The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame congratulates the people and horses being recognized as inductees in 2023. Four people and four horses have been elected from a ballot of very deserving candidates.
Induction ceremonies for the Class of 2023 will be held in August 2023, along with those previously announced in October 2022 as the CHRHF Class of 2022. Additional details will be announced in May.
Class of 2023 – Standardbred Inductees
Dr. Lloyd S. McKibbin, DVM – Builder
Chris Christoforou – Driver
Bulldog Hanover – Male Horse
Pure Ivory – Female Horse
Dr. Lloyd S. McKibbin, DVM – Standardbred Builder
The late Dr. Lloyd Salem McKibbin, DVM is considered a pioneer in the advancement of equine veterinary medicine. He was an innovator, teacher, and author as well as a very hands-on veterinarian. A graduate of Ontario Veterinary College in 1952, Dr. McKibbin, decided to specialize in equine care, and more specifically lameness, treated patients with acupuncture, cryosurgery and laser therapy. He was also among the very first people to advocate swimming horses for therapeutic purposes. Horse owners travelled from far and wide to his small, unassuming clinic in Wheatley, ON for treatment using the ground-breaking methods he employed, all the while acting in the best interest of his equine patients. Among the numerous horses aided by Dr. McKibbin was CHRHF 2020 Inductee Rambling Willie who spent time under “Doc’s” care. It was the relationship Rambling Willie’s owners had with Dr. McKibbin that provided the opportunity for the much-lauded horse to race in Canada and become a three-time winner of the Canadian Pacing Derby.
“Doc” also spent considerable time mentoring other veterinarians to follow in his path, many of whom went on to open their own successful practices. His books Horse Owners Handbook and Cryoanalgesia for Horses continue to be used as reference manuals.
In recognition of his work, Dr. McKibbin was inducted to the Chatham-Kent Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1989.
Chris Christoforou – Driver
Chris Christoforou has been driving Standardbred horses for 33 consecutive years, beginning in 1990 and continuing until the present time. The opportunity to pilot his family’s homebred trotter, Earl, brought Chris into the spotlight early in his driving career, and that family connection to harness racing continues to this day. In 1993 at the age of 21, Christoforou became the second youngest driver to win a prestigious Breeders Crown race when he and Earl captured the Open Trot division at Mohawk.
Among the many other horses Christoforou achieved major stakes success with include Grinfromeartoear (1999 Breeders Crown); CHRHF Member Astreos (2000 Little Brown Jug), as well as CHRHF Member Peaceful Way (2003 Goldsmith Maid and 2003 Oakville Stakes). He has also visited the OSS Super Final winner’s circle 10 times.
Over his career Christoforou’s driving stats have reached 6,758 career wins, nearly $119 million in purse earnings and a .260 UDRS lifetime rating and he has been presented the O’Brien Award as Canada’s Driver of the Year on four occasions.
Bulldog Hanover – Standardbred Male Horse
Sired by 2022 CHRHF Inductee Shadow Play and out of Artsplace mare BJs Squall, Bulldog Hanover was purchased by CHRHF 2022 Trainer Inductee, Jack Darling, for $28,000 at the 2019 Harrisburg Black Book Sale. He began his race career at age two, winning four of six starts, including the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Super Final, with Jody Jamieson as his primary driver. Before the beginning of his three-year-old season, Brad Grant was added to his ownership as a partner.
At three, Bulldog Hanover continued to impress with three Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg wins. He stepped into Grand Circuit competition with wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and a North America Cup elimination, again with Jody Jamieson at the lines, before rounding out his sophomore year with four consecutive wins at Hoosier Park in the Monument Circle, the Star Destroyer Pace, the Circle City Pace and the Thanksgiving Classic, just a glimpse of what was to come.
