Island Figures To Be Honoured Saturday

Published: October 24, 2018 01:41 pm EDT

The Island Breeders Championships will take place this Saturday (Oct. 27) at Red Shores’ Charlottetown Driving Park and will feature the top two and three-year-old trotters and pacers in the Maritimes.

The entrants in the six championship races were among the top money earners in the preliminary Island Breeders series which was contested at the CDP and Summerside Raceway.

The breeders of the winning horses will receive a crystal globetrotter trophy provided by Norman Hall of Pedigree Matching in recognition of their breeding success.

Trophy cooler presentations will be made to the winning owners in memory of individuals that have made significant contributions as owners, trainers or volunteers in support of the PEI Colt Stakes, sponsor of the Island Breeders Series.

Island Breeders 2018 – Memorials

Two-Year-Old Trot

Bert J. Honkoop, of Montague, came to Prince Edward Island to grow tobacco and took up horse breeding on the side. It soon grew to be his passion and in 1982 he made the winner’s circle in the PEI Colt Stakes with two of his homebreds, BJ Andy and BJ Amigo, the latter which sold in the annual PEI Colt Stakes Select Sale and was purchased by Charlie Willis. In recent years, he switched his attention to the trotting breed, as he raced BJ Lorado and BJ Savanah to third-place finishes in this year's PEI Colt Stakes. Honkoop was active as a volunteer in Harness Racing PEI as a director and supported the PEI Colt Stakes as a member, breeder and racing participant for the past 40 years.

Three-Year-Old Trot

Ron Kennedy of Kensington was perhaps better known as the fire marshall for P.E.I., but he found time in his busy schedule to serve as president of the colt stakes from 1986 - 1988. He loved the trotters and had several stakes winners with trainer/driver Albert Bernard, including record setting Lucktows Flame and stakes record holder Island Kaptain. He also won with pacers Dandy Gal and Boston Fenway.

Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly

Wilma MacLure was perhaps best known as the hostess at the Top of the Park club in the Charlottetown Driving Park grandstand. One of her many responsibilities was to ensure that visiting owners of colt stakes participants were able to find a table. Her familiarity with these same owners carried over into her volunteer service with the colt stakes as sales clerk for the annual select yearling sale which she supported for almost 30 years before it was reorganized as the Atlantic Classic under new management. Wilma was an example of the importance of volunteer support to organizations within the harness racing industry.

Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly

Joe Smallwood, best remembered as ‘The Fox,’ had a remarkable and unique place in colt stakes history as a breeder, trainer, owner and driver based on his number of victories and related stakes records. At one time he held five separate records for age and gait. He had almost 50 wins primarily with his homebreds with the ‘JK’ moniker such as his Maritime champion JK Beauty in 1990. A grandson of JK Beauty, a yearling this year, is aptly named The Fox in his honour.

Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt

Lee Taylor farmed all his life in Nine Mile Creek on a typical mixed farming operation that supported his family of three sons and afforded him the "luxury" of breeding and raising Standardbreds. He was among the most successful breeders of his day and produced several stakes winners, including a Maritime champion filly in Radiant Star. Active also in the PEI Colt Stakes, he was president from 1991 - 1993. A quiet, unassuming gentleman with a quick wit, Taylor was also a better than average trainer/driver and was one of just a handful of Island breeders to drive one of his own in the Gold Cup and Saucer.

Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt

Charlie Willis is a legend in P.E.I. harness racing on many fronts as a builder and owner, a family tradition that was carried on by his three sons, Melvin, Glydon and Orville. Born in Kingston, P.E.I., he built racetracks in Covehead and Oleary in the 1940s; and with son Orville in the sulky they won several colt stakes events, notably with Maritime champion Dunmore Tweed. They patronized the annual select yearling sale and took home many of the sale toppers.

Family members and friends of the memorial honourees are invited to join in the winners circle presentations.

(PEI Colt Stakes)

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