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Harness Racing Families Honoured

Published: September 26, 2016 9:12 am ET

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The Atlantic Breeders Crown Host Committee is pleased to announce the four Atlantic Canadian harness racing families who will be honoured for their successes and longstanding contributions to the industry during the upcoming Atlantic Breeders Crown weekend at Red Shores Charlottetown on October 8 & 9.

It is only fitting in the 50th year of the Atlantic Sires Stakes program, that the family of Jack and brother Doug Ferguson of Nova Scotia are being recognized. Jack was a longtime proponent of the local breeding program, operating Precentor Farm and serving as the manager of the Atlantic Sires Stakes program for nearly 30 years. Brother Doug produced some of the best known products of the regional stakes program at his Kilkerran Farms in Bay Head, N.S. Kilkerran Ella and Kilkerran Robbie were two of the top stars in the AtSS program in the 1970's. Two-time Atlantic Canadian Horse of the Year, Kilkerran Fury still holds the record for career earnings by a Maritime-bred in the region. Kilkerran Ingle was the last Maritime-bred to win the Gold Cup and Saucer in 1992, while Kilkerran Scot is the richest-ever Martime-bred performer.

The Pineau family from Rustico, P.E.I. has experienced many successes in the Atlantic Sires Stakes over the decades. Brothers Alyre, John and Alphonse all developed and raced numerous stakes performers. Alyre recorded over 1,000 driving wins in a long career, setting the CDP track trotting record on three separate occasions and winning numerous AtSS trot events. John was also a successful trainer and driver in later years and was breeder of a number of top Maritime-bred trotters with the Rustico prefix. One of his homebreds, Rustico Pluto was the first locally bred trotter to break the 1:55 barrier. Alphonse was also a driver and trainer who spent some time on the Grand Circuit in the 1970's. The popular blacksmith also developed several top horses for H.B. Willis. Several other Pineau family members have donned the silks over the years including Alyre's sons, David, Tommy and Joey and Alphonse's son Steve.

From New Brunswick, the family of the late Sonny MacDonald has been involved with standardbreds for over 50 years. Wife Sylvia was the long-serving Clerk of the Course at Exhibition Park Raceway. Sons Clyde, Ross and Bruce all were involved in the family past-time. Ross was a top driver and trainer at EPR in the late 1980's and Bruce has found success in Ontario training some top horses for the Mardon Stables and partner Dan MacIsaac, including Card Trick Hanover, Armbro Choir and Catch The Dream.

From Newfoundland and Labrador, the Dooling family will be recognized for their long involvement in the local industry there.

Presentations to each of the four families will take place at the Atlantic Breeders Crown banquet at the Top of the Park at Red Shores Charlottetown on Saturday, October 8th. The four families from each of the Atlantic Provinces will also be saluted with memorabilia on display in the “Memory Lane” room on the second level of the CDP grandstand.

(with files from Red Shores)

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