What is the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame?
In the winter of 1973 a group of racetrackers came to the conclusion that the industry had been negligent in its failure to properly honour its pioneers and horses, as well as the contemporary heroes of Canadian racing.
These men – writers, broadcasters, publicists and officials from both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industry – proclaimed that it was time to pay homage to the people who had built and established the roots of horse racing in Canada. Recognition of their achievements was overdue. It didn’t happen overnight. Three years later, in 1976, Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame was founded when 44 individuals * builders, jockeys, trainers, driver/trainers, Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds – were enshrined.
For 20 years this was a Hall of Fame without a “home”. On August 22, 1997, the dream of those racetrackers of the early 1970’s finally became a reality when the Ontario Jockey Club provided a permanent site without cost at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto.
New inductees are added annually to build upon an ever-growing honour roll of Builders, Drivers/Trainers, Jockeys, Standardbreds, Thoroughbreds and Trainers. The annual induction ceremony is a gala event with leading guest speakers, dinner and evening of events.
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is located by the West Entrance of Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. For further information, directions and how to contact us click here.
See, Touch and Learn the History of Horse Racing
Visitors will be able learn more about the legendary horses that created a stir throughout the ages and discover the stories behind the jockeys, drivers, builders, trainers and legends of Canadian horse racing. Also on display are unique, rarely seen memorabilia, including trophies, antique racing programs, winning jockey silks, bronzed horseshoes and a multi-wall mural that shows how this exciting sport has become what is today.
Among the displays we have featured in the past have been tributes to driver/trainers Joe O’Brien, Harold McKinley, John Hayes, Ron Waples, John Campbell, Bill O’Donnell and Bill Wellwood; thoroughbred trainers Frank H. Merrill Jr. and Lou Cavalaris Jr.; builders E.P. Taylor, J. Elgin Armstrong, the Hon. Earl Rowe, Conn Smythe, Bill Herbert and Col. Sam McLaughlin; the exceptional pacer Cam Fella, trotting legend Armbro Flight and Matts Scooter and jockeys Sandy Hawley, Avelino Gomez, Ron Turcotte and Robin Platts. This year’s display cases feature driver Doug Brown, trainer David Cross Jr., builder Chris Van Bussel, jockey Don Seymour and champion pacer Run The Table.
Share Your Own Piece of History
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is interested in obtaining photographs, artwork (paintings and posters) and other Canadian racing memorabilia relating to the history of harness racing. The display cases featuring great standardbreds