Memory Of "Larger Than Life" Horse Owner Remains Alive

Harness racing at Clinton Raceway

Many years after Vic Hayter died, his son, Greg, said this Sunday’s eighth edition of the $16,000 Vic Hayter Memorial Invitational Trot at Clinton Raceway is about giving back and keeping the “larger than life” hotel and horse owner alive in the minds of family and friends.

Vic Hayter Memorial Trophy

“I'm committed to it because, in my heart, I don't want to let his memory die,” said Greg Hayter this week. “He was a larger-than-life type of guy. Everybody knew him. I get that as time passes and older people die off, the people that knew him and knew what he was about become fewer and fewer, but in my own little way I want to honour his memory and [going to the races at Clinton] was something that he loved. You can easily have a golf tournament, you can easily have a poker game or something in his name, but that wasn’t him. That wasn't what he was about.”

Vic Hayter owned many hotels but is perhaps best known for operating The Arden Park Hotel and Festival Inn in Stratford, Ont. (now the Best Western Plus The Arden Park Hotel). He died of cancer in February of 2016. He was 77. Managing his hotel business took up most of his waking hours, but Hayter always made time for Clinton Raceway. He owned Standardbreds for 38 years.

Clinton Raceway general manager Ian Fleming said the Hayter family not only puts on the Vic Hayter Memorial, they will also feed all the horsepeople in the Clinton backstretch on Sunday and they donated to add 10 per cent to the purses of the nine other races on the card.

“Hayter Day really is a day that horsepeople look forward to,” said Fleming. “It’s all about the horsepeople.”

“It’s our way of showing gratitude to everybody,” added Hayter.

A silent auction and 50/50 raffle will benefit the Stratford Perth Humane Society.

“Vic was passionate about looking after animals and looking after people,” said Fleming.

The Vic Hayter Memorial is the final race on Sunday afternoon’s card, which has a 1:30 p.m. first-race post time. Esquire is the 2-1 morning line favourite in the field of eight from post two with Tyler Borth catch-driving the 10-year-old trotter for trainer Mark Goddard and owner Brandon Guerra. The complete field is listed below in post position order.

$16,000 Vic Hayter Memorial Invitational Trot
Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Morning Line Odds
1. Arcanum - Paul MacKenzie - Kristina Anderson - 5-2
2. Esquire - Tyler Borth - Mark Goddard - 2-1
3. Sicario - Daryl Thiessen - Richard Moreau - 3-1
4. Sizzlen Hot Herbie - Dan Clements - Natasha Day - 9-2
5. Heavy Dude E - Ryan Desroche - Natalie Elliott - 6-1
6. Coming Fashion - Anthony Haughan - Pam Forgie - 5-1
7. Cool Clifford - Travis Henry - Gabriella Sasso - 7-2
8. Eyes Of Justice - Mike Horner - Jason Sherman - 10-1

The card will also feature a classic car cruise. The first 50 cars to register at 11:30 a.m. at the grandstand that morning will receive a complimentary $5 wager and live race program. All entrants will be given a ballot to win a Clinton Raceway/Sleeman prize pack valued at $100.

A Pineridge beef on a bun dinner for $20 will be available from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

To view Sunday's complete harness racing entries, click the following link: Sunday Entries - Clinton Raceway.

(With files from Clinton Raceway)