Source: Tally-Ho Carriage Tours
Tally-Ho Carriage Tours, founded in 1903, is celebrating 115 years of service in the City of Victoria, on Vancouver Island, BC. The company’s big draught horses pulling burgundy and white carriages have become what Chamber of Commerce CEO Catherine Holt calls an “iconic tourism business in the city’s downtown core.” To mark this milestone, the company is honoring its former leader by launching the Larry Friedlander Memorial Scholarship, helping to assist young adults to deepen their communication and skills with their equine partners.
Tally-Ho was Victoria’s original people-mover, operating six-horse stagecoach transportation, and catering to special event groups such as “shooting parties” in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park. By mid-century, the company transitioned to two-horse wagons, becoming a sought-after attraction for tourists. Today, Tally-Ho offers private, personalized, single horse-drawn carriage tours that are a favourite attraction of visitors and residents. According to owner Donna Friedlander, “Our professional drivers give guests a uniquely fun, charming, and relaxing way to experience Victoria’s history and scenic beauty, while sharing the love we have for our horses.” Paul Nursey, CEO of Tourism Victoria, sees Tally-Ho as “important ambassadors in our community, with a knowledgeable and friendly staff who are often the first point of contact for tourists.”
Two years ago, Tally-Ho suffered the tragic loss of owner Larry Friedlander. “For 35 years, Larry defined the passion and character of our business. He also believed strongly in mentoring youth and especially loved seeing young kids connect with horses,” says Larry’s wife, Donna Friedlander. The new Larry Friedlander Memorial Scholarship program will award $1,000 annually to a young adult aged 12 to 17 who wishes to participate in clinics or non-post-secondary equine studies. Open now, applicants are invited to download the application form from the Tally-Ho website.
Since stepping into the leadership role, Donna Friedlander and her team have worked with world-renowned experts to transform Tally-Ho into a progressive company. “We’re setting new standards for ethics, care, and advancements in the carriage industry. We also offer great opportunities for young people to be part of our culture of dedication and support to each other and our horses.”
Tally-Ho is a family-owned business predominantly staffed by women, which is unique in the global carriage industry. Owners, staff, veterinarians, farriers, chiropractors, and masseuses deliver 24/7 care to the ever-changing needs of 20 horses. Local certified journeyman farrier Will Clinging affirms, “I have met very few horses that are as well-kept and as happy as the horses that work on the streets of Victoria!”
Tally-Ho uses only draught horses such as Clydesdales, Percherons, and Belgians. These horses are known for their calm temperaments and their great strength, able to pull six times their own weight. For their duties at Tally-Ho, they expend a mere 20 percent of their physical capacity, with plenty of downtime on the family acreage in Saanichton, BC, galloping and playing with their herd-mates.
After over a century of success, Tally-Ho’s iconic horses are known worldwide. Friedlander recognizes that a large part of their success is due to the people of Victoria. “We have overwhelming support from the communities we work in and it’s been so satisfying to see young and old connecting with our beautiful, majestic horses. They are the stars of the show. Yet, if we don’t continue to educate people on their important history and relevance in today’s world, they run the risk of becoming an endangered species.” In support of the company’s continued commitment to its horses and the community, an elementary school education program will launch this fall, giving children the opportunity to meet some of the Tally-Ho horses up close.
Learn more about Tally-Ho Carriage Tours and their downtown Victoria carriage services, horses, videos, and background information here: Tally-Ho Carriage Tours.
Learn more about the scholarship here: Larry Friedlander Memorial Scholarship.