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Tally-Ho's culture is premised on the principles of inclusion, care and fun. We refer to ourselves as the "Tally-Ho family", which includes the owner, manager and all staff who share a common love of horses and commitment to ensuring our equine partners are healthy and happy every day. Like in any family, our team supports each other, learns from each other, and makes every day at work a great place to be!
Tally-Ho has three key goals that drive every decision we make:
- Safety - To ensure we operate in a safe, respectful manner that reduces the inherent risks of working with livestock.
- Horsemanship - To ensure the horses are healthy and happy in their work at all times.
- Customer Service - To provide a memorable horse-drawn carriage experience for all our clients.
The first carriage tour rolled out of the Tally-Ho stables now called the Tally-Ho Sports Bar, close to Mayfair Mall in Victoria over 100 years ago. And we continue the tradition today.
1903 – 1970’s
Tally-Ho’s legacy dates back to spring 1903 when Anton Henderson started the first horse-drawn transportation company in Victoria, BC.
As a transportation company, Tally-Ho was a business that provided services to locals. It’s amazing to look back on historical photos and see how many people would cram onto the stages.
An old timetable is displayed in the Olde Towne section at the Royal BC Museum. A stage from Mt. Tolmie to Victoria would have cost 15¢ back then. The bottom line on this poster reads “The above stage is the finest running out of Victoria… being well adapted for [among other things] shooting parties”!
In the late 1940’s, under the ownership of Gordon Argyle and Art Knapp, Tally-Ho switched from a transportation to tourism company, offering tours involving over two hours of travel.
Later in the 1940’s, the ownership of the company changed and Art Knapp welcomed John Olson as a new partner (you may recognize the Olson name as affiliated with the Strathcona Hotel). In 1964, John Olson hired his 14 year old nephew, Bruce Wright, to help with odd jobs. Bruce eventually became an owner in the company and operated it for many years. Today he remains actively involved as the “Gold Star Salesman”.
Eventually, technological improvements in horse-drawn vehicles meant the company no longer needed four to six horses to pull the wagons. Back then there were so many tourists and families travelling to Victoria that 13 of these wagons would operate each day (compared to today where we operate only 6 private carriages).
1980’s – Now
In 1982, Bruce hired a young boy of 15 years (just like his uncle had done with him), to feed and water the horses after school and on weekends. This young boy, Larry Friedlander, took on an ownership role in 1990.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Tally-Ho endured many changes including competition (more carriage companies started operating) and a fundamental shift in the business model as people started to prefer private tours, instead of group tours. In response, Tally-Ho made a gradual switch from double horse-drawn wagons, to single horse-drawn carriages.
After a few different partners in the business, Larry became sole owner in 2009. Larry brought a keen sense of horsemanship to the company, and an undying love for fun. In late 2015 Larry passed away suddenly, but will long be remembered by those who had the pleasure to meet him. Larry was a tough guy, with a heart of gold. He inspired all staff to love the Tally-Ho as much as he did; and his ‘special english’ will always be remembered by those who received it.
Tally-Ho continues to be owned and operated by Donna Friedlander, Larry’s wife of 23 years. Donna started in the Victoria carriage industry in 1992 as a carriage driver, and has been an integral part of Tally-Ho’s operations ever since. In addition to her love for horses, she is a Certified Professional Accountant with a keen interest in business management and process improvement. Together with her daughters, Brianna and Kennadie, the ‘Friedlander girls’ are passionate about the business and see the horses and as staff as part of their extended family.
Owners & Managers
The Friedlander family has owned and operated Tally-Ho Carriage Tours since 1990. Donna’s late husband, Larry, was the heart of the company for 32 years, and his passion for the horses, people and business extended to Donna and their daughters, Brianna (2001) and Kennadie (2004). Upon Larry’s death in 2015, Donna has become the next successor to lead this historical company.
Donna started in Victoria’s horse-drawn carriage industry in 1991 as a carriage driver, after many years of experience riding at local barns. She met her soul-mate and husband, Larry, through the carriages and together their love of the horses took them through many adventures over 23 years, starting with buying their first horse together, Archie. During those years Larry was the face of Tally-Ho, running the front-line operations and Donna, a Certified Professional Accountant, utilized her business, financial and strategic management skills to oversee the behind the scenes aspects of the business (accounting, marketing, general administration, etc.).
The Tally-Ho horses are beloved pets to Donna, Brianna and Kennadie, and live with them on Hidden Acres Farm: their health and well being are of the utmost importance to the family. With this common goal binding the entire staff together, everyone often refers to their Tally-Ho work colleagues as their extended family.
