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Canada loses driving stalwart Gerry McCallum

Gerry McCallum

Gerry McCallum. © Jeff Kohler

Canadian driving stalwart Gerald T. McCallum has died peacefully at his home at the age of 77. 

McCallum, of Loretto, Ontario, died on January 11. He was a pillar in the driving community and enjoyed a long and successful career in the equestrian world. McCallum’s accomplishments over the years include competitor, organizer, official, volunteer, horseman, coach, judge and rider.

In 1977, McCallum became a part of the Central Ontario Pleasure Driving Association. His accolades included president, competitor, clinician and general all over supporter. McCallum was known to always offer his help, guidance and time.

McCallum was also an invaluable asset to the equestrian sport as Director of the Canadian Equestrian Federation (now known as Equine Canada), Senior Pleasure Driving Judge, Senior Coaching Judge and Pleasure Driving Technical Delegate Recorded ‘r’ for the American Driving Society, Equine Canada and United States Equestrian Federation.

His successful career included many accolades and championship titles. McCallum was the first recipient of the Freedom Sportsmanship Award at the Canadian Carriage Driving Classic (CCDC) voted on by competitors. He was also the 1987 Amateur Champion, 1998 Runabout Champion, 1987, 1993 and 2001 Pair Champion at CCDC and Walnut Hill, and North American Champion Four-In-Hand.

McCallum went on to become one of the finest carriage drivers, trainers, and greatest supporter of the North American driving community. With his insistence on correct behaviour from the horses/ponies under his tutelage, the very best possible turn-out in every detail, proper driver position and dress on the box seat, many champions came onto the driving scene.

McCallum was a true ambassador in the preservation of the traditions of carriage driving; he passed on his knowledge, skills and fine points of driving turnouts and horsemanship, to all.

Many drivers, benefited from McCallum’s knowledge and the depth of his experience and he helped grow the sport in Ontario. He knew his horses, he knew his turnout and he knew the rules of the sport.

Donations in McCallum’s memory can be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association or the Canadian Cancer Society.

He is survived by his companion, Nicky Gluck, children Cathy, Dan, Darlene, Kim, Lee Ann, and Jim; his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by his wife, Gloria.

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