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The Hall Of Fame Class Of 2014

Published: August 6, 2014 10:34 pm ET

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On Wednesday night the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame welcomed its class of 2014 inductees, a total of 14 horses and individuals.

Albatross, Dreamfair Eternal and Rocknroll Hanover are the Standardbreds that made up part of the 2014 class. Joining these Standardbreds in the Hall Of Fame are Robert Murphy, the late breeder/owner; Dr. Ted Clarke, in the builder category; horseman Wally Hennessey, and communicator Bill Galvin.

Apelia, Cool Mood and Wando are the Thoroughbreds that make up part of the 2014 class. Trainer Horatio Luro, jockey Robert Landry and breeders William ‘Bill’ Graham and Arthur Stollery are also 2014 inductees on the Thoroughbred side.

The Induction Ceremony was hosted at the Mississauga Convention Centre.

Rocknroll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his racing career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey. Career highlights included victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three-year-olds, the Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers and the North America Cup for three-year-olds He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013. To date, the son of Western Ideal, out of Hall of Fame mare Rich N Elegant, has sired winners of $60.7-million, including eight million-dollar-plus winners.

"My job was to bring the best out in my horses and he made it easy, said Sarah Lauren Scott, Rocknroll Hanover's caretaker. "He brought out the best in all of his connections. He was a once in a lifetime horse and his legacy will live on."

Dreamfair Eternal retired from racing in 2012 after a seven-year career that included 56 victories, and every major stakes event on the older pacing mare schedule, earnings of over $2.5-million and Horse of the Year honours in Canada in 2010. During that year, she racked up wins in the final of the Masters Series, an elimination of the Roses are Red Stakes, elimination and final of the Milton Stakes, the elimination and final of the Forest City Pace and the Breeders Crown. The daughter of Camluck was bred by John and Mary Lamers and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario. Patrick Fletcher trained her for most of her career.

"This is certainly a great honour for myself and my family. 'Eternal' is a large part of our family," said owner John Lamers. "‎I want to thank Pat and Karan Fletcher for the amazing job they've done with Dreamfair Eternal over her racing career. ‎

"‎She's an outstanding race mare and she's equally as good a mother," noting that Lamers has a filly sired by fellow Hall Of Famer Somebeachsomewhere on the ground that might have a "bit better conformation" than her Mom. Lamers hoped that the filly has just as good of a career.‎‎

A champion on the track and in the breeding shed, Albatross was a major influence on the Standardbred breed. He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million. Two of his major stakes wins in Canada included the Prix d’Ete and Canadian Pacing Derby. He retired as both the fastest and richest horse in the history of the breed. As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million, including Niatross, who is considered by many to be the greatest pacer of the 20th Century, and Fan Hanover, who is the only filly to ever win the Little Brown Jug.

"This is a very distinct honour for me," said Hanover Shoe Farms' Murray Brown, who was around Albatross his entire life‎.

Brown considers Albatross "probably the greatest two-year-old of any breed that's ever lived," recalling how he'd have to race against aged horses in his freshman year.

"It's unheard of for a two-year-old to race against aged horses. He did it with regularity."‎

Noting that Albatross was the first sire of any breed to sire progeny with more than $100 million in earnings, Brown called Albatross "the perfect horse" and stated that "his name is a fixture in the breed and will continue to be. ‎"

Wally Hennessey, 56, born in Prince Edward Island and now a resident of Coconut Grove, Florida, has more than 8,500 victories to his credit and has banked earnings in excess of $57 million. During the early stages of his career, Hennessey re-wrote the record books, setting new standards in both wins and earnings. In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown. Throughout his career, Hennessey has been remarkably consistent, winning at least 200 races in each of the last 25 years, and driving horses to earnings in excess of $1 million for 24 straight years. In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York.

"To be inducted takes hard work and dedication from many," said Hennessey. "I was blessed to grow up with four great brothers and sisters. They were very supportive and competitive and loving. We were all on each other's team.

"Not to point out one person, but my brother Dan has been with me my whole career. Without Dan I definitely would not be standing here. I had a father I was so proud of. I never wanted to let him down. He was so talented. I learned my early lessons from my father. My greatest influence could not be here. My mom, I wish she was here, but she could not travel to be here. Without her love and what she taught me, I would not be here. To my wife Barb and daughter Christie -- you're my greatest supporters and Barb you hung in with me and that was hard to do. And my daughter is my inspiration."

"It's been a journey one could only dream about and I'm so glad dreams do come true."

Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry. Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth. Prior to Grand River’s opening, Dr. Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network. He was honoured for his innovative thinking and leadership with the Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award in 1999 from the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association.

"‎The fact of the matter is, with the industry being in the state it's in, it's important to remember the things that got us to where we are," said Clarke, imploring the industry to pull from the same end of the rope going forward. 

The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, was one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, and was known by his popular ‘Red Star’ moniker. First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners. He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009. In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada. Murphy had a great impact on harness racing in BC with both his breeding and training centres, but that impact extended across the continent as his horses raced all over North America.

