Edmonton, Alberta, farrier Gale “Butch” Mathes passed away unexpectedly at his home Friday, May 12, 2017. He was 77.
After being raised on a ranch and spending summers with his father and brothers at Thoroughbred racetracks across Canada and the U.S., Mathes decided to become a farrier at an early age. His heart was set on California Polytechnic State University.
He continued the family tradition and became a successful farrier, trainer and owner. In the 1980s, he switched to standardbred racing.
Mathes enjoyed his retirement, returning to horse training with his brother Art in Delaware and Pennsylvania. In the offseason, they toured the world.
He returned to Alberta and enjoyed the quietness of Willingdon and spent time, quading, reloading shells for his rifles, and collecting knives and watches. He loved music and if he wasn’t listening, he could be heard pulling some “cool sounds” from his new hobbies: an electric guitar and harmonica, both recent gifts from friends.
He did not like funerals nor services and did not wish to burden his family and friends.