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SC Rewind: Mother's Day

Published: May 10, 2015 10:24 am ET

Last Comment: May 10, 2015 1:11 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

In this week's Rewind Robert Smith offers a special greeting to all mothers in the reading audience as we celebrate Mother's Day. Also part of the offering are a few stories and pictures of interest.

I would like to send out a very special greeting the most wonderful group of people in the world....Mothers. While this day is set aside to honour our mothers in a special way, whether still living or passed on, we should remember them every day. Whatever in life each of us has become, we undoubtedly owe our mother a huge debt of gratitude. How often have we heard the quote "My mother always said..." and strangely enough she was probably right.

A scene from Old Woodbine circa 1925 shows the fashions of the day at the racetrack.

The custom of celebrating Mothers Day goes back many years and has become increasingly more popular in recent years. One aspect that has not changed is that it is dedicated the woman who means most in everyone's life. Millions of people across the globe take the day as an opportunity to honour their mothers.

Just the other day, I heard on a newscast that during a recent civil uprising in a major U.S. City a mother spotted her son taking part in a rebellious conflict with the police. She allegedly grabbed him, hit him "upside the head" and ordered him to head for home to do his school work. Now that was a mother doing her duty!

I grew up in the era of big families and recall many great stories that were spawned from these large households. An employee at my father's sawmill named Charlie Hunter was the proud Papa of 16 boys and girls. Despite living in a very small house, Chas. and the Mrs. somehow made do. Once asked how there was room for so many children to sleep, Charlie had a quick reply. "We put the little ones to bed first and when they fall asleep, we stand them up in the corner."

Harness racing throughout the ages has been blessed by the influence of female participants; many were mothers. They have served in countless roles from leading drivers and trainers to those who toiled behind the scenes. In today's Rewind I have chosen a few old photographs and short stories that seem apropos as we celebrate Mother's Day.

A bride starts out her married life with a visit to the $10 Window in this old photo.

Our sport and business has seen a lot of very good female drivers throughout the years and while their numbers in comparison to their male counterparts are pretty small, they have certainly held their own as shown by the results of the 1979 "Battle of the Sexes" competition held at London's Western Fair Raceway. The ladies won the overall contest scoring 443 points to 357. The individual champion was Terry Kerr with 154 points to Bea Farber's 140.

From left - Janet Irvine, Jacqueline Ingrassia, Sandra Fisher, Bea Farber, Ray McLean, Terry Kerr, Fred List and Dave Wall

When the 1974 Ontario Jockey Club Fact Book was issued it contained a lot of driver bios but just two or three were female. Neither was a driver but they were hard working people in addition to their jobs as mother. Both of these fine ladies are "legends" in the sport's past and I consider myself fortunate to have met both of them and they were greats by any standard. They are gone now, but their memory remains in many hearts.

"You gave me life; you gave me love." A quote from a Mother's Day Hallmark card. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

May 10, 2015 - 1:11 pmNice article for Mothers Day.

Nice article for Mothers Day. Unlike horses, I don't think they made many bad ones!!!

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