William ‘Bill’ Galvin, a native of Arnprior, Ontario and now a resident of Mississauga, Ontario, made a tremendous impact on horse racing in the country as a Canadian horse racing historian, poet, author, publisher, educator, horseman, humanitarian, publicist and former Thoroughbred racing official. Galvin’s promotions transcended racing. He led a charge to bring harness racing on ice to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans. He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the well-being of horse racing during his career. He was also the executive editor of Trot Magazine and a member of the Advisory board for the School of Equine Studies at Toronto's Humber College of Applied Arts.

"What a special and memorable occasion this is tonight," said Galvin. "I congratulate you all and thank each and every one responsible for this tremendous honour.

"This evening is especially memorable with the presence of Dr. John Findlay, who presented to me. I received my an introduction to horse racing in the standardbred sport as a very young lad in Arnprior, Ontario. Those early days at Madawaska Farms with Dr. John Findlay would define and shape my career. 

"Tonight, my life comes full circle from those unforgettable country fairs in the Ottawa Valley, to the glory day of Canadian harness racing in the 1980s, to the pinnacle of my career tonight at the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, with the man who introduced me to the sport‎ - Dr. John Findlay."

Wando, one of only seven horses to ever win the Canadian Triple Crown, was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2003 for breeder/owner Gustav Schickedanz, an honoured member of the CHRHF. Trained by Mike Keogh, with Patrick Husbands as his primary jockey, the son of Langfuhr retired from racing with 11 wins, eight of them in stakes, from 23 starts and earnings of $2.5 million. He began his career as a stallion in 2006, first in Kentucky before returning to his birthplace in 2011. Wando’s progeny have earnings in excess of $5.2 million and include Grade 1 winner Turallure.

"Thank you on behalf of the Schickedanz family," said Gustav Schickedanz' farm manager Laurie Kenny. "They're really honoured that he's in with his father, Langfuhr. Wando was always a very special horse."

Apelia, a very fast filly owned and bred by Steve Stavro's Knob Hill Stable, was named Canada's Sovereign Award champion sprinter in 1993. Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Phil England, she won half of her 24 career starts and was a stakes winner at the highest level for three consecutive years. A winner in New York, Kentucky, New Jersey, as well as Ontario, Apelia was ridden by Hall of Fame jockeys Larry Attard and Don Seymour in all her races except one. Apelia is the dam of champion mare Saoirse.

"Apelia was before my time," said Stavro's grandson Blake. "When I talk with my family, I come to the conclusion that I was born seven years too late.

"It says a lot that my grandmother, grandfather and Hill took a relatively unproven filly down South to one of the world's best tracks. Instead of picking one of the local, top jockeys, Hill put his trust in Larry Attard. Apelia won a thrilling race.

"I have always had a fascination with horse's names, like Apelia. The name Apelia was chosen after my grandmother discovered a nice Greek wine that she really liked. My parents were very proud to call her their own."

Cool Mood, herself a daughter of Northern Dancer, won the 1969 Canadian Oaks for Hall of Fame Builder D.G. Willmot, and went on to become one of Canada's most influential broodmares. In fact, she produced two fillies that, in turn, would both produce Canadian Triple Crown winners. Her daughter Shy Spirit was the dam of Izvestia, and daughter Passing Mood was the dam of With Approval. The latter is an equine member of the Hall of Fame along with his half-brother, Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold.

"‎Sometimes the key to success in this industry is dumb luck and that's what happened to us with Cool Mood," said David Willmot. "My father and I attended our first sale. We didn't know anything. She was the first yearling that we ever bought and she ended up becoming our foundation mare."

Argentine-born trainer Horatio Luro, nicknamed ‘El Gran Senor’ was hired as a trainer by E.P. Taylor and was best known in Canada for training Northern Dancer in 1964, fifty years ago. During his career, Luro trained 43 stakes winners, including three Queen’s Plate winners.

"Horatio would have really appreciated this honour because of the international flavour this Canadian Hall of Fame has evolved into," said Luro's grandson Billy Wright. "Horatio was as international as anybody. Congratulations to all the inductees and thank you for adding him."

Named Canada’s outstanding jockey in 1993 and 1994, Robert Landry’s stats over a 29-year riding career include 17,656 mounts with purse earnings of $69.7 million and over 2,000 wins. Of note was his 1999 Atto Mile win on Quiet Resolve, as well as the 2004 Queen’s Plate aboard Niigon. He rode five consecutive Canadian Champion two-year-old fillies from 1996-2000. The 2003 Avelino Gomez Memorial Award winner for lifetime achievement as a jockey, Landry has also made significant contributions to the promotion of racing, including participating as a board member for LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society.

"An honour like this isn't achieved without a lot of support. I'd like to thank all of the owners, trainers, and fellow riders. You need support and I got plenty of it and I greatly appreciate it. I'd like to thank Sue Leslie. In the early 90s I struggled to get a mount and she gave me an opportunity to drive a stable of horses.