During his 2022 campaign, Bulldog Hanover won four straight races in a 21-day period, at The Meadowlands, winning a Graduate leg in 1:47, the Roll With Joe in 1:46, the Graduate final in 1:46.1 and the William R. Haughton Memorial in a world record time of 1:45.4, all with Dexter Dunn in the bike. It was those 21 days from June 25 to July 16 that captured the world’s attention and catapulted Bulldog Hanover to a new status, as he became the fastest pacer of all time en route to Horse of the Year honours in Canada and unanimous Horse of the Year honours in the U.S.
When he retired from racing at the end of 2022, Bulldog Hanover’s lifetime stats included a record of 28-4-1 in 37 starts and earnings of $2,789,271. Before starting his 2022 campaign, Bulldog Hanover bred a limited number of mares, with his first foals beginning to arrive as their sire enters the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Bulldog Hanover continues his breeding career at Seelster Farms.
Pure Ivory – Standardbred Female Horse
Trotting mare Pure Ivory, by Striking Sahbra, has been successful both on the racetrack and as a broodmare. Bred by Diane Ingham and the late Harry Rutherford, of Mount Pleasant, ON, and owned throughout her racing career by Jerry Van Boekel, Christina Maxwell, Steve Condren and Rutherford, Pure Ivory’s racing stats include earnings of $1.44 million and a lifetime mark of 1:53.1. Trained by Brad Maxwell, the two-time O’Brien Award recipient (2005 & 2006) , the mare won 22 stakes races during her career, including Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals at age two and three, the Canadian Breeders Championship, and divisions of the Simcoe and Champlain Stakes.
Currently a broodmare owned by Steve Stewart of Paris, KY, Pure Ivory produced the 2019 Hambletonian champion, Forbidden Trade, who was a divisional O’Brien Award winner at two and three, Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2019, and amassed career earnings in excess of $2.3 million.
Class of 2023 – Thoroughbred Inductees
Glenn Sikura – Builder
Irwin Driedger – Jockey
Pink Lloyd – Male Horse
Formal Gold – Veteran
R. Glenn Sikura – Builder
The owner/operator of Hill ‘n’ Dale Canada, located in King, ON, R. Glenn Sikura, has contributed to Canadian Thoroughbred racing as a breeder, owner, and sales agent while also holding key positions with organizations representing various aspects of the Canadian Thoroughbred industry.
Glenn has served as Chief Steward of the Jockey Club of Canada since 2018 and is the Past-President of the National and Ontario Divisions of the CTHS, Past-President of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, a founding member and Past-President of OHRIA, former Director of both the Breeders Cup and TOBA.
As owner of Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms Sales Agency, in Toronto, to date he has sold 148 stakes horses that have won over $80,000,000 and 2,500 races. In Kentucky, horses Glenn has sold include Arlington Million G1 winner, Jambalaya, and Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Champion, Maryfield. Other successful sales graduates include Horse of the Year – A Bit o’ Gold, Dynamic Sky, Inglorious, and One for Rose. As an owner/breeder, Glenn campaigned champion Serenading, Handpainted, Painting and many others.
As a horse breeder who foals mares for clients across North America, it is estimated that he personally has delivered most of the approximately 1,500 horses foaled at the farm. Glenn is also the recipient of a Blood-Horse Mint Julep Cup for lifetime contribution to the Horse Industry in 2016, and an Award of Merit from the CTHS Ontario Division. Glenn becomes the third member of his family to be inducted to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, having been preceded by his father John Sikura, Jr, CHRHF Class of 2013 and brother, John G. Sikura, CHRHF Class of 2018.
Irwin Driedger – Jockey
A native of Russell, MB, Irwin Driedger launched his riding career in 1967, at age 11, as an exercise rider. He then honed his skills at fairs in Western Canada, before moving to bush tracks and eventually recognized tracks such as Assiniboia Downs in 1973, where he plied his trade until 1982. In 1979, Irwin set an Assiniboia record of 161 wins before surpassing his own accomplishment in 1980 with 180 victories. In 1981, Driedger made 214 trips to the winners’ circle, a record that stood for many years. Over the next 17 years, Driedger rode at major tracks across Canada winning 1,633 races for purse earnings of $14.6 million. The 1998 recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award, Driedger rode Sovereign Award Winners Liz’s Pride, Phoenix Factor, Classy ‘n’ Smart, In My Cap, Grey Classic and Imperial Choice. When CHRHF honouree Classy N Smart’s daughter Dance Smartly, was ready to start her race career, Driedger, was provided the opportunity to ride the future CHRHF Honoured Member for her first start, a five-furlong maiden race, which the pair won by a comfortable three and a half length margin.
