Oct 22, 2009 - 10:00 PM

Jayne Fleming, a lifelong horsewoman, died on Aug. 31. She was 80.

Mrs. Fleming’s passion for horses began at a young age; she was 6 when she fell in love with the Welsh ponies she saw at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, Ont. Shortly thereafter, her mother gave her a choice of one of three sports: riding, golf or tennis. It was an easy decision for her to choose horses. She began riding with Horace Cunningham at a stable in Ottawa, Ont., breaking horses shipped in from the West.

Mrs. Fleming showed hunters, jumpers, driving horses and horses on the line. She also bred and raced Thoroughbreds with her husband Donald, designing the silks for their Windfall Farm. One of their horses still holds a track record at Greenwood Racetrack in Toronto.

The show horses she bred competed and won ribbons at Devon (Pa.), the Royal Winter Fair and Upperville (Va.), among others. In the 1960s, her homebred Bill Bailey won all five of his jumper classes at the Buffalo International Horse Show (N.Y.) with Gordie Curton aboard. Other successful horses included Bit O Honey, Parson’s Pond, Chili Pepper, Beaverwood’s Echo and Icy Pause (ridden by Rodney Jenkins).

She helped found the Ottawa Valley Hunt Pony Club, introducing polocrosse to the area. In 2007 and ’08, she assisted with mapping 25- and 50-mile endurance rides near her farm in Merrickville, Ont. Mrs. Fleming had her last ride on Mother’s Day in 2008 before she suffered a series of strokes.

She is survived by her husband; daughter Susan Wilson; and sons Hal and Robbie.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lanark Animal Welfare Society, P.O. Box 156, Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada K7A 4T1. 

Category: Lifestyles

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