Ottawa, Ont., March 19, 2015 — Equine Canada (EC) extends sincere condolences to the friends and family of the late Bruce Brown, who passed away on March 17, 2015 at the age of 73 following a brief illness.
Brown, who resided in Ajax, Ont., was a true pioneer of the horse industry and one of the first inductees into the Ontario Equestrian Federation (OEF) Hall of Fame in 2008 for his outstanding contributions to the Ontario horse industry.
“Bruce’s vision, passion and leadership helped shape the equestrian industry in Ontario,” said EC president, Al Patterson. “He was a true horseman and will leave behind a lasting legacy. The horse community has lost a true champion. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.”
Brown was a driving force behind the creation of the Association of Riding Establishments in Ontario, now known as the OEF Horse Facility Council, and worked diligently toward creating a forum where the industry could share resources and help one another solve problems.
With his focus on the safety of equestrians and the welfare of horses, he was well respected among his peers and owned two prominent family-run equestrian facilities, Rouge Hill Stables in Scarborough, Ont., which he operated until 1985, and Audley Road Stable in Ajax, Ont., which he owned until he retired in 2008.
Giving back was a way of life for Brown, who spent countless hours over the past two decades volunteering with the OEF in many capacities, including as a long-standing board member and chair of numerous committees. He was also a key contributor to the creation of Ontario Bill 12, the Horse Riding Safety Act.
Even in retirement Brown continued to advocate for horse enthusiasts. In 2014, he joined with fellow recreational riding supporters, Jack de Wit and Bonnie Simpson, to form the Canadian Recreational Horse and Rider Association, which works with all levels of government to ensure the sustainability of trails on public and crown land for the enjoyment of all equestrians.
“Bruce was a wise, tireless and selfless volunteer to horse industry organizations in Ontario, and nationally,” said Dr. Mary Bell, co-chair of EC’s Health and Welfare Committee. “He had a strong influence on improving rider safety, quality of horse care, and prevention of onerous taxation of horse farms in Ontario. His efforts will continue to enhance this industry that he loved for years to come.”
Brown is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Sandra, his children Sara and Jenn, his three grandchildren Josh, Grace and Fiona, and his sisters Janet and Marie. A celebration of his life will be held at the Pickering Village United Church on Friday, March 20 at 11 a.m. Memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society are requested in lieu of flowers.