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Jim Carr Passes, Arrangements Set

Published: April 28, 2014 10:12 am ET

Last Comment: April 30, 2014 2:22 pm ET | 21 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Trot Insider has learned that popular longtime horse owner James 'Jim' Carr passed away on Sunday, April 27. He was in his 70th year.

Carr, a native of Hamilton, Ont. made his living as a process server, delivering court documents in Hamilton and Toronto. But it was arguably in the harness racing industry where his deliveries made the most impact.

In 2010, a pacing colt by the name of Big Jim turned heads with his 1:51.1. win in the final of the Dream Maker. Carr turned down all of the offers that came in for the James 'Friday' Dean-trained colt. Big Jim didn't win the Metro that year, but he atoned for that loss with wins in the Breeders Crown and world record score in the Governor's Cup to conclude his award-winning season. With every win, Carr would invite anyone interested out to the winner's circle to have their picture taken with his prized pacer. Carr could even lift kids up to pet the young stallion, and Big Jim would stand with perfect manners.

“We have lots of pictures of five or six kids standing there in front of his front feet," said Carr in a 2010 Trot Magazine interview. "He’s not going anywhere.”

“Racing needs all the help it can get,” said his owner on why he invited strangers out for the win photo. “It’s something you can do that doesn’t cost anything.”

As racing would learn, that was Carr's nature. His gracious attitude was apparent at the forefront of numerous industry events. He donated a Big Jim breeding to Newfoundland's Amy MacDonald when her family lost horses in a fire. He donated the proceeds from auctioning off a Panther Hanover breeding to photographer Sylvain Gagnon, who lost vision in his eye when hit by a starting gate. He rallied behind four-year-old Josh Woodward, whose struggles with kidney disease made mainstream headlines.

Carr didn't know any of these people, but people knew of him through the indelible marks he left across the continent -- all for the love of racing.

In 2010, during Standardbred Canada's effort to initiate the Racing Development and Sustainability Plan, Carr demonstrated his tremendous passion for the sport. Upon hearing of the efforts, he publicly supported the concept and immediately began to hold 5% from the purses earned by his horses, reserving the funds to market and promote the sport, if the plan was approved.

Carr's actions have inspired many in the harness racing industry, to pay it forward.

Jim is survived by his wife, Darlene.

Friends may call at Smith's Funeral Home, 1167 Guelph Line, Burlington, ON, Wednesday, May 7th, 2014, 6:00pm - 8:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 8th, 2014, 3:00pm - 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Jim Carr.


April 30, 2014 - 2:22 pmOur Condolences to Michael,

Our Condolences to Michael, Darlene and the entire Carr family on the passing of Jim RIP
Vince and Joni Cosentino

April 29, 2014 - 10:23 amSometimes something happens

Dan Fisher SAID...

Sometimes something happens that really makes you wonder. If I may steal this from Murray Brown's Facebook post this morning:

"We had one foal at the (Hanover Shoe) farms last night. In April, its not unusual to have as many as half a dozen or more each night. It's a colt by BIG JIM. There has to be a message there somehow."

April 29, 2014 - 9:00 amWe have just lost one of the

We have just lost one of the most generous person in harness racing, my hat is off to all whom pay this special person tribute and to the CARR family, my deepest condolences, may you rest in peace MR.CARR.

April 29, 2014 - 3:17 amRIP Mr. Carr. You will be

RIP Mr. Carr. You will be missed

April 28, 2014 - 9:01 pmJim was such a caring person

Karen Breen SAID...

Jim was such a caring person and had a big heart for kids, thanks for sharing this. That is what Jim was, the most caring person in this business.

April 28, 2014 - 8:35 pmSorry to hear the news today

Sorry to hear the news today of Mr. Carr's passing. Condolences to the family.
A true great ambassador for the industry. He was what this sport needed and I do hope for the future of harness racing there will be more people like Mr Carr.
You can bet there is one BIg Jim colt here on the east coast that will make him proud!

April 28, 2014 - 8:25 pmCondolences to Darlene and

Condolences to Darlene and all the family, I was proud and honoured to have been a friend of Big Jim Carr,and Shipped Jims horses around Ontario a couple of years ago, He did so much good for the business and went out of his way to help everyone he could, RIP Jim.

April 28, 2014 - 7:23 pmBeing a friend of Jim and

Karen Breen SAID...

Being a friend of Jim and Darlene's, I have known of his illness from the start. I truly thought Jim could have beat this from the start, but cancer is a cruel disease. Rest in peace, my dear friend. Love you, xoxo

April 28, 2014 - 6:20 pmCondolences to the Carr

Rick Liscomb SAID...

