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SC Rewind: Kingston Awards Night '85

Published: January 16, 2021 11:37 am ET

Last Comment: January 21, 2021 10:54 am ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

In this week's Rewind, Robert Smith recalls a few of the details of an award's night banquet held 35 years ago in Kingston back in 1986. Gatherings such as this one have been held for many years to honour numerous individuals involved with racing at a certain track and usually associated with the local Turf Club. They weren't quite an equal to the modern day O'Brien Awards nights but they were still special. Additionally a few older pictures taken at the Kingston track are displayed and will serve as this week's "mystery" photos.

February 1986 - Kingston Park Honours Best of 1985

A large gathering of horsemen, Track officials and fans assembled recently to honour Kingston Park's top performers from the 1985 season. It was an evening of fun, good food and fellowship and a time to recognize those who put on the show at the local oval. Those individuals involved with making the trophy presentations were: Murray Gorham, Sec.- Treasurer; Fred Gibson, Pres.; Doug Graham, Sportswriter for the Kingston Whig Standard; Bruce Huntbach, Mark MacDonald, and Creighton Carr. I am sure there were many more who contributed to the success of the evening.

The 1985 season at Kingston Park was a good one both for fans and the horse people who put on the show. The track experienced the first ever $100,000 handle in its history. At this time the smaller tracks such as Kingston Park served a vital role in Canadian harness racing, in particular for the Province of Ontario. A number of accomplished horsepeople received their early lessons at this track and went on to successful careers further afield. A couple, namely Ted Huntbach and Kevin Sizer are among those featured in today's photographs as well as Mark Steacy, Daniel Murphy and countless more.

Among those honoured were the following shown by category:

Top Dash Winner - Ted Huntbach
Top Trainer - Ted Huntbach
Best Trotter - Kawartha Rhapsody, accepted by Louis Staley
Top Percentage Driver - Chris Storms
Horse of the Year - Classic Work, accepted by owners Dave Reid & Dave Sheppard
Groom of the Year - Mike "Cap" Adams
Most Popular Horse on the Grounds - Albin Hanover, accepted by trainer Kevin Sizer
Green Horse developed by a Local Trainer - Let Them Eat Cake, accepted by Ted Huntbach and Dick Trotter
Horseman of the Year - Sam Mullholland
Claimer of the Year - Baron Byng, accepted by Sam Mulholland

Shown below are a few pictures of presentations of awards that were made at the 1986 Kingston Awards Night for the 1985 season. All presentation photos courtesy of The Standardbred magazine.

Doug Graham presents Horse Of The Year trophy to Dave Reid and Dave Sheppard for the efforts of Classic Work


Murray Gorham (left) presents a trophy to Ted Huntbach for being Top Trainer as well as top dash winer during the 1985 season at Kingston


Creighton Carr (left) presents the trophy to Louis Staley for Kawartha Rhapsody recognized as track's finest trotter


Kingston's President Fred Gibson (left) presents Chris Storms with the top percentage driver award


Kevin Sizer (left) accepts the award given to Albin Hanover named Most Popular Horse at the Kingston oval. The presenter is Mark MacDonald


Sam Mulholland (on the right) was honoured as Kingston Park Raceway's Horseman of the Year as Doug Graham presented the trophy. Claimer of the Year honours earned by Baron Byng was also received by Sam.


Quote For The Week: "No rich man is ever ugly." Words from the oft-quoted Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Who Is It?

#1 - Can you identify this popular driver from yesteryear at Kingston?

#2 - Who is the driver shown above from Kingston October 1971?

#3 - Who is this long-time horseman in the sulky seat who won a lot of races at Kingston and many other tracks as well?

Can you identify the drivers in the three old photos shown above. All were taken at Kingston in the 1970's. If anyone wishes to add anything in the way of personal recollections from this once very popular track please do so.

Can you identify any of the drivers in the photo shown above taken at the finish of a race at Kingston? I do not have any names.

January 21, 2021 - 10:54 amThis week's pictures were as

This week's pictures were as follows:
# 1 - Driver of Prince Elmsley was Gary Filson for owner Ken O'Neil and trainer D. Rounding from Oct. 1975 
# 2 - Driver and owner of Prima Mindy was Syd Booth of  Marlbank (near Tweed) accompanied by his wife Helen. This gentleman was a small stable operator (one horse) and enjoyed a 5 win season that year with the 4-year-old mare in her first year at the races.
# 3 - Driver was John Murphy of Odessa and unfortunately I have no other information on others in the photo. 
My special thanks to Bob Clancey for his input and clarification. Also I checked with Al Caughey - local historian who verified the three drivers' identities. The picture of the finish of a race was somewhat inconclusive but brought out a number of possibilities. One suggestion was that the outside horse's driver (#6) may have been Ted Huntbach (notice the "H" on his sleeve). Thanks for your assistance and interest in the pictures.

January 20, 2021 - 1:59 pmI received these comments

Jeff Porchak SAID...

I received these comments from Bob Clancey:

Picture no. 1. Driver Gary Filson
Picture no. 2. Syd Booth and his wife Helen Booth and his horse Prima Mindy
Picture no. 3. Driver John Murphy
Bottom picture. No. 6 horse looks like Chance Hill and John Murphy driving. Horse in centre of track, driver could be Ben Wemp

January 16, 2021 - 3:18 pmTop photo Carman Hies main

Gord Brown SAID...

Top photo Carman Hies main man Gary Filson. Bottom photo John Murphy, Chris Storms and Earl Lake just a guess. Thanks Robert!

January 16, 2021 - 2:30 pmPicture number one the driver

Picture number one the driver is Gary Filson
Picture number two the driver could be Orville Sleeth
Picture number three the driver is definitely Johnny Murphy and the last picture the number six on the outside is Chance Hill with no check and John Murphy in the bike

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