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SC Rewind - Ontario's Pioneers

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Published: August 8, 2009 7:55 am ET

Last Comment: August 8, 2009 10:29 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Writer Robert Smith reflects on the start up of the Ontario Sires Stakes program and takes a look at some of the early participants way back then.

Thirty five years ago a band of pioneers were moving about the Province of Ontario. They were not travelling in covered wagons or wearing buckskin clothing and toting muskets. And no, they weren't surviving on a diet of wild berries and buffalo meat....well, OK, I am not sure about the last part but I do know there were pioneers out and about.

These hardy pioneers were actually a group of enthusiastic harness racing participants who were the originals in the Ontario Sires Stakes Program. They were part of a major movement in the sport as they travelled to places like Elmira, Hanover, Leamington, Barrie and so on. There was a lot of money on the line and it was just the start.

In my basement archives I recently unearthed a program from Barrie Raceway dated September 23, 1974. The features of the night were two divisions of the 3 Year Old Filly Pace O.S.S style. I have listed all of the particulars; the horses, their sires, owners, trainers and drivers. Cost of the program 50 cents; value of the information, priceless.

First Division - Purse $ 5,697.00
Time : 2:07:2 (Listed In Order Of Finish)

1- Skippy's Norene (by Skippy's Pride C.)
Owner - Harry McNaughton, London
Tr. - Jack Kopas
Dr. - Ken McElroy

2- Conray Goldie (Direct Adios Clay)
Owner - Ray Connell, Dundas
Tr.-Dr. - Don Davies

3- Granny Galbraith (Count Time)
Owner - Ray & Dean Leifso, Elmwood
Tr.-Dr. - Howard Kennedy

4- Doree Herbert (Dean Herbert)
Owner - Wm. H. Herbert Stables
Tr. - Jack Herbert
Dr. - Steve Quirie

5- Perfect Jackie (Perfect Wave)
Owner - J.A. Morgan, Stratford
Tr.-Dr.-Gary Payne

6- G.T.W. (Happy Go Lucky)
Owner - Walter Ackland, Toronto
Tr.-Dr. - Nelson White

7- Ginger Time (Good Flyer)
Owner - John McHale, Ottawa
Tr.-Dr.- Bruce Kennedy

Second Division - Purse $6,167.00
Time : 2:04 (Listed in order of finish)

1- Merrywood Sara (Skippy Pride C)
Owner - Merrywood Farms, Grand Bend
Tr-Dr.- Don Larkin

2- Arrochar Wendy (Dean Herbert)
Owner - Shewfelt And Wall, Kincardine
Tr.-Dr.- Dave Wall

3- Kelly Rose (Armbro Express)
Owner - Douglas Culhn, Oakville
Tr.-W. Stead
Dr.- Harold Stead

4- Kawartha Ilene (Hoot Frost)
Owner - Denton Johnson, Peterborough
Tr. - Keith Waples
Dr. - Tom Strauss

5- Honey Zip (Zip Tar)
Owner - Fred Sollner, Dutton
Tr.-Dr.- Ken Gowan

6- Dutchie Dodger (Lynden Dodger)
Owner - George Moyer Brantford
Tr.-Dr. - Eric Langille

7- J.R. Beauty (Blaze Pick)
Owner- L. Murdock, Blenheim; S. Kerr, Muirkirk
Tr.-Dr. - Fred Goudreau

8- Mimi Gene (Meadow Gene)
Owner- De Ferraro Guelph
Tr.-Dr. - Nelson White

This win by Merrywood Sara was her sixth consecutive, raising her season's earnings to just under $60,000, a true indication of the possibilities of a rising star participating in the new O.S.S. program.

August 8, 2009 - 10:29 amAnd we had a great party

dean leifso SAID...

And we had a great party afterwards in Mr. Rowe's office.


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