In 1990, Driedger retired from competition and became the Secretary-Manager of the Jockeys Benefit Association of Canada, serving his first term until 2006. Under his direction Canadian Jockey’s became the first in North America to wear safety vests. Driedger was also instrumental in helping to install safety rails at Woodbine. From 2006 until 2018, Driedger held the position of Director of Thoroughbred Racing Surfaces at Woodbine. In 2019 he returned the Jockeys’ Benefit Association of Canada to again assume the role of Secretary-Manager, a position he held until his retirement in 2021.
Pink Lloyd – Male Horse
An Ontario-bred foal of 2012, Pink Lloyd became one of the country’s most famous and popular race horses during his career. Having missed out on his opportunity to race at age two and three due to growing pains, he certainly made up for it over his six years on the track, winning 29 of 38 starts and earning $2.4 million under the tutelage of Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Trainer, Robert Tiller. Bred by John Carey and owned by Entourage Stable, including principal owner, Frank Di Giulio Jr., the gelding’s first major win came early in 2017 when he captured the Jacques Cartier Stakes, a race he would remarkably win three more times. This win would be the start of a of an incredible career record of 26-career stakes wins, all accomplished at Woodbine at sprint distances. His perfect season of eight stakes wins earned him Sovereign Awards as Champion Older Horse, Outstanding Sprinter and Horse of the Year.
Over the course of the next four years, five more Sovereign Awards were earned while Pink Lloyd reigned as the perennial Sprint Champion, often competing in record time. Pink Lloyd’s thirty-eighth and final career start in the autumn of 2021 was in the Kennedy Road Stakes, when the venerable nine-year-old gelding saved his best for the final furlong and rushed late on the outside to snatch his twenty-ninth career score before an adoring audience. Following his retirement from the track, Pink Lloyd’s connections donated him to LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society, where he contentedly enjoys daily turnout and visits from his Hall of Fame trainer and his long-time groom. Now his connections will add another award to the mantle, that of Canadian Horse Racing Honoured member.
Formal Gold – Veteran
Twenty-five years after the conclusion of his race career, Ontario-bred Formal Gold continues to rank among the top Thoroughbreds in North America, in terms of Beyer Speed Figures.
Bred by Mr. and Mrs. Rodes Kelly, trained by William W. Perry and owned by John D. Murphy, Sr., during his race career, the son of Black Tie Affair consistently received Beyer speed ratings in the mid 120’s. As a four-year-old, when beaten a nose by Wills Way in the 1997 Whitney, Formal Gold earned a Beyer Rating of 126; a 124 rating for his win in the Philip Islen and a 125 rating when he won the Woodward Stakes that same year. By comparison, current racing superstar Flightline received a 126 Beyer Rating in the 2022 Pacific Classic and a 121 rating for his victory in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Formal Gold was ranked among the top handicap horses of 1997 with gate-to-wire efforts in two Grade 1 victories — the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream and the Woodward Stakes, defeating Horse of the Year and US Hall of Fame member, Skip Away, in both races. In total, Formal Gold finished ahead of Skip Away in four of their six meetings.
At stud, Formal Gold ranked among the top 1% as sire of 2-year-old winners from starters at 45% and sired progeny with global earnings of nearly $16 million (US), including 19 stakes winners. After initially standing at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, he was later re-located to Rancho San Miguel in California, and finally to Esquirol Farms in Alberta, Canada.
For additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame visit our website at www.horseracinghalloffame.com