Saddlin’ Seminoles to reunite Oct. 5

Saddlin’ Seminoles

Wewahitchka became known around the Southeast due to the travels of the Saddlin’ Seminoles. In front left is Dr. Harold Canning.

Courtesy of Nellie Wade
Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 08:51 AM.

As a child, the late Dr. Harold Canning wanted a horse badly.

His family could not afford one.

In the sleepy town of Wewahitchka during the 1950s and ‘60s, the children of his new hometown would help fill that childhood void.

Canning passed away 43 years ago, having arrived in Wewahitchka in 1949 after meeting the late David Carl Gaskin and a delegation from Wewahitchka in Jacksonville on a search for a town physician.

He and his wife fell in love with the small town after entering past the West Arm Creek and the “Sign of the Shiner” promoting a longtime local eatery, according to a story recounted years ago by Judge David Taunton.

Until his death from throat cancer in 1970, Canning established a legacy of outreach to the children of the town, founding, among other organizations, a local boxing club.

But Canning’s most enduring legacies may have been the Saddlin’ Seminoles, a traveling horse club comprised of local kids that would perform all over Florida and the Southeast and bring discipline and hard work to a generation of young folks.

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