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Stan Klemencic Passes

Published: June 17, 2021 9:24 am ET

Last Comment: June 18, 2021 5:22 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Longtime harness racing industry participant Stan Klemencic passed away peacefully at his Trenton, Ont. residence on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at the age of 94.

Stan’s passion for horses followed him to Canada after he was displaced from his native Slovenia during World War II.

“My passion when I studied at school in Europe was that I wanted to be a vet,” noted Klemencic in a 2018 TROT Magazine feature. “I had a passion for all animals, especially horses. I ploughed fields with horses and did things like that. I have always enjoyed being around them.”

Stan’s foray into the Standardbred industry came some 50 years ago with his first homebred: Zorro Grattan. The son of Adioscot - Dorann Grattan proved to be a formidable competitor on the racetrack during a 249-race career that yielded 65 wins, 45 seconds and 34 thirds.

“I raced him in eastern Ontario,” recalled Klemencic. “At one time, he won 13 races in a row, and they wouldn’t let me race him any more.”

His meagre beginnings in eastern Ontario would set the stage for international success, raising millionaires and multiple award winners at his sprawling Trenton acreage. As a small breeder, he took his greatest pleasure in watching horses bred and raised on the farm go onto achieve success at the track, including Dan Patch Award Winner and millionaire What The Hill and O'Brien Award winner Mass Production. Klemencic himself was a finalist for the 2017 O'Brien Awards in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category. He was inducted into the Quinte West Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his achievements in the sport of harness racing.

“Everyone has a passion for something,” he said. “My passion is horses. I’m a pretty lucky guy.”

Stan leaves behind his wife and best friend Pavla, sons Tim, Andy, Mark and Tony, and daughter Barbara, along with 16 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending and will be added when available.

“My dad has always been someone in the background - always doing it for love of the sport, not the glory,” noted his son Tim, who handles the day-to-day operations for his father's breeding farm. “Now, finally, he’s recognized as one of the best breeders in our country.

“My dad’s love for his horses has been a constant for all these years. His success has been from never being content and always trying to be better. Buying better mares and then breeding to better stallions produced a better product that is sought after by some of the best trainers in the sport."

Friends are invited to attend a drive through visitation at the RUSHNELL FUNERAL CENTRE, 60 Division St., Trenton (613-392-2111) on Friday, June 18 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Those who are attending are required to remain in their vehicles with a mask on. Due to COVID restrictions, a private family Funeral Mass will be held at St. Peter's Catholic Church, Trenton on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Service will be livestreamed and the link will be available at rushnellfamilyservices.com. Rite of Committal will be held at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Trenton following the service. If desired, donations in Stan's memory to the Heart & Home Building Campaign for Hospice Quinte, Dom Lipa (Slovenian Nursing Home in Etobicoke) or St. Peter's Church in Trenton would be greatly appreciated by the family.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Stan Klemencic.

June 18, 2021 - 5:22 pmI knew you were very close to

Gord Brown SAID...

I knew you were very close to him Mark. What an amazing kind man. Like you I have been at his farm many times. The Klemencics' love of horses is second to none. R.I.P. Stan

June 17, 2021 - 1:10 pmI had been very fortunate to

mark steacy SAID...

I had been very fortunate to have had the privilege of training horses for Stan over the last 25 years. He was a great person to deal with and always understood the ups and downs of the business. It was always a pleasure to visit his farm and inspect his young horses, as well as many interesting chats we would have over the phone. He supported me for many years and I am very proud to have been his friend as well as his trainer. He will be greatly missed by myself and my family. My sincere condolences to Mrs Klemencic and family.
Mark Steacy.


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