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Coville Calls It Quits

Published: June 29, 2019 11:16 am ET

Last Comment: June 30, 2019 11:45 am ET | 6 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

With a remarkable career behind him, Darrell Coville will put on his green, black and yellow colours for the last six drives of his career on Sunday at Rideau Carleton Raceway as he has chosen June 30 -- also his 65th birthday -- as the day he will retire from driving.

Darrell Coville with Jamie Copley (L) and John MacMillan (R) at the 2007 NCRHHA Awards

If a poll was taken around Eastern Ontario and into Quebec asking those within the harness racing community who they would define as the greatest all-around horseman of their time, Coville's name would frequently come up. With 6,767 driving wins under his belt and $22.5 million collected in purse earnings, Coville will retire as Rideau Carleton’s all-time leading driver.

When asked the reason for his retirement, Coville, known for being a true gentleman both on and off the track, simply noted that times in the harness racing industry have changed. “I mainly drove in Ottawa but I also drove in Quebec and mostly all the owners and trainers I drove for are gone. It’s different now and I’m just getting a little tired. After my dad passed away, I lost some interest in the business too. He kept after me pretty good.”

As much as Coville will be missed around the Rideau ranks, he added he will miss the people he’s been lucky enough to meet and how thankful he is for the opportunities he has been given. “For many years I would race seven days a week and sometimes two tracks in a day so I got to travel a lot and meet a lot of people. I’ll miss all my friends.”

Although Coville will be hanging up his colours, the retired life won’t be slow-going. “We have two farms now and I have a bunch of beef cattle, so that will keep me busy. I have one old broodmare here and that’s about it.”

A great friend to many around the track who is well deserving of his retirement, Coville said he doesn’t have many plans to remain in the industry. He reflected on a few pinnacle moments in his career such as his win with F Ms Dream in the Prix Du Quebec at Hippodrome de Montreal in 2002.

“There’s been so many great memories but that win with F Ms Dream, that was the best one,” Coville told Trot Insider “I also went to Prince Edward Island to drive in the Gold Cup & Saucer in 1998 for Victor Puddy. I didn’t do any good in the final with Canaco Dynamo but I won the consolation with Two Step Boogie.”

“It was so cool racing there and it felt better than winning the Hambletonian, I really loved that. I drove those horses in the Preferred races in Montreal too.”

As much as Coville would hate to miss any names among the list of people he credits for his success, he pointed to special memories driving for Bill Horner, Sherry Korniski, and Victor Puddy. “There are too many people that I can’t thank enough, there are hundreds. Particularly my dad [Orville], he really kept me going especially when I first got started.”

On Sunday (click here for entries), Coville will take the lines from long-time Rideau horseman Ted McDonald to drive Cheque The Magic and Mitt Jagger. He will also be aboard Wildcat Cam for Jamie Copley, Vanilla Malted for John MacMillan and Reiki for trainer Gary McDonald, who will also send out Coville’s final drive Domitian Hall.

While Coville will say goodbye to driving on Sunday, he'll likely be back later in the summer as Rideau Carleton Raceway and the National Capital Region Harness Horse Association will celebrate his career with a special card featuring fireworks around Labour Day.

June 30, 2019 - 11:45 amDarrell you haven't changed 1

Darrell you haven't changed 1 bit, I miss you and I miss all the good times we had with Bud and Orlie, may they rest in peace. Come and see me in Kingston, love you like a brother, good Luck on your future endeavors.

June 30, 2019 - 9:56 amYou're the best, GENTLEMAN &

You're the best, GENTLEMAN & FRIEND, enjoy your retirement YOUNG FELLA, you really earned it. The LORD permitting, I will be there on Labour day. BEST OF LUCK.

June 30, 2019 - 8:45 amWill miss the Green and

ron francis SAID...

Will miss the Green and Yellow DC. Glad to have had the opportunity to call a few races that you drove in back in our home village of South Mountain (early 90's). Enjoy retirement.

June 29, 2019 - 5:52 pmThank you for taking the

Robyn Lawlor SAID...

Thank you for taking the lines for us from time to time. Enjoy your retirement!

June 29, 2019 - 1:57 pmCongratulations on a great

Gord Brown SAID...

Congratulations on a great career Darrell and best of luck on your future endeavors.

June 29, 2019 - 11:39 amDarrell was always a joy to

Darrell was always a joy to work with. When he said yes, you had no more worries. Congratulations on a great career and enjoy your retirement. All the best.

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