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SC Rewind: Years Ago - 1980s

Published: December 1, 2018 12:48 pm ET

Last Comment: December 5, 2018 9:37 am ET | 15 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

As we begin December, this week's edition of 'Rewind' covers a number of names, faces and facts from the decade of the 1980s. Robert Smith has assembled a variety of topics for the ongoing monthly feature Years Ago.

1980 - Canadians Dominate The Little Brown Jug


In 1980 Niatross and Canadian born driver Clint Galbraith started the decade off in grand style winning that year's Jug in record time. The pair are shown here on Jug day.

During the entire decade of the 1980's, Canadian horses and drivers were prominent in the winner's circle each year at Delaware during Little Brown Jug day. In no less than eight of the 10 years, either a Canadian-owned horse or a Canadian-born driver were involved when the coveted Jug was presented. The 1980 event won by the great Niatross was considered one of the greatest ever at the time and many observers wondered if a horse could ever go much faster than the 1:54.4 he recorded back then. By the middle of the decade in 1985, a son of Niatross named Nihilator had lowered the mark to 1:52.1.

1981 - Ice Racing On The Rideau Canal

A great day of ice racing on Ottawa's Rideau Canal drew an enthusiastic crowd of at least 30,000 onlookers who joined in to enjoy watching the third such annual event. In addition to the harness races a number of other attractions such as ice sculptures and good old fashioned games being played by children in the snow highlighted the beautiful day. Officials from all of the organizing bodies were indeed pleased with the outcome. A trio of photos below underscore the success of the event and also show what extra efforts are required to race on the ice.


A smiling John Campbell accepts the Canadian Club trophy as the winner of the driving competition. On the right is C.T.A. Pres. John Hayes Sr. while an unidentified official is on the far left (Hoof Beats)

A group of children play in the snow seemingly unaware of the icy temperatures (Hoof Beats)

The starting car equipped with chains to provide proper traction for the icy racing surface on the Rideau Canal (Hoof Beats)

1983 - Borne Golden Wins Fallis Memorial

The final of the 18th annual Orville Fallis Memorial Pace for three-year-old pacers was contested at Kawartha Downs on August 18. This race was held to honour Mr. Fallis, a supporter of area racing activities for many years and a longtime advocate for night racing. A field of seven paraded to the post in search of the winner's share of the $8,850 purse. There had been three separate winners in the preliminary legs but one -- Town Lady -- was a scratch due to illness. The other two winners Borne Golden and Senor Dupp were part of the field.

Driver Stu Cochrane and Senor Dupp cut all of the early fractions and still held the lead at the three quarters in 1:30 flat. Around the final turn Borne Golden and driver Harry Leatherdale made a huge move and overtook the leader and held on to the lead reaching the wire in 2:00 flat. This equalled her personal best for winning owners Orland and Olive Tank of St. Agatha and trainer Wayne Hussey. An outsider Minto Property got up in the final strides to claim the second spot for driver Guy Larush while the betting favourite Senor Dupp retained the show spot. A crowd of 1,669 wagered just over $90,000 on the evening's card.

What was the inspiration for this filly's name? Yes she was a chestnut sired by Strike Out.

1986 - O.J.C Drivers To Meet And Greet at Royal Winter Fair

Six harness drivers currently competing regularly on the Ontario Jockey Club track circuit were on hand at that year's Royal to meet with fair goers and better inform them about the harness sport. In an arrangement between the fair, the OJC and the Ontario Sires Stakes Program these fellows were happy to answer questions and help fans of racing to better understand the sport.

See photo below. This will serve as this week's Who Is It?

1988 - Eagle Attack Set To Retire

During the 1988 racing season a total of 52 horses were still racing at the age of 14. By rule they were required to retire from racing other than at the fair level. One of the most recognizable "retirees" was Eagle Attack. The old fellow was still racing at a respectable level and certainly paying his keep. In an era when horses often change ownership and geographical area, this horse had just one owner throughout his entire lifetime. Clure Archdekin bred and raised him and also P M Eagle, his dam.

