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Brown Bros. Discuss Their Mentor

Published: May 21, 2017 10:45 am ET

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Doug and Gord Brown will be fierce combatants on the racetrack for tonight's Brown vs. Brown Driver Feature Night at Rideau Carleton Raceway but one thing they can agree on is the importance of the lessons learned from their father, horseman Stan Brown.

The careers of champion Standardbred harness drivers Doug Brown and Gord Brown will be celebrated at Rideau Carleton on Sunday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. The recently-retired Gord will square off against his older brother and Hall Of Famer, Doug in an eight-race head-to-head driver challenge as part of the Sunday evening program of harness racing.

Both Browns owe much of their success to those early lessons instilled by their father, who worked full-time and managed his modest stable of horses on the side.

"He was a very good horseman," noted Stan's son and Hall of Famer Doug Brown "Back in his day he was very underrated...he never raced a whole lot on the OJC but he always had some really nice horses and he put a lot of work into them and probably didn't get the credit he deserved."

"He taught me pretty much everything I know about horses, that’s for sure. And how to look after a horse good," said Gord. "He always taught me how to feed a horse and look after one properly. You’d never, ever see a skinny horse in his barn. He took a lot of pride in the way his horses looked."

Gord took that lesson to heart and made sure to do his best to always portray a clean and professional image with his horses.

"You know, one thing I never thought and actually my wife told me and I never really thought about it: she said you look at a dirty person and the horse is dirty. I’ve never thought of that before. When the groom’s dressed up nice, the horse always looks good too. I never really noticed that before, but that’s so true. People can do a lot better."

Stan Brown worked full-time for Millwork & Building Supplies in Oshawa, so that work with the horses would take place before or after work. For the boys, that meant before or after school.

"I'd prefer after because that was a pretty early day back then!" said Doug with a laugh. "But it was good, we did them together for a long time. That's where I learned most of my horsemanship.

"As far as hanging one up and the training aspect, everything about it -- and kept a full-time job on the side to boot -- so he did very well at the racing side of it," Doug continued. "He was also the President of the Oshawa Harness Horse Club, and he was in charge of racing at Orono...so he was really quite involved in it."

"I started there pretty much when I was in diapers, I started working with the horses and we always, always had a lot of horses. I mean, we'd break I don’t know how many babies a year," recalled Gord. "He was just a good teacher, very good with the colts...it was a lot of fun and it was a great learning experience."

That learning experience served both sons well after leaving the homebase to pursue professional careers, providing the sage wisdom to maintain a level head and perspective in the face of success.

"As far as a mentor for me, he was great. I mean, he kept my head at the proper size," stated Doug. "it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. Even when I'd win races he'd always kind of pick little things out that I did wrong, and it was a way to keep me on the straight and narrow. He was a very good mentor, for sure."

"He always taught me too, not to power-drive a horse. You know, don’t treat a horse like it's their last race," said Gord, who will drive in nine of the 11 races on Sunday night and face his last race before sliding back into retirement.

Gord, 55, and Doug, 60, will sign autographed personalized hats and will be available for photo opportunities with racing fans before the 10-race program begins at Rideau on Sunday, May 21.

Fan contests will occur throughout the head-to-head races, starting in Race 3 and concluding in Race 10. Coupons found in the race program can be filled out and placed in boxes labelled Doug or Gord on-track. Hosts will select two contestants per race; the best finish between Gord and Doug receives a $50 betting voucher the lesser finisher receives a $25 betting voucher. If either Brown wins, the winning fan receives the betting voucher, a picture in the winner's circle and a signed whip.

The final race of the contest, Race 10 has been named in memory of Stan Brown and will feature a blanket presentation.

To view entries for Sunday's card, click one of the following links:

Sunday Entries - Rideau Carleton Raceway

Sunday Program Pages - Rideau Carleton RAceway


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