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Meet
Anne Wakefield Leck

owner-operator of
Sheepy Hollow at Native Oaks Farm


There was little choice. Anne was born into a horse family. She was about two years old when her parents gave her a pony, named Starlight. It was a black and white pinto. By the age of ten, Anne was "riding to the hounds" and shortly thereafter she was going over fences. Before she was fifteen, she earned her colors from the Long Lake Hounds and she had ridden hunters at ever major horse show in North America.

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This biographical information is provided for horseshow managers who will need information about Anne when she is scheduled to judge at one of their shows. A printer-friendly version of this biography is provided for them.


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Anne Wakefield Leck is the whip, driving her park coach (Brewster, 1882) to a four of Hackney Horses!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bio continued

ANNE'S BIOGRAPHY CONTINUED

[Last updated: 27 September 2012]

The biographical data printed here is for the convenience of horseshow
 managers at those shows where Anne is judging or being considered for
a position as a judge. Our permission is granted to those shows where
Anne is judging to use this material or parts of it in appropriate horse
show programs or promotions.

[click here for printable version]

 

A Short Biography
of Anne Wakefield-Leck 
[last updated 27 September 2012]                                                                                
©2012

 

There was little choice! Anne Wakefield was born into a horse family. She was about two years old when her parents gave her a pony. It was a black and white pinto named Starlight. By the age of ten she was "riding to the hounds" on this pony. Shortly after, she was going over fences. Before she was fifteen she earned her colors from the Long Lake Hounds. Also, by that age, she had ridden hunters at every major horse show in North America, piling up trophies from every corner of the country.

Anne (1995) sitting on the box of her Park Drag
with whip and ribbons in hand

 

It was at those horse shows (Madison Square Garden, Devon and Toronto) that Anne would see the huge Park Coaches driven to four-in-hands. She was particularly fascinated by the high steppers. Standing by the rail, watching the driving classes, a glimmering of an idea began. By 1980, Anne owned her own Park Coach(manufactured in 1882 by the famous Brewster & Company), a set of Freedman four-in-hand harness, and a four of chestnut Hackney Horses. Within two months of purchasing her four, teaching herself to drive by examining how-to-do-it manuals, she drove her four and coach at the prestigious Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. It was a Cinderella dream come true. Shortly after, she flew to England to study under the world's most renown woman whip, Cynthia Haydon.

Though now retired from active driving, Anne has, in the past, driven at all the continent's major driving shows and pleasure driving marathons. The former breeding operation at her farm has helped to repopulate the once dwindling number of Hackney Horses. She also developed a bay cross-bred driving horse that she and her husband drove as often as they did their Hackneys. Anne had become recognized as one of the nation's most accomplished whips and a leading authority on driving-safety and harnessing. She has led dozens of seminars and clinics on the subjects. In place of competitive driving, Anne has become far more active judging at pleasure shows from one end of the country to the other. In addition, she is now certified by the American Driving Society as a pleasure driving judge and coaching judge. She has judged pleasure driving classes at the most prestigious shows in America -- Walnut Hill, Devon, and the National Horse Show.

Anne served for over four years as a Director of the American Driving Society and spent three years on its Executive Committee. She also spent eight years as a Director of the Carriage Association of America and continues now as an Honorary Director.  She was on the Advisory Committee to the Carriage Collection at the Museums at Stony Brook, now known as the The Long Island Museum,on Long Island, NY. She was a member of the Advisory Committee of the 1993 World Pairs Driving Championships that were held in Gladstone, New Jersey. She is a former Director of the Minnesota Whips and Wheels, a local driving organization. She is a former President of the World Coaching Club, an organization she helped found in 1982. And finally, Anne is a former member of The Board of Governors of the United States Pony Clubs.

Her children are grown now and living in their own homes while Anne and her husband live in a home on her farm, about 25 miles west of Minneapolis. In the wider community she's well known for her contributions to charitable and civic organizations. She has served on the boards of several community charitable and cultural institutions. Off the farm, her favorite activities are enjoying the wonderfulTyrone Guthrie Theatre, in Minneapolis, and the concerts of the Minnesota Orchestra. She also thinks that her church, Plymouth Church, is one of the finest organizations ever set upon Earth. She also remains very loyal to the Ethel Walker School and carries wonderful memories with her about her time there. It might not be difficult to guess that this boarding school has a wonderful horse program and it is why Anne and her family chose it for Anne's high school years.

Her family was still deeply involved in horses. Her late father, Lyman Wakefield, rode nearly every day and rode to the hounds at most every meet through his 85th year. Anne's younger sister, Louise still competes in open jumping and hunt shows around the country and in Europe. Anne's husband, Charles, before retiring from the sport, also drove four and is a former member of the Coaching Club of New York City.

Anne was raised in Minnesota as a child  She lived for a very short time in California and in Sweden as a young mother, but found her way back to the state she loves so dearly. Here, at Sheepy Hollow, she supervises the management of a flock of over 150 sheep and lambs. This program produces large amounts of both wool and meat.In addition to graduating from The Ethel Walker School, in Simsbury Connecticut, she studied chemistry both at the University of Minnesota and at Stanford University. Anne also holds an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences from the College of Saint Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota.  She is a licensed Physical Therapy Assistant who specializes in geriatric physical therapy.

Summary Résumé
Pleasure Driving Judge and Coaching Judge

  • Certified by the American Driving Society as a Pleasure Driving Judge and Coaching Judge

  • Past Director of the American Driving Society

  • Former Member of the Executive Committee of the American Driving Society

  • Past Director of the Carriage Association of America

  • Former Honorary Director of the Carriage Association of America

  • Former President and a founder of the World Coaching Club

  • Former Director of the United States Pony Club

  • Member of the American Tandem Society

  • Member of the American Horse Shows Association

  • Judged at many pleasure driving competitions, including:
          The National Horse Show
          The Devon Horse Show
          Walnut Hill Farm Driving Competition
          Los Angeles State Fair
          The Canadian Carriage Classic
          Michigan State Fair Horse Show
          Minnesota Morgan Horse Show

  • Competed at many driving shows, including:
          The National Horse Show
          The Devon Horse Show
          Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Horse Show (Toronto)
          Walnut Hill Farm Driving Competition
          The Canadian Carriage Classic
          Villa Louis Carriage Driving Competition
          The Barrington (IL) Horse Show

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