Admirals Express Voted 2010 Cam Fella Award Recipient

Published: January 5, 2011 02:13 pm EST

Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce that Admirals Express has been voted the 2010 recipient of the Cam Fella Award


The Cam Fella Award, which recognizes extreme recent meritorious service to the Canadian harness racing industry, will be presented to the connections of Admirals Express, fondly known as the ‘The Grey Gladiator,’ at the annual O'Brien Awards Banquet on Saturday, January 29, 2011 at the Delta Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga, Ont.

‘The Admiral’ was owned by Ed and Cheryl Sayfie and Laurel and Gary Gust of Michigan. He was trained by Mike Hales and driven in most of his races by Paul MacDonell.

Admirals Express enthralled the racing industry and fans with his on-track performances, but his connection to fans and horsepeople transcended his ability on the racetrack. His indomitable spirit, the emotion he evoked, and the excitement he stirred within us when he raced made The Admiral unique and somewhat of an icon within the Canadian harness racing industry.

His performances on the racetrack were superb. They included 353 starts, 86 wins, 14 sub-1:50 wins and $2.1 million in purse earnings.

Purchased as a yearling for a mere $3,700, Admirals Express raced from 1998 through early 2010 with a brief retirement in late 2006. He was voted Canada’s Horse of the Year and Older Pacing Horse of the Year in 2005. The Grey Gladiator out-earned, out-paced and out-fought his free-for-all foes to become one of the most popular and beloved horses in Canada.

Following his racing career, The Grey Gladiator was reunited with his former caretaker, Wellington Charles, and travelled to horse shows and racetracks throughout Ontario, drawing large crowds everywhere he went, acting as a Goodwill Ambassador for harness racing.

Trot editor Darryl Kaplan described the love affair that the racing industry had with The Admiral in the November 2010 issue, “To us, what we saw in Admirals Express was who we strive to be. He was courageous, unwavering, and a little bit flashy. He was a horse who demanded respect, and in return offered each of us more than we could ever ask of him.”

On October 19, Admirals Express was euthanized after sustaining a serious leg injury. When the story of his passing was reported on it was viewed an amazing 15,463 times and commented on by readers 66 times. There was an unprecedented outpouring of emotion from the industry.

Admirals Express is the third horse to win the coveted Cam Fella Award. Cam Fella was the first recipient. Somebeachsomewhere won the award in 2008.

Standardbred Canada established the Cam Fella Award in 1997, and fittingly its namesake was the first recipient, acknowledging ‘Cam's unparalleled contributions to the sport of harness racing. Past Winners of the Cam Fella Award include the Honourable Michael D. Harris, former Premier of the Province of Ontario (2000), Minister Mitchell Murphy, Provincial Treasurer for the Province of Prince Edward Island and formerly the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry (2003), Armstrong Bros. Farms (2004), Dr. David C. Reid, former Chair of Horse Racing Alberta (2005), Ralph Klein, former Premier of the Province of Alberta (2006), Ann Curran, creator and co-ordinator of the Mildred Williams International Driving Series (2007), the incredible pacing horse that reenergized harness racing, Somebeachsomewhere (2008), and Ross Galbraith, former Chair of the New Brunswick Horse Racing Industry Association (2009).

A national committee of 16 representing the standardbred community vote by secret ballot to determine the Cam Fella Award winner. A winner must receive a majority of the votes.

Canadian-owned, trained and driven, Cam Fella was an outstanding racehorse in the early 1980s who won 56 races, over $2-million in purse money and two consecutive Horse of the Year titles in North America. As a stallion, Cam sired numerous World Champions and horses with earnings in excess of $106-million. Unfortunately Cam suffered from testicular cancer and in early 1997, was retired from breeding. He died in May of 2001 at the Kentucky Horse Park, where he had lived for several years and served as an outstanding ambassador of the standardbred breed.

The creation of the Cam Fella Award was the harness racing industry's way of ensuring that Cam's contribution to the sport is never forgotten.



Congratulations indeed!! Always love tough,speedy horses who keep on rolling thru the years and keep bouncing back for more wins. Like Springtop, the Admiral was a tough cookie giving fans something to look forward to every time he started.

I am glad to hear that Admiral's Express has won this prestigious award and rightly so. I still feel sorry for this horse and he loved racing and had a heart like few. RIP Admiral's Express.

Janelle Scherbik

A fitting award to a horse who stood out from the pack. I'll never forget watching him walk down to the infield at Grand River at a Standardbred Showcase, surveying 60 retired Standardbreds , the look in his eye, the demand for respect , the energy and intensity. He had the look of a General accounting his troops, an Admiral inspecting his fleet.

Congratulations to all those involved with Admirals Express. A well-deserved honour for this wonderful horse. He was a tough cookie and he wasn't easy to pass by in a race when many of his miles were under 1:50!!! He is definitely on my list with some of my favourites like Niatross(Hello Mr. Galbraith), Nihilator, Dragon's Lair, Laag(another tough cookie)-just to name a few. Good choice by the national committee for the Cam Fella Award.

To Standardbred Canada and all of his supporters, we on behalf of Admiral's Express would like to thank you for this wonderful award and the love you have shown the great grey. He will be remembered long after we are all gone, and for that we are so grateful.

Thank you all of Canada.

Edward and Cheryl Sayfie

Congratulations to Admirals Express!

Ed and Cheryl Sayfie and Laurel and Gary Gust, Mike Hales, Paul Macdonnell and Wellington Charles did a great job presenting this horse to the harness racing fans, during and after a fantastic racing career.

Admirals Express truly performed extreme meritorious service to the harness racing industry.

I loved the Grey Gladiator!! I loved the heart he showed every race and the excitment he meant to the industry.I stay in this industry to some day own a horse that works so hard every race. Hopefully, Iam closer every day.

A well deserved win for a great and much missed horse. Congratulations to his connections.

Watching horses like the Admiral race is one of the primary reasons I own horses.Always dreamed to have one like him.Will never happen.There is only one Admirals express.

A great honour for a great horse -- Congrats Admiral!!!!
have to agree with you Allan -- definitely won't be another one like him

Marie Stoyles-Moura

Well deserved! Even though I always tried to get this horse beat, when handicapping, I was always a fan... Congrats!

This horse can't win enough awards to recognize him for his heart and will to win. The Gladiator is the Terry Fox of the equine world !!!!! Way to Go Admiral

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