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Karl Slezak

Karl Slezak’s father, a policeman in one of Toronto’s high-crime neighbourhoods, wisely figured the best way to keep his children out of trouble as they grew up was to get them involved in activities. When the family moved from the city to rural Tottenham when Karl was seven, his parents suggested riding lessons and he and his cousins went to summer camp at Park Lane Ranch. By the time he was 12, Slezak was guiding trail rides and working part-time at the ranch. The children of the ranch’s owners trained with eventer Garry Roque and Slezak ended up tagging along. At 15, he discovered eventing and become hooked. About the same time, he got his first horse – an off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding that “was all over the place like a drunken soldier.” The horse’s show name became He’s a Little Tipsy. “He was spooky and had a lot of stops…

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