"Thank you to my wife for being very supportive of my career and always standing by me. I'm not the easiest to get along with.

"Thank you very much and congratulations to all of tonight's inductees."

W. (Bill) D. Graham has been an integral participant in the horse racing industry for almost half a century as an outstanding breeder, owner and racing executive. He is the owner of Windhaven Farms which operates in both Caledon, Ont. and Lexington, Kentucky, and has bred and raced many Sovereign Award-winning horses throughout his career including the 2012 Canadian Horse of the Year Uncaptured. Graham also bred U.S. Grade I winner Joyful Victory who was victorious in the 2013 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita.

"Thank you for this great honour, I treasure this moment," noting that he entered the game on the smaller scale against the bigger owners but had some good luck with a number of champion fillies and some great people along the way. 

Arthur W. Stollery was the owner and breeder of two of Canada’s most celebrated racing stars, both CHRHF inductees: Kennedy Road and Laurie's Dancer. Kennedy Road, named after the location of his Unionville-based Angus Glen Farms, dominated Canadian racing for three years. He was named Champion two-year-old in 1970 and again Champion as a three-year-old the following year, 1971. This was followed by more accolades, including Canadian Horse of the Year in 1973. Kennedy Road was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000 and has a stakes race, which is contested annually at Woodbine, named after him. Laurie's Dancer, named after Stollery’s daughter, was an outstanding racing daughter of Northern Dancer. She captured the Canadian Oaks in 1971 on her way to being named Canada's Horse of the Year. During that season, she was also victorious in the very prestigious Alabama Stakes at Saratoga. Laurie's Dancer was enshrined in to the Hall of Fame in 2006.

"My Dad would be beaming at being recognized tonight, said Stollery's daughter Laurie. "The Angus Glen Farm raced with the turquoise and orange silks, chosen by my mother Helen Stollery, who is also in my thoughts tonight. People often ask me about the vibrant turquoise and orange silks and where it comes from. I tell them it comes from the sunset over Angus Glen Farms. My Dad was a great sportsman, playing football at Queen's, later inducted as a member of their Hall of Fame. He played quarterback for the Hamilton Tigercats in 1943, the year they won the Grey Cup.

"He was a mining entrepreneur, entering their Hall of Fame in 1995. He was a cattle breeder before horses, very interested in crossbreeding, pairing European breeds with his Angus. He bred racehorses for five years before ever going to the races. Suffering a heart attack in his 50s, he said he thought it would be too much to go to the track. The success of Kennedy Road changed that and made him very excited to be there. He never quite felt the same way about breeding cattle after that. Horses have personalities. He was an avid researcher of bloodlines, reading everything publication pre-internet. He travelled extensively, creating lasting relationships and impressions. Art was a dedicated man with a vision. He was totally involved, strategizing with jockeys and trainers. He was always prepared to do what it took and put his winnings back into the industry with new broodmares. He was an avid golfer later in life, building a golf course on some of the paddock land at Angus Glen.

"It's been fun for me, reminiscing with our scrapbooks. I was lucky to be a part, Laurie's Dancer was named after me and on that special day, she started it by winning the Oaks and Kennedy Road ended the day by winning the Queens Plate. He excelled in everything he did."

STANDARDBRED INDUCTEES

Male Horse Category: Rocknroll Hanover – bred by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc, Hanover, Pennsylvania. Owned by Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey.

Female Horse Category: Dreamfair Eternal – bred by Mary and John Lamers, and owned by John Lamers, Ingersoll, Ontario.

Veteran Horse Category: Albatross – bred by John E Wilcutts, Aberdeen, North Carolina; Charles A Kenney, Lexington, Kentucky; Elizabeth B Peters, Wilmington Delaware; and Mark Lydon, Abington, Massachusetts. Owned by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc, Hanover, Pennsylvania; George Segal, Versailles, Kentucky; Castleton Farm, Lexington, Kentucky; Hal S Jones, Montgomery, New York.

Trainer/Driver Category: Wally Hennessey – Coconut Creek, Florida.

Builder Category: Dr. Ted Clarke – Elmira, Ontario.

Builder Category: Robert Murphy – Vancouver, British Columbia.

Communicator Category: Bill Galvin, Mississauga, Ontario.

THOROUGHBRED INDUCTEES

Male Horse Category: Wando – bred and owned by Gustav Schickedanz, Schomberg, Ontario.

Female Horse Category: Apelia – bred and owned by Steve Stavros, Knob Hill Stables, Newmarket, Ontario.

Veteran Horse Category: Cool Mood – owned by David Wilmot, Kinghaven Farms, King City, Ontario.

Veteran People Category Horatio Luro – Argentine-born trainer of Northern Dancer.

Jockey Category: Robert Landry – Toronto, Ontario.

Builder Category: William ‘Bill’ Graham – owner of Windhaven Farms, Cheltenham, Ontario and Lexington, Kentucky.

Builder Category: Arthur Stollery – owner Angus Glen Farms, Markham, Ontario.


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