Eagle Attack was a veteran of 65 career victories and earned a total of $147,784. He took his lifetime best of 1:58.3 as a ten-year-old at Orangeville, a place where he often won the Preferred on Sunday afternoon. He made his money "the hard way" racing in overnights at spots like Orangeville, Barrie and Flamboro. In a statement about his retirement owner Clure Archdekin said "He's like the rest of us - old age is catching up with him but he's going to a good home, the only one he's ever known."

Who Is It?


Can you identify the six drivers pictured above who are discussed in the 1986 item above? The correct answers will be given during the upcoming week.

December 5, 2018 - 9:37 amThis week's picture seemed to

This week's picture seemed to create considerable interest and a bit of good natured fun. Top row was Steve Condren and Pat Crowe. The bottom row was Doug Brown, Paul MacDonell, John Brooks and Bill Wellwood. To Gord Brown's question, I believe Clure Archdekin was an undertaker. A note to Mr. Grise; being from St. Bruno, Que. makes you highly qualified to enter these "contests" so please continue to do so.

December 4, 2018 - 3:00 pmGod, Scarecrowe, The Captain,

Will Boggs SAID...

God, Scarecrowe, The Captain, Paulie Mac, Maltese Stallion and Woody.

I see your confusion Monsieur Grisé. The Captain is rockin' a Gas Man 'stache in that pic; however, the cigar is nowhere to be found.

December 2, 2018 - 10:01 amI didn't anwser previously

I didn't anwser previously because i can identify only 4 drivers.
Steve Condren, Pat Crowe... I thought it was Reg Gassien, Paul Macdonnell, no idea about the fifth one and then Bill Wellwood.

You have to understand because i am from St-Bruno, Quebec. Ha..ha

December 1, 2018 - 11:54 pmClure had a trotter named

James Milne SAID...

Clure had a trotter named Harvey Wilson N who was not as successful as his pacing imports. I think he was a funeral director in Brampton.

December 1, 2018 - 10:48 pmMy vote for originality still

Dan Fisher SAID...

My vote for originality still goes to Davey :)

December 1, 2018 - 7:54 pmActually not Fish! Question

Gord Brown SAID...

Actually not Fish! Question is who are the 6 drivers.

December 1, 2018 - 7:45 pmMr. Fisher, the question was

David Darocy SAID...

Mr. Fisher, the question was to identify the 6 drivers!

December 1, 2018 - 6:47 pmDave Brown is the ONLY truly

Dan Fisher SAID...

Dave Brown is the ONLY truly correct answer... atta boy Davey :)

December 1, 2018 - 6:44 pmAll great drivers . Is John

jim morgan SAID...

All great drivers . Is John Brooks making a comeback?

December 1, 2018 - 3:01 pmSteve Condren, Pat Crowe,

David Brown SAID...

Steve Condren, Pat Crowe, Doug Brown, Paul MacDonell, John Brooks, Bill Wellwood... 1 Herford cow, 2 Sheep, 1 Horse, and a Pig!!!

December 1, 2018 - 2:58 pmHave a question Robert. When

Gord Brown SAID...

Have a question Robert. When I was younger I helped Clure with a trotter owned by Bruce Beer. His name escapes me. Wasn't Clure a undertaker by trade?

December 1, 2018 - 2:54 pmtop row left to right Steve

Joe Riga SAID...

top row left to right Steve Condren, Pat Crowe
bottom row left to right, Doug Brown, Paul MacDonnell, John Brooks, Bill White

December 1, 2018 - 1:39 pmCan’t wait to see what Gord

Sheldon Rose SAID...

Can’t wait to see what Gord Brown guesses.

December 1, 2018 - 1:31 pmSteve Condren, Pat Crowe,

Gord Brown SAID...

Steve Condren, Pat Crowe, Brother Doug, Paul MacDonnell, John Brooks, Bill Wellwood.

December 1, 2018 - 1:27 pmSteve Condren, Pat Crowe,

David Darocy SAID...

Steve Condren, Pat Crowe, Doug Brown,Paul MacDonell, John Brooks & Bìll Wellwood.


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