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Robert ‘Claire’ Porter Passes

Published: May 22, 2018 1:06 pm ET

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Trot Insider has learned that Standardbred horseman Robert 'Claire' Porter passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 19 at Strathmere Lodge in Strathroy with his family by his side. He was in his 77th year.

Known to all as ‘Claire,’ the beloved husband of Linda Porter (McLellan) of 52 years. Loving father of Jackie (Paul) Porter, Jodie (Rob) Nieuwenhuizen, Jason (Angela) Porter, Cherished grandfather to Chad and Eliza Fleming, Emma, Michaela and Kurtis Nieuwenhuizen, Ethan and Jayla Porter. Dear brother-in-law to David Robertson and Sue Porter. Claire is predeceased by sister-in-law Sandra (2017) and his parents, Bob (1999) and Sadie (2004).

Claire was an avid horse lover and belonged to Standardbred Canada for 40 years. A core community member, Claire was the owner, mechanic and conversationalist to visitors and patrons alike.

In addition to finding much success as a trainer, generally, Claire conditioned 1986 North America Cup winner Quite A Sensation. Sent off at odds of 30-1 that night at the now-defunct Greenwood Raceway, the gelding prevailed by a nose over even-money favourite Amity Chef in a track record clocking of 1:54.2.

Later that year, Quite A Sensation set a world record for pacing geldings on a half-mile track by winning at Northfield Park 1:54.4. The mile time shaved two full seconds off the previous standard for three-year-old pacing geldings and almost a full second off the overall track mark of 1:55.3 established by another half-mile world champion, Falcon Seelster.

"Quite A Sensation will always have a special place in my heart and mind," said the pacer’s regular reinsman, Trevor Ritchie. "He was the horse that propelled my career to the next level when he won the North America Cup all those years ago. He got me on the world stage with that win and will always be one of my favourites."

Purchased as a weanling for $5,500, Quite A Sensation retired with a lifetime record of 49-25-20 from 155 starts, a bankroll of $1,087,568 and a speed badge of 1:53.3 taken at Raceway Park during his five-year-old season.

Claire's family would like to thank the staff at Strathrmere Lodge for their exceptional and loving care to Claire over the years.

Friends will be received at M.BOX & SON FUNERAL HOME, 183 Broad St., Parkhill on Tuesday (May 22) from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Wednesday (May 23) from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. followed by a service at 1:00 p.m. with Rev. Mark Isaac officiating.

As an expression of sympathy, donations to the Alzheimer's Society or the MS Society would be greatly appreciated.

Please leave a memory or condolence online at

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to Claire Porter.

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