Condolences to the Carr family from a friend who only knew Jim.
Wintering in Florida lets you meet many interesting neighbours and Jim Carr was one of these.
Years ago in Kingston I developed a love of standardbred racing and then moving to Toronto it fell on the back burner (except for the odd night at Woodbine)
As it turns out Jim was a neighbour in Florida and we went to visit the colts and Friday with Phil Hudon on many occasions. Thank you Jim.
You not only had a good eye for horses but you could also play a mean round of golf.
RIP Jim.

April 28, 2014 - 6:14 pmOne of the advantages about

murray brown SAID...

One of the advantages about being involved in this wonderful sport is the terrific people that I've been privileged to meet through the years. Big Jim Carr ranks near the very top of that list. He was a wonderful man who will be missed by everyone who was privileged to know him.

April 28, 2014 - 3:44 pmCondolences sent to the

Amy McDonald SAID...

Condolences sent to the entire Carr family. Jim was a very special man. Our industry has suffered a major loss. This man supported and loved Harness Racing. We will remember him for his big heart and kind words. While we never met Jim face to face, he certainly was very special to us. We know that Jim will be looking over his namesake "Carrpaulic Jim". Thank you for everything you have done for us Big Jim Carr! Rest in Peace.

The McDonald Family of Newfoundland
(Amy, Kevin & Carolyn)

April 28, 2014 - 2:57 pmJim will be missed, I only

Gordon Irwin SAID...

Jim will be missed, I only knew Jim for a few years and always enjoyed his company. He always tried to do what he could to help our industry. Gordon Irwin

April 28, 2014 - 2:53 pmThe harness racing industry

The harness racing industry lost a great guy today.I feel very fortunate to say that he was very close personal friend. We met because my granddaughter wrote a letter to Dalton McGuinty and just like that we became best of friends. I talked to Jim every day since we met pretty much. Even when he was so sick he would call just to see if everything was okay. We just talked to him on Saturday. I remember last summer he travelled from his home to Orono to watch the kids show at their first horseshow Standardrama. How proud he was of the girls and their horses. He and Dar also came to an open show to watch the kids. How many people would take the time out of his busy schedule to show such acts of kindness. He did so many things for so many people. RIP Big Jim Carr

April 28, 2014 - 2:15 pmI think Jim made us all a

Georg Leber SAID...

I think Jim made us all a little better. He set an example for us to pay it forward. The best way we can honour this fine man is to give a little of ourselves for others.

Georg Leber-ICR Racing

April 28, 2014 - 2:01 pmWhen Jim heard Trevor and I

When Jim heard Trevor and I were rallying for our daughter's 11 year old friend for the fight with cancer, he wanted in. He never knew Trevor and I personally or ever met Sheyanne's family. Jim called me and said he wanted to meet at McMaster Children's Hospital. I quietly met him there in Sheyanne's room and he said he needed to do something for this child. He graciously fed her parents for weeks while they stayed in Hamilton and offered so much more than we will ever know. Sheyanne passed away this past February at 12 years old and thanks to Jim her parents were able to enjoy their last days with their daughter instead of worrying about finances. R.I.P Mr Carr.

April 28, 2014 - 1:31 pmCondolences to Darlene and

Condolences to Darlene and the family on Jim's passing. I used to buy hay from Darlene when Flamboro first opened and my boys still remember fishing in their big pond. A good and generous man gone too soon.

Brian and Gay Webster

April 28, 2014 - 12:39 pmThis is a very sad day for

Jack Darling SAID...

This is a very sad day for harness racing. Jim was one of our greatest ambassadors and supporters and a very generous man. We lost a good one today.

April 28, 2014 - 11:34 amMet Mr. Carr twice at the

chris coyle SAID...

Met Mr. Carr twice at the sales and thanked him for his graciousness to people in need. A class guy that fortunately got to own some really good horses. Condolences to his family and to Friday Dean on this loss.

April 28, 2014 - 10:56 amIt's sad to read this news

Dean Towers SAID...

It's sad to read this news this morning. Rest in Peace Jim, you were good for the sport of harness racing and will be missed. My sincerest condolences to his family.

Dean Towers

April 28, 2014 - 10:53 amWhat an extremely nice man

Dan Fisher SAID...

What an extremely nice man Jim was... and would do anything he could to help promote harness racing. RIP Jim... and may the 'Big Jim' foals that will start racing in 2015 help carry on your legacy!

April 28, 2014 - 10:29 amCondolences to the entire

Condolences to the entire Carr family. Racing lost another one of those guys willing to do what was necessary to help try and make it succeed. RIP Jim.

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