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SC Rewind: Years Ago - 1980s

Published: June 6, 2015 8:23 am ET

Last Comment: June 6, 2015 7:56 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

In this week's edition of Rewind, Robert Smith takes a look back at some of the personalities and events from the decade of the 1980s in the ongoing monthly feature Years Ago.

1981 - Lime Time Wins 16th Provincial Cup at Windsor


Lime Time (5) driven by Doug Brown closes on the outside just neck ahead of Brand New Fella (3) with Warren Cameron to win the 1981 Provincial Cup in front of an overflow crowd at Windsor.

Owner Antonio Chiaravalle became a two-time winner of Windsor's signature event, The Provincial Cup when his brilliant three-year-old pacer Lime Time scored in a mile time of 1:57 piloted by Doug Brown. His previous winner was Dream Maker in 1978. The purse has been stable at $50,000 for the past 10 years since it rose from $40,000 in 1972. [The following year 1982 the Provincial Cup became an event for three-year-olds and the purse doubled to $100,000 with Cam Fella the winner]

While many trophies are valued mainly because of the winning of a certain race, the Provincial Cup is a rather rare piece of art. The Cup was designed and built for Windsor Raceway back in 1966 by Lachman and Sons of Detroit with a price tag of $6,000. The head of that firm recently stated that craftsmen equal to the task of producing such a trophy are fast disappearing. Despite what it might now cost, other factors add to its rarity. "Hand chasing or decorating by hand was costly even 100 years prior to this and now it is nearly impossible to find people to do it," stated Lachman.

Each year after the race the name of the current winner is added to the original which never leaves Windsor Raceway. In the early years the Lachman firm fashioned a miniature of the original, but now a Revere type bowl is presented due to the scarcity of those who can make such an intricate piece.


The Provincial Cup showcased in the Windsor Raceway Clubhouse (Author's Collection)

1983 - Hanover Raceway Sees First Ever Two-Minute Speed

The new era of speed that has been seen across the sport made its way to the Hanover, Ont. track as several records were set by both gaits during 1983 including its first ever two-minute mile.

Leading the parade was the outstanding three-year-old Devons Prince, who toured the Hanover oval in 1:58.4 to set a new all age record as well as a new standard for a three-year-old. Driven by owner Bruce Clements of Dobbinton, the son of Tarport Count had a banner year.

Two other 2:00 miles were recorded as Eagle Attack set a new mark for aged pacers with his clocking of 1:59 flat for Clure Archdekin. The third horse to trip the timer in sub 2:00 time was C U Bye who scored in 1:59.4 for Trevor Ritchie.

Local horseman Bud Fritz used the local oval to educate many of his young performers, and a number went on to stardom at the larger tracks. Among his star pupils who set new records at Hanover were youngsters Annie Ivy and J B Surge while his aged trotting mare Speedy Bug zipped to a 2:02 flat score.

1985 - Flear unveils another Top Trotter

June 22, 1985: Part-time horseman Neil Flear seems to have a magic formula for developing young trotting talent. One problem is that even he may not know why the 'magic' formula works. The resident of Rosemont, Ont., who works as a fireman in Brampton, seems to have had a run of good fortune recently. Two years ago he came out with General D Brook, who quickly rose to the head of his class. Last season he brought out a full brother named Gladiator, who again turned a lot of heads. A major part of the success story seemed to be the influence of the broodmare Glady A Brook, the mother of both colts.

His current top prospect is the two-year-old trotting colt Arawana Rasputin, sired by Laryngitis. In just his fourth lifetime start the youngster registered an impressive win at Flamboro on June 22, taking the Castleton Farm Breeders Stake with a purse of $11,893. A $6,200 purchase at the Canadian Classic sale last fall he has already surpassed his purchase price with over $7,200 banked. With Jim McClure driving, the winning time of 2:07.3 sets a Canadian season's record for a two-year-old trotting colt and may even be the quickest to date in North America for a twice around.


Arawana Rasputin, owned by Neil Flear and driven by Jim McClure, arrives at the wire in 2:07.3 to record the season's fastest mile in Canada for age and gait at Flamboro Downs

1986 - Freeze Branding Introduced by C.S.H.S.

The C.S.H.S. has recently completed a pilot project which may result in a more effective way of permanently identifying Canadian foals. It is a process known as freeze branding and if deemed to be successful it will replace the current lip tattooing as the official means of identification. The first colt to be branded under the new system was just seven days old. The young son of Jonquil Hanover out of Heiress was bred and owned by John C. Lang, a former CSHS president and long-time advocate of the new system. Four other foals were branded at the same session by tattoo technician Gary Campbell. Also in attendance was Brian Gilman, V.P. for an Ottawa-based company named Ketchum which has specialized in live animal identification since 1913.


Technician Gary Campbell counts off the required 15 seconds of branding as Tracey Lang holds the young Armbro Topper foal

The entire experiment is being done under the watchful eye of Bob Stewart, General Manager of the C.S.H.S. Freeze branding is painless and is expected to be much more efficient and long-lasting than the current lip tattoo. The society plans to freeze brand 500 foals of 1986 and part of the operation will include training of new technicians.


Seconds after application the brand appears quite legible then quickly fades. As hair regrowth occurs it will again become clear.

1988 - Training Accident Claims Three Horses at London

Feb. 19, 1988 - A devastating morning training accident at London's Western Fair Raceway has left three horses dead and many among the backstretch in shock. Following the mishap, Pro Express, owned by Ron Procop of Komoka, and Springer Herbert, the property of Dave Wall and Ruth Herbert of Lambeth, were both humanely destroyed. Kinway Leah, owned by the Kindernay Stables of Dutton, died instantly from the impact of a head-on collision.

The incident occurred when Kinway Leah, driven by Louis Kinornay Jr., broke a line and went out of control galloping around the track. They struck Pro Express head-on while Springer Herbert and Lonnie McCorkle ran into the pile up from behind. Both Dave Wall and Louis Kindornay escaped with minor injuries such as cuts and bruises while McCorkle was not injured. All three horses were young prospects with bright futures in store.

Does this sound at all familiar to Jack Darling?

June 6, 2015 - 7:56 pmYes Robert, it sounds very

Jack Darling SAID...

Yes Robert, it sounds very familiar and I can remember this accident from 1988. It was horrific.


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