway construction company. After 10 years of learning the business he started his own company and, together with his brothers, grew Ames Construction from a small, local earthmoving company to a leading, full-service heavy civil and industrial general contractor headquartered in Minnesota, with reginal offices located throughout the United States.
With the success of Ames Construction Dick had a vision, to revive the family tradition of raising Percheron draft horses. Four decades after the Ames family had retired its last two dapple grey Percherons, Dick purchased a team of Percherons at auction and renewed the Ames relationship with draft horses. In 1993, the Ames Percheron Farm became a division of Ames Construction and the Percherons became the official ambassadors for the company. Driven by teamwork, the Percherons served as fitting ambassadors. Although mechanical equipment had long replaced the use of draft horses in both farming and construction, the concept that teamwork is at the core of getting things done drove Dick to see his dream through. Dick was once quoted as saying “Success comes from working smart, working hard, and, most importantly, working together to get the job done.”
2020 Hall of Fame Inductees:
Dr John Weber
John Weber and family were the owners of the Live Oak Plantation Clydesdales. After competing a couple of years with the newly formed Live Oak Clydesdales, Dr. Weber found the prize money at the horse shows to be inadequate. He felt that the sport would also benefit from a year-end Champion hitch as well. Being a man of action he formed a committee of draft horse advisors and started the Classic Series. He arranged the first Championship classes at three shows that were held in conjunction with the Washington International Horse show, in DC; the National Horse Show, held at that time at the Meadowlands Arena, NJ, and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.
Thus the North American Six Horse Hitch Classic Series was born.
For many years Mr. English and his family exhibited Belgian Horses in Ontario, supporting shows both large and small. Their operation started very much as a family hitch, showing at the small Ontario Fairs first, then moving up the ladder over the years to where they had a team good enough to compete at the North American level.
Mr. English never lost sight of the importance of the small local rural fair in spite of having a team competing in the finals. Only 4 months prior to his death he proudly arranged for his hitch to be taken to the one day Schomberg Ontario Fair where his crew headed by Kyle and Marcia Forsyth demonstrated to an interested public everything from rolling and braiding, harnessing and hitching, finally culminating with a six horse hitch driving exhibition. In spite of having already started treatments for cancer he stood proudly on the sidelines that day with tears in his eyes and the biggest of smiles on his face.
Ted English never strayed from an opportunity to promote Belgian Horses in Canada and in his community. His horses participated regularly in the Sunderland Christmas Parade, and the annual Horse Drawn Implement and Threshing Day. At Lindsay Exhibition's annual "All About Horses" demonstration weekend when the hitch was performing to a full grandstand just prior to the evening rodeo, ,( only months after winning the "World" title at the Calgary Stampede), Ted stepped over to the announcer and quietly said... "Don't say much about me. Talk about Kyle. He deserves the credit". That was Ted English.
No one was prouder than Ted when he slipped behind the wheel of his semi and headed towards a competition big or small, near or far accompanied by his family and people he considered to now be his extended family. He enjoyed his horses and the friends he made along the way. He loved to welcome Draft Horse Exhibitors to Toronto's Royal Winter Fair which he considered in many respects his "home show". He never missed an opportunity to promote enthusiastically the Six Horse Hitch series, and I believe participated in every final to which his horses qualified in spite of having to travel for days at a huge cost.
It speaks volumes to his character when his family and crew chose to take his hitch to his "final finals" in Oklahoma only weeks after those same horses brought his casket to its final resting place.
In every respect Ted English was a gentleman, and the kind of owner every horseman should be. For these, and many more reasons, he is an ideal inductee for the North American Six Horse Hitch Classic Series Hall of Fame.
Any past or present member (living or deceased) of the North American Six Horse Hitch Classic Series that a current member believes has made significant contributions to the organization. Considerations when nominating an individual should include:
- Leadership (board member, active participant)
- Development and advancement of the organization
- Strength in character (i.e., integrity, sportsmanship, reputation)
- Totality of the contributions to the organization as a winning owner, driver, assistant, and competitor