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Coleman Still Has The Itch

Published: September 18, 2017 11:12 am ET

Last Comment: September 18, 2017 6:51 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

At the age of 90, Merle Coleman has spent a lifetime in the Standardbred racing industry. To this day, one thing has yet to change for the resident of Virden, Manitoba. “When they pull out of [the farm to go to the races], I want to go.”

The Western Producer has penned a profile piece which sheds some light on Coleman and her family, as they continue to be active participants on the Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing Circuit, which concluded its 2017 meet of racing earlier this month.

Merle still lives on a section of the family farm with her daughter, Dreda Braybrook. Clayton, who is Merle’s grandson, continues the family’s presence on the Manitoba circuit. His racing stock boards on the Virden farm, and when those charges get loaded up to head out to the races, Merle’s competitive juices begin to flow again.

Reflecting on her earlier years in the harness racing industry, Merle modestly says, “We won a few trophies.”

Merle Coleman (pictured) has spent a lifetime in the harness racing industry (Photo courtesy Karen Morrison)

Merle currently owns four Standardbreds that still contest races on the circuit, while Clayton has nine.

Although race dates on the Manitoba circuit have dwindled over the past couple of years, Darryl Mason, the Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing Circuit president, said last month that some of the programs of racing – specifically at Killarney – saw wagering spike 100 per cent. He also said that the crowds were strong. Mason credits Merle and her family for being staunch supporters of the circuit.

“Their horses always looked great, they were fat and well looked after,” Mason said, in reference to the Standardbreds that the family has entered to compete on the circuit.

“Racing has been around for a long time and I hope it continues.”

(With files from The Western Producer)

September 18, 2017 - 6:51 pmI sure do agree with you

I sure do agree with you Mr.Smith, I went and got my QC licenses and I need a few horses to qualify. If you hear of anyone willing to give me a few to qualify, I would really appreciate it. Just need a few drives to get the kinks out.

September 18, 2017 - 1:58 pmThis is a very nice story and

This is a very nice story and shows that for those who truly love harness racing it never grows old .

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