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Henriksen Says 'Bye' To Canada

Published: November 15, 2019 5:15 pm ET

Last Comment: November 18, 2019 2:04 pm ET | 5 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

After winning many of North American harness racing's biggest races, longtime horseman Per Henriksen will be moving back to Europe in a few weeks.

The 73-year-old Henriksen and his wife Ann-Karin Larsen will be shifting their base of operations to Sweden in December. The duo has purchased a farm outside Uddevalla, about 50 minutes north of Gothenburg and an hour south of the Norwegian border.

Henriksen told Trot Insider that he and Larsen are moving so that they can be closer to Ann's elderly parents. "She wants to be close enough to jump in the car and get there when she needs to," said Henriksen, noting that Larsen's parents will be about five hours away by car.

The duo will continue to be involved with horses in Sweden. While Henriksen isn't taking any stock of his own, "Ann is taking two two-year-olds and four-year-old mare ASA Ready To Glide, and she's got two broodmares that are over there already."

Henriksen will be busy when he arrives in Sweden, however, as he placed a few ads in Swedish and Norwegian publications and has about a dozen horses waiting for his expertise.

In 1980, Henriksen made the move to North America after training stables in both his native Norway as well as Sweden. His first job stateside was with Hall of Fame trainer Howard Beissinger. Henriksen would branch out on his own and captured harness racing's holy grail in 1986 with Hambletonian winner Nuclear Kosmos.

Per Henriksen (L) with the connections of 1986 Hambletonian winner Nuclear Kosmos

After 25 years based in the U.S., Henriksen moved to Canada and continued to produce stakes-winning talent. Over the last four decades he's won countless stakes events in Canada and the U.S., including three Breeders Crowns: Expressway Hanover (1993), Oolong (1999) and Southwind Serena (2007). Southwind Serena has gone on to star broodmare status, producing Mission Brief and full-brother Tactical Landing.

Other notable performers from the Henriksen operation include Bee In Charge, Muscle Hustle, Please Poppy, Noifsaboutit, I Wont Dance, Tabor Lobell, 2008 O'Brien Award winner Clerk Magistrate and 2018 O'Brien Award winner Illusioneesta.

Per Henriksen (second from L) with 2016 Simcoe Stakes winner Bee In Charge

Henriksen himself was awarded the O'Brien Award of Horsemanship in 2009, a year in which his stable topped $1.6 million in earnings while he banked $681,902 in just 207 driving appearances.

On the driving side, Henriksen sports 1,356 wins and more than $16.7 million in career purses earnings.

Though 15 years is just a fraction of time, it's clear that Canada and Canadian harness racing has left a positive and lasting impression on Henriksen.

"We race for good money, at least at Mohawk...Of course I will miss the people, I've been hanging out in the drivers' room at Woodbine and Mohawk for the past 15 years. You make a lot of friends," said Henriksen from his base in Norwood, Ont. "Yesterday I packed up all my stuff...of course I'm going to miss these guys and the owners and the support around me. I would never have moved if it wasn't for Ann.

"I might have sold the farm and moved to a training centre closer to Mohawk even if I was going to stay here but it is the way it is."

For Henriksen, training horses is a way of life and that makes moving to another centre with a stable at the ready that much easier.

"My life is the horses; as long as they race good and the people around me are happy that's what counts for me."

November 18, 2019 - 2:04 pmBest wishes to Per and

Anne Stepien SAID...

Best wishes to Per and Ann...may you have a safe trip. First met Per when we worked for Beissinger. Was always impressed by Per's work ethic; work all morning on Beissinger's stock, thn work on his own (Torrid Crown).

November 16, 2019 - 11:22 amI met Mr. Henriksen years ago

Gene Kelly SAID...

I met Mr. Henriksen years ago at Roosevelt Raceway. A real gentleman and scholar of the greatest sport in the world.
As I was able to briefly chat with him, His horse dropped a sizable road apple. "It's all about the end result" are words from Per that I remember to this day. I hope Dagfin is staying on this side of the pond. A big Thank You and Best Wishes for all your end results

November 16, 2019 - 7:12 amWishing you both all the best

debbie bird SAID...

Wishing you both all the best in your future endeavours. Barry and Deb

November 15, 2019 - 9:39 pmIt’s been a pleasure and I

It’s been a pleasure and I wish you both all the best on your move.

November 15, 2019 - 8:54 pmPer & Ann-Karin = "All The

Per & Ann-Karin = "All The Best To You Both Always" Al & Kendra Casselman

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