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Horsing around on bucolic Mackinac Island
[Ontario Edition]
Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont.
Author: Marsh, Betsa
Date: Jun 3, 2000
Start Page: L.18
Section: TRAVEL
Abstract (Document Summary)

Two years later, a summer cottager, Earl C. Anthony, brought a car onto Mackinac. During a ride through the state park, he "frightened and hurt several horses and wrecked a number of carriages," according to a historical display at Fort Mackinac that includes a photo of Anthony and his alarming machine. The Mackinac Island State Park Commission acted quickly, too, banning cars in the park. Since the park comprises 82 per cent of the island, and the village already had its ban, only patches of private land were open to cars.

With 284 horses, is Mackinac Island Carriage Tours the largest livery in the world? "I don't know of any larger," says Bill Chambers, the island veterinarian who is also the CEO of the company. "There may be more horses in one herd, but these are working horses. We have scouts out 365 days a year. We look in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and southern Ontario, especially in the Amish communities. These are the people who are used to working with horses, and relying on them for transportation.

"Canadians love the horses," said Chambers, the fifth generation of his family to run a livery on Mackinac. "There are so many horse fairs in Canada - the families work with the horses on the farm and show horses at the fair. It's in their blood, and the work here is duck soup for most of them."

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