Donna has dedicated her life to raising her two beautiful daughters, caring for her horses and building a business where staff are happy to come to work each day. Donna’s leadership will continue to ensure that Tally-Ho Carriage Tours operates in the most ethical, progressive fashion while maintaining a sense of fun and a high standard of customer service.
Kate stared with Tally Ho Carriage Tours in 2006 and progressed to Manager based on her vast horsemanship experience across many disciplines. She is dedicated to operating a top-notch, ethical carriage company. Based on her extensive experience and research of other carriage companies she is confident that Tally Ho is on track to be one of the best horse-drawn operations in the world.
Kate grew up with Arabian and Saddlebred horses on her parents farm on Vancouver Island where she began riding lessons at six years old. Her deep passion for horses led her to pursue a career with horses, including chasing her dreams across provincial lines for opportunities to work under Quarterhorse and Arabian horse breeders and trainers; and working at farms all over Vancouver Island in varying disciplines, including dressage and hunter-jumper.
At Tally-Ho, Kate oversees the downtown Victoria operations and works tirelessly to ensure that the company’s key goals of safety, horsemanship and customer service are achieved. Steadfast in her decisions yet open-minded, caring and honest, Kate is an exceptional manager and embodies the family feeling of the company. In addition, and keeping true to her dedication to the horses, Kate relocated to the Tally Ho farm a number of years ago where, with the Friedlander family, she helps to oversee the health and welfare of the herd. She trains new horses and drivers; ensures each horse is physically and mentally fit prior to their work day; and has been instrumental in implementing Tally-Ho’s horse and driver development program.
On August 25, 2015, Larry Friedlander died suddenly at 47 years young in Victoria, BC. Larry was a man with a heart of gold who was witty, charming, and authentic; and his endless teasing and stories always resulted in laughter.
As a husband and best friend to Donna for 23 years, Larry created a marriage full of undying love, fun and romance. Larry was a great date! He also knew the exact balance of shoes and cheesecake required to offset his need for speed, motorized toys and knives.
As a devoted dad, Larry’s daughters Brianna and Kennadie meant the world to him and he made sure he was at every event in their lives, however trivial or grand, to support them and cheer them on (sometimes to their great embarrassment). He set the bar high for future dates for the girls as they are left knowing what it looks like to have a partner who treats you with respect and kindness every day while generating a sense of playful excitement in loved-ones lives.
Larry made his passion for animals his life’s work, and is known to many after 32 years with Tally-Ho Carriage Tours. He started at Tally-Ho at only 15 years old, doing odd jobs and helping out wherever he could. Throughout his teenage years he learned all aspects of the company, and also attained certification as a blacksmith/farrier. In 1990 Larry became a partner (owner-operator), along with Bruce Wright who continues to work for Tally-Ho today. Throughout the 1990s the ownership of the company would change four times; with Larry remaining the constant thread. In 2009 Larry and Donna achieved their long-time goal to own Tally-Ho outright.
As the chief-in-charge of Tally-Ho Larry brought infinite wisdom about the horses and developed trust-based, rewarding partnerships with each of them. He was always supportive of the team in both their professional and personal lives; and was a straight-shooting leader who will long be remembered by all staff. Larry treated the Tally-Ho team as an extension of his family, which fostered a close-knit group that remains dedicated to their work, the horses, and each other.
Larry created a world in which he and his family lived their lives the way they wanted to – they did the important things and always made time for the fun things. In his honor, we encourage everyone to live your life to the fullest and let those that you cherish know it, each and every day!
Along with the horses, Tally-Ho’s carriage drivers make the company what it is. All the drivers have a natural affinity for horses, but we hire only those people who we feel will be able to fulfill our corporate philosophy of customer satisfaction and who will radiate hospitality and fun. Our drivers are professional, courteous and friendly and possess a wealth of knowledge on the city of Victoria.
Tess’ favorite horse Thor wasn’t love at first sight, but they’ve quickly developed a partnership and understanding that makes working together a dream. Tess started with Tally-Ho in April of 2015 and almost immediately knew she would be a life-long carriage driver. Tess’ personal horse is a Canadian named Justin who dabbles in all sorts of things and puts up with lots of love. Tess has a degree in Canadian History, so see if you can test her knowledge!
Terry joined Tally Ho as a ticket seller in May of 2014. Terry’s favorite part of Tally-Ho is that it feels like a family, with both the horses and humans. Her favorite horses are Sarge and Archie but she says she loves them all!
Sean has spent nearly 20 years working with the carriages in downtown Victoria, and now works as a ticket seller. Sean has two horses at home, one of which is a 20 year old gelding named Cruz he rescued from the feedlots in Washington State in 2015. Sean’s favorite thing about Tally-Ho is the friendships and family atmosphere. Even though he has lived in Victoria for 40 years, Sean is still a die-hard Edmonton Oilers fan!
