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Campbell Contemplating Retirement


Published: July 15, 2011 10:38 am ET

Last Comment: July 21, 2011 8:06 am ET | 7 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The last decade has seen 'Mr. Harness Racing,' John Campbell, bear the brunt of some serious accidents and bounce back like a true prizefighter. Although the 56-year-old is in the midst of overcoming a litany of serious injuries sustained in his most recent spill, he has gone on the record as saying that he is considering retirement at this point.

While steering Tritech at Chester Racetrack on May 30, Campbell didn't have time to avoid horses and drivers which had been involved an accident in front of him. The holder of countless records and winner of over 10,000 races became a late party to the accident and was flung overtop of the pileup before hitting the track.

Campbell, who has driven his mounts to a staggering $278.9 million in purse earnings, sustained a broken shoulder, a broken right knee, a broken collarbone and suffered cracked ribs in the accident. An article by The Record explains that Campbell recently graduated from a wheelchair to crutches --- a monumental step given the circumstance --- but the road back to the upper echelon of the harness racing world is a whole different animal, albeit one that Campbell has slain before.

The Record article has quoted Campbell as saying that didn't want to make any decisions regarding his racing future while injured. "A lot of it is going to depend on how badly I really want to go back and that’s certainly a decision to be made when I’m fully 100 per cent healthy," Campbell was quoted as saying. "That’s going to be the biggest factor, how much of an itch I have to go back."

John's brother, trainer Jim Campbell, has been quoted in the article as saying that he just wants John's mind to be at peace when he makes his decision on his future in the bike. "I think it’s too early and I guess I probably wouldn’t comment because it’s not fair to John and what he might be thinking," Jim was quoted as saying. "My personal opinion is that I just hope whatever he does, he’s happy with the decision he makes."

The report also states that John wants to remain active in the industry in some capacity if he is to tuck away his whip permanently.

(With files from The Record)

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July 21, 2011 - 8:06 amFirstly, we wish John all

Lynne Magee SAID...

Firstly, we wish John all the best in his recovery. He is a most valued citizen of the standardbred society and a wonderful gentlman to boot. I'm sure there is place in the industry where he can work his magic just as he has worked in on the track for many years. Whatever his decision, he will be welcomed back by everyone who knows and appreciates this fine amassador of harness racing. Get well soon, John. David and Lynne

July 19, 2011 - 7:02 pmRather than a goodwill

Rather than a goodwill ambassador I like John's idea of a Commissioner of Standardbred racing (as in baseball, etc.). Then we can get rid of all the bureaucracies that we are saddled with now. Also there would be international rules that everyone would know.

July 16, 2011 - 12:08 pmIt has been said many times

It has been said many times before what ever J.C. does in his future will do nothing but further Harness Racing, there never be a better spokesperson for the sport,so no matter what he will be the greatest advocate for harness racing, and there will never be a more honest or challenging driver in the game,he hasn't always got the job done,but in those few instances (too few to count thou),he is and will always be one of the most respected drivers and if not the most respected man in the game.
So without further ado Mr. CAMPBELL whatever you do everyone will be cheering for you and your team.
I would say it can only go up from here but I think you have reached that pinnacle long time ago.
Thank you

July 15, 2011 - 12:53 pmDitto from me Mrs. Rae. Hope

Ditto from me Mrs. Rae. Hope this position you mention will be offered to John and he has this option when making up his mind about his future.

July 15, 2011 - 12:40 pmJohn Campbell - a true


John Campbell - a true Canadian sports hero. I believe that EVERYONE in the harness racing industry would miss his presence in the sulky tremendously but would welcome him back as a trainer, owner, racing ambassador or in whatever capacity would allow him to remain a vibrant part of his sport. Most of all EVERYONE would want him to be comfortable and happy with his decision. Perhaps a chat with the great Canadian equestrian Ian Millar (64 years old and aiming for his next Olympics) would help John to make his choice. I don't expect to see another such great driver in my lifetime and I personally want to wish John the best of luck in whatever he does.

July 15, 2011 - 11:41 amWho better than our own

Carolyn Rae SAID...

Who better than our own "native son", Mr. Harness Racing, to be the spokesman and promoter for our sport here in Canada!!! I hope Standardbred Canada, and the new Committee on Harness Racing here in Canada, will move quickly on this golden opportunity, should John make the decision to retire. I believe people will flock to the tracks to get an opportunity to meet and talk to, and even get a picture with "John Campbell". The new head of "Marketing and Sport Promotion" @ Standardbred Canada - John Campbell. Can we get a vote on this one?

July 15, 2011 - 11:20 amEven though we all know it

Joe Riga SAID...

Even though we all know it has to happen sooner or later it will truly be a sad day for harness racing when John Campbell retires. We may never see another one like him.

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