Longtime harness racing industry participant Jack Jones passed away on May 15, 2023 at Woodstock Hospital at the age of 90. Jack was born on February 1, 1933 in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
He will be sadly missed by his step-daughter Cathy Boughton and her husband Bill O'Donnell along with many friends from the harness racing industry and his past co-workers at The Watermark restaurant in Waterdown and his landlord of 21 years Rod Witzel and his special friend Donna Coady. Predeceased by his parents Vera and Newton Jones, and his sister Bonnie (Charlie).
Jack left Manitoba when he was 14 years old to pursue his dream of working with Standardbred race horses. Jack arrived in Toronto at Thorncliffe Park Raceway where he worked for Don Finlayson, also from Portage la Prairie, for the summer. He returned home after the summer and took a job grooming horses for Ray Dryden for five months. Jack hitched a ride to Trois-Rivières in Quebec where he worked for Hampt Hoover for three years.
Jack then went to work for Hall of Famer Keith Waples at Richelieu Park in Montreal. Keith sent Jack to Trois-Rivières with four horses to look after. Jack also did some driving.
In 1962, Jack then moved to Coldwater, Ont. with Keith Waples. He worked for Keith along with Murray Waples and Ron Waples. When Mohawk Racetrack opened in Campbellville, Ont., Keith moved his stable to the backstretch where Jack worked for Keith for another three years.
Jack then went to work for Dr. Russ Furness as a farm manager and trainer for the newly opened Argyle Farms just north of Mohawk. Jack had a stable of 12 horses to train. Jack also worked for Larry Walker and co-owned a horse by the name of Lois And Clark with Larry who did very well.
When it was time to retire, Jack decided to work as a crossing guard for one of the local schools. He then moved on to work as a prep chef at The Watermark Restaurant in Waterdown, Ont., where he was employed for the next nine years. Jack loved to work and did so until his 88th year.
Jack had a passion for horses and he also loved CFL Football and watching the Toronto Blue Jays. He loved the old country music artists such as George Jones, Johnny Cash just to name a few. Jack loved to cook and was always bringing food into the barn where he worked for all of the other employees to enjoy.
Cremation has taken place. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Smith-LeRoy Funeral Home, 69 Wellington St. N, Woodstock, 519-537-3611.
Donations in Jack’s memory may be sent to Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. Personal condolences may be shared at the Smith Elroy website.
Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Jack Jones.