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SC Rewind: Happy Mother's Day

Published: May 9, 2021 11:49 am ET

Last Comment: May 13, 2021 10:28 am ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

This week's Rewind is devoted to Mother's Day which is observed this year on Sunday, May 9 (today). Robert Smith talks a bit about the day and its meaning and also has chosen a special mother connected with harness racing to profile.

Today I would like to send out a very special greeting to all of the wonderful mothers in the Rewind audience. Also included in this group are those special people who have served in motherly roles by providing care and comfort to people in their lives even though they were not their biological mother. We all owe such a debt of gratitude to our mothers; they are people we depend upon forever, even years and decades after they have departed this life. I often think of the wisdom and good judgment my own mother so diligently tried to impress upon me and my siblings throughout her lifetime. The lessons our mothers taught us never grow old. How often have we heard the phrase that starts "My mother always said..."

When my mother passed away I was privileged to deliver a short eulogy at her funeral during the church service. I don't recall too much of exactly what I said but I do remember that I referred to her hands and the many tasks she and many others like her performed in her "career" as a mother. I started by listing the many things she taught us, such as how to tie our shoes, how to plant a seed and certainly I loved watching her make a batch of oatmeal date cookies, forming each one by hand. Being truthful I also included the fact that those same hands could be used to "cuff you upside the head" when you needed it as the old saying went back then.

It would be a nice gesture today to pause for a moment and think of your mother. If you are fortunate enough to still have her with you be sure to tell her how much she means to you.

Did you know? Anna Jarvis once said that white carnations were the symbol of Mother’s Day, because they were thought to “typify some of the virtues of motherhood; "whiteness stands for purity; its lasting qualities, faithfulness; its fragrance, love; its wide field of growth, charity; its form, beauty.”
Anna Jarvis is considered the founder of Mother’s Day here in America.

Remembering 'Dottie' Haughton - "A Lady Of Class"


Bill and Dottie Haughton are shown here around the time they were married (Haughton Family archives)

A little over two years ago the world of harness racing and the Haughton family lost a very special lady when Dorothy (formerly Bischoff) Haughton passed away on April 1, 2019. Known to family and friends as "Dottie" she was 87 years old at the time of her passing. A person of prominence in the world of harness racing she was known and loved wherever she travelled. The following lovely passage was written about her and appeared on the Hall Of Fame website.

"The First Lady of harness racing was a genuine, lovely person full of grace and class who had a sincere love of the sport and an enormous capacity to handle its ups and downs. A self-described “homemaker, mother and grandmother,” Mrs. Haughton was a trustee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame since 1982. She maintained the beautiful gardens and grounds at her home in Newfields, New Hampshire until her passing."

Dottie had grown up in a harness racing environment as she watched her father Whitney Bischoff race horses at the fairs around their home area near Goshen, New York. Her father was also a judge at Yonkers Raceway in later years and got to know most of the backstretch people quite well. One evening when there was no racing scheduled he invited a young 27-year-old horseman named Bill Haughton to join his family for dinner at their Chappaqua, N.Y. home.

The young Mr. Haughton was obviously impressed by the meal and also by one of the other people seated at the dining room table. Following the meal Bill invited a young lady named Dorothy "Dottie" Bischoff to pay a visit to the track and he would have her jog a horse. In later years Dottie told a harness writer about their first encounter. "I was sort of engaged to another boy at the time. He was very nice, but he didn't know anything about horses, and maybe that's why Daddy wasn't sure about him. Anyway, here was Billy, and before he left that night, we had a date for later in the week." Things must have gone quite well because within a month the two were married.


Dottie and Bill Haughton introduce one of their children to a stable member (Haughton Family archives)

The years sped by and the Haughtons eventually had a family of five children, four sons Peter, Tommy, Cammie and Bill Jr. and a daughter Holley. They were all deeply engaged in the sport and from the time the children were small they were often photographed as a family. All of the boys eventually pursued careers connected to harness racing.


Dottie Haughton is shown with the eldest Haughton son Peter both seated on a Haughton trunk (Haughton Family archives)

“A pacer named Titanic was the first horse I ever owned,” Mrs. Haughton said, “but I, or with Bill, have owned as many as 100 in a year and thousands over the years, including from 50 to 60 thoroughbreds.” She recalled Green Speed as a personal standout, as well as Meadow Elva, a champion filly pacer, whose success helped Dottie get over an illness. But her all-time favourite was Keystone Pioneer, one of the sport’s great trotting fillies. A trotter named Peter Campbell was a favourite – they named their first child after him. Peter’s middle name, Delvin, was in honour of good friend Delvin Miller.


Dottie and Bill Haughton are shown with four of their five children in a photo taken at the stable. (Haughton Family archives)

Despite the wonderful and rather privileged lifestyle Mrs. Haughton enjoyed throughout her married life, she faced and prevailed over many adversities. Even in the best of times she was on her own much of the time because of her husband's demanding work and travel schedule. In 1980 she endured the worst experience any parent can face when their eldest son Peter was instantly killed in an auto accident. Just six years later in 1986 her husband Billy was seriously injured in a racing accident at Yonkers Raceway and passed away a few days later without ever regaining consciousness. Through it all she remained strong, resilient and loving toward her family and friends.

Dottie was often honoured by various groups and organizations but she once stated that of all the awards she had received through the years Mrs. Haughton regarded her 1964 "Mother of the Year" the best of them all.

Happy Mother's Day!

Quote For The Week: "No gift you can give your mother will ever equal the one she gave to you.”

Who Is It?

Can you name all of these fine folks?

Who Else Is It?

Who do we have in the driver's seat in this 1960 photo? Let us know if you think you have it. Even wild guesses are welcome.

Stay tuned right here during the upcoming week to see the correct identity of this week's personalities.

May 13, 2021 - 10:28 amThis week's photos were

This week's photos were quickly solved (as anticipated) by the reading audience. In the top photo was from left to right Billy Haughton, Holley Haughton (young daughter), Dottie Haughton, joined by Stanley Dancer and George Sholty. In the lower photo was noted driver Mildred Williams ,others unidentified. The horse was Glendale Jerry. Thanks as always.

May 9, 2021 - 4:18 pmBilly Haughton, Holley

Billy Haughton, Holley Haughton, Dottie Haughton, Stanley Dancer, George Sholty.

May 9, 2021 - 3:41 pmBilly, Holley, Dottie,

Gord Brown SAID...

Billy, Holley, Dottie, Stanley and George. Bottom I will say Mildred Williams.

May 9, 2021 - 1:36 pmThe first pic is Bill and

kent benson SAID...

The first pic is Bill and Dottie Haughton with Stanley Dancer and George Buzz Sholty in the second pic maybe Mildred Williams


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