Myopia Driving Club Photo Gallery

Windsor '79
Deirdre on the box, Jimmy Fairclough staining with the wheelers, Marc Johnson with the leaders.

Remembering Deirdre H Pirie

Last week, the club lost a founding member.  Deirdre Pirie passed away, after struggling for many years with progressive lung disease.

A resident of Hamilton for over fifty years, Deirdre was a Welsh Pony breeder, International Four-in-Hand driver, racehorse trainer, endurance rider, gardener, gourmet cook and author.  Her efforts in Combined Driving, having competed at six consecutive Four-in-Hand Word Championships, helped shape the sport as we know it today. As a pioneer in a new sport, Deirdre's craftiness and innovation added to the modernization of harness and carriages used in competition.

Deridre was a hands on person.  If she couldn't do it, she didn't like asking someone else to do the job.  On the farm, she would mow fields, plant gardens, blow snow, gallop racehorses, repair broken tack and blankets. When her carriages broke, over and over in competition, she enrolled herself and members of her staff in welding lessons, so she would know a good weld from bad and prevent delays in training her horses.  In her competitive years, she always accompanied her horses on every trans Atlantic flight.

At home, Deirdre was an extraordinary cook.  With a real passion for deserts, the Pirie's hosted a one of a kind  black tie Christmas party, serving only deserts and champagne.  During her final World Championship preparation, she wrote her cookbook "Entertaining Deserts".  Deridre was fantastic at just throwing something together from memory.

Also interested in art, there was always something to make or redecorate. Her homes were always customized with special effects and details, as you would find in an art museum, challenging contractors beyond imagination.  One of her favorite times of year was Christmas, requiring an exquisite fourteen foot tall Christmas Tree, perfectly decorated to the standards of her mother's annual tree given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Our condolences go out to her family and the many friends her life impacted through the years. A memorial will be planned for later this year.


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