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SC Rewind: Winter Picture Parade

Published: December 30, 2017 11:43 am ET

Last Comment: January 6, 2018 10:35 am ET | 7 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

In this the final Rewind for 2017, Robert Smith centres his story around the perils of winter's sometimes harsh weather and its effects on horse people. His piece which is mainly pictorial includes a number of photographs taken down through the years showing some interesting scenes involving winter weather. This week two "Who Is It?" pictures are featured.

​Those many souls that groom, train and drive horses during the winter months are indeed a group of hardy folks. They are often faced with adversity and challenges that go well beyond the normal call of duty. Coping with the elements and still keeping themselves and the animals in their care safe and in good stead is not an easy task nor necessarily one that people do for monetary reasons alone. Apparently horses usually are able to cope with the harsh elements; not always so easy for humans.

I have attempted to assemble some pictures to illustrate just what went on during the winter months and for that matter still goes on in the sport of harness racing.

A beautiful scene of winter harness racing taken near St. Moritz in Switzerland. Take note of the special racing sulky designed for snow and ice-covered courses


This 1967 photo shows Quebec-based horseman Duncan MacTavish training Sergeant Dares on the roads near his home base at LaChute, Quebec. An unusually large storm forced the MacTavish brothers Duncan and Del Jr. off the farm's training track but they found a way to continue their winter workouts. Their father, Delbert Sr. was not affected as he was safely stabled in Florida with a group of mainly youngsters he was readying for the opening of Blue Bonnets later that year.


Toronto's Dufferin Park was the most famous winter racing spot of the first half of the 20th century, closing in 1955. Drivers set aside their racing silks and bundled up to ward off the cold. Fans in the grandstand huddled around stoves and they too braved the elements.


In snowy regions of the country horses were often trained during the worst part of the winter hitched to a cutter. Pictured above is a horse named for a Town in Quebec, his name was Maniwaki Boy owned by Gerald Nault, owner of the local hotel. He is shown in rein to his trainer Tanner Thompson.


Vic Fleming originally of Dundas, Ont., the great horseman of yesteryear is shown here with his three rather famous driving sons all clad in their winter attire. For many years they winter trained at Syracuse, N.Y., an area known for snow. Father Vic (third from left) in his long fur coat is accompanied by sons (from left) Jimmy, Bill, Vic and Charlie. (Hoof Beats)


This unidentified pair provide a typical winter training scene from the current day.


This old photo from the 1940's shows some slightly different equipment in use during a winter training session at Batavia Downs (Harness Horse)


This group of horsemen and officials pause from their busy winter training schedule to pose for a picture. On the far left is famed horseman Levi Harner; most of the others are not particularly well-known. (Harness Horse)


Snow and ice fail to keep harness horses from training at Aurora Downs in Chicago. In the foreground, trainer Joe Herman trains two of his horses in a morning workout. (Chicago Tribune Archive photo)


​Southwind Frost frolics in the snow. The first foal by E L Titan out of Freeze Frame

Don't forget about keeping the little ones warm too!

Who Is It?

This week there are two pictures for all you photo guessers. Good Luck!

Can you put a name on these two fellows out for a romp in the snow?


This week's second photo came to me without identification. Can anyone in the reading audience name these three Chicago area drivers? I thought this was an appropriate photo to show with this week's Rewind. Hopefully people in the reading audience will come up with the answers.


January 6, 2018 - 10:35 amThis week's 'Who Is It?' of

This week's 'Who Is It?' of the two fellows jogging in the snow was correctly identified by several people as cousins Keith and Ronnie Waples.

The names of the Chicago area drivers seated in the paddock I would say remains unidentified. Perhaps someone with a better understanding of the people pictured will eventually come forward with a more positive I D. Thanks for your input.

January 3, 2018 - 9:28 amI have a guess on one of the

I have a guess on one of the Chicago drivers. The gentleman on the left has the initials "L D" on his helmet. For many years a prominent driver named Lloyd Daulton was very active at the Chicago tracks. Could that be him? I am basing my guess only on the initials as I have never seen him and I believe he just passed away in the last couple of years.

January 3, 2018 - 12:01 amI believe the two fellows in

Jim Brown SAID...

I believe the two fellows in the photo with Bob Farrington are brothers, Rod and Brad.

January 1, 2018 - 1:50 pmI believe the driver in the

Jim Brown SAID...

I believe the driver in the middle to be Bob Farrington.

December 30, 2017 - 3:54 pmThat is Ronnie and Keith

gord waples SAID...

That is Ronnie and Keith Waples with the flashy Coldwater hockey arena in the back ground!

December 30, 2017 - 2:24 pmThe pictures remind of the

Garth Gordon SAID...

The pictures remind of the mid fifties and early sixties of my Dad’s farm just north of Cobourg. He would replace the wheels on jog carts with steel runners to get over the snow easier. And we had lots and lots of snow. We didn’t care as we had lots of wood in the wood shed to put in the stove to keep us warm and lots of food to eat. The two gentlemen training horses together are Keith and Ron Waples.

December 30, 2017 - 1:27 pmThe first "Who is it" is Ron

The first "Who is it" is Ron Waples and Keith Waples.

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