Long before the tractors and other farm machinery were invented the only source of power for the tiller of the soil was sheer muscular power. Men, women and children all worked from dawn till dusk in the fields, the barns or sheds. First to help lighten the work load was a yoke of oxen, then a team of horses. Steam power created great change too. Everyday farmers liked horses because they were intelligent and adaptable to change. Most farmers didn’t own pure bred registered stock but rather had rag tag teams of draught horses or mules. Sometime they even put the buggy horse to work in the field as well. These are the heads of a team that work hard day in and day out. Love them for their strong bodies and big hearts. Hope you will too. - Jenny 16 X 20” original oil on Masonite circa late 1970’s or early 1980’s. – NO PRINTS
Hector McNeil - 1984 IPM
Dave and I went to see Mom and Dad at the ploughing match. The air was crisp, you could hear the squeak of the leather and the clink of the harness chains and the quiet snuffle of the horse with a “Gee” and a “Haw” cried forth now and again. Sometimes you could hear a ploughman holler,”Bess get over there!” I loved those sounds! The eyes had a feast as well. There were colourful tents to house the various displays, many with corporate flags snapping in the breeze, while country folk and city alike took in the demonstrations of agricultural prowess. Farmers view big hulking equipment with bigger price tags while sales reps try to pry more bank dollars from him, while his spouse eyes the exhibits of handiwork and culinary arts. The nose, every once in a while, receives some slightly malodorous whiff that is followed swiftly by tantalizing odours from the food booths . . . . the candy concessions . . the popcorn machines. . .there’s something for everyone. Hector McNeil, a well-known auctioneer, ploughed with a team of Belgian horses. Rags hanging from the bits, flap in the breeze to keep away the pesky flies. I love the pageantry of the whole event. I have attended ploughing matches since I was a child in the 1950’s. Time flies when you are having fun and we were that day! TA! TA! For now! - Jenny
Hepburn's Horses - 1940 IPM
n 1940 Mitch Hepburn was Premier of Ontario. The war was on but the International Plowing Match was still held. It was important to boost morale, but primarily to show people the most efficient and productive methods of producing food for the home front and overseas. The Royal Canadian Air Force used the buildings of the newly constructed Ontario Hospital in St. Thomas for a Technical Training Centre. This was the site of the first International Plowing Match in Elgin County. Premier Hepburn’s horses led the opening parade. Bill Tapsell, Hepburn’s foreman was the driver. Bill’s brother Dell drove for Budweiser. The horses were featured on the 1940 program for the International Plowing Match and all the horses were recent champions at the World Competition in Chicago. Jenny appreciated all the time and technical advice she received from Bill Tapsell, Ken Smith of the London Free Press, the helpful staff at the Military Museum and Johanns Graphics. Original was bought by Paul Hepburn. Jenny’s original painting was 3’x6’ on ¼” oil on gesso ground Masonite.