Nicole is another multi-lingual member of the Tally-Ho team: she can give fluent tours in German! Nicole’s first horse love was her riding horse, Jake, who is a retired thoroughbred racing horse. Her favorite driving horse at Tally-Ho is Jerry and says that working at Tally-Ho always feels life home. In fact, Nicole comes to work every weekend by ferry from the lower mainland to spend time with her horsey and human co-workers.
Mike has worn many hats since he joined the Tally Ho team in May 2009 and this year he will return again as a part-time ticket seller. Mike says he’s always been more of a caretaker of horses than a rider, especially after his horse Rascal lived up to his name, but he loves to spend time with the horses who he considers old friends. Mike’s favorite horse is Bud because of his eagerness and his tough work ethic. Mike’s secret talent is speaking Japanese!
Kaira’s undying love for Jerry, her favorite Tally-Ho horse, is evident as soon as you witness them working together. About Jerry, Karia says he is the “tallest, goofiest, and to me, most darling animal I have ever had the honour of working with”. Karia has been a valuable member of Tally-Ho since March 2014 and her kind nature with the horses and ability to connect with people leaves a lasting impression: Kaira is still in contact with some of the people who have had a chance to take a carriage ride with her!
Fran has been driving horses downtown since the early 1990’s and we are so thankful she will be joining us for another great season. Fran has one horse of her own, a miniature black stallion named Bunky who is 35 years old. You can catch Fran at the Saanich Fair sometimes driving the draft horses. Fran’s favorite thing about Tally Ho is the family atmosphere and says her favorite horse is Archie, but she loves them all!
Christine started driving carriages in 2008 and we welcomed her to the Tally Ho team in 2015. Not only is Christine a driver, but she is also a certified Equine Sports Therapist and says she is “very proud to work with all of the Tally-Ho horses throughout the season to ensure their optimal health and well-being, body, mind, and spirit together”. Christine’s own horses Wes (pictured R) and Tony (pictured L) can be driven single or in a team and are known to pull various types of vehicles and equipment both on her farm and in the fall fairs in Saanich and Duncan.
Catherine started working at Tally-Ho in the spring of 2015 and says her favourite part of the job is that while at work she is simultaneously fulfilling her passion, sharing stories and information to people from around the world, and working with horses. Before Catherine could walk, she was on a horse’s back and since then she has constantly been surrounded with all types horses. She has trained and competed horses in all disciplines. Catherine is currently studying at the University of Victoria for her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, which she hopes will put her on the path to veterinary school in the future!
Bruce has been with Tally-Ho since 1964, and was an owner for almost 30 years. Bruce has held many roles over the years and we are excited to welcome Bruce back every season as our key ticket salesman – he tells the best stories and customers love his tales of travel! Bruce is a cornerstone of the Tally Ho team and all the staff members love seeing his smiling face every weekday morning. Take the time to meet him while visiting Victoria… you are guaranteed to have a great time!
Brittany quickly made a name for herself as a gold-star ticket seller after she came on board in 2015. Brittany’s ability to stay organized and helpful on some of the busiest nights while still ensuring excellent customer service has made her an invaluable member of the Tally Ho team. Her favorite horse is Sarge and her favorite thing about Tally Ho is being able to direct visitors to the best aspects of the city.
Amy’s love for draft horses started 15 years ago when she bought a two year old Clydesdale X named Katie Thunderhooves. Amy’s horse Katie looks much like Sarge, who she has a huge soft spot for. Amy joined the Tally Ho team in 2015 and says her favorite thing about the job is the camaraderie between the drivers and the horses that develops.
Alex’s love of horses grew through eventing and a long friendship with her naughty Arab-cross mare, Rosie, before starting with Tally-Ho in 2014. Her favourite thing about Tally-Ho is having workmates (of both species) who feel more like family than colleagues. She spent the winter of 2015 driving carriages in Melbourne, Australia and is excited to apply her newfound knowledge in Victoria. She is pictured here with Tommy in Summer 2015.
Abby loves meeting people from all over the world while working with Sarge, her favorite Tally-Ho horse. Abby’s background is in show jumping and she competes all over Vancouver Island with her horse, Stella, who is a Oldenburg/Canadian warmblood mare that Abby leases. Abby started with Tally Ho in 2015 and her secret talent is playing the banjo.
Join our Team
The best staff on the planet work here! Unfortunately we are not currently hiring, however, we always accept resumés. If you would like to submit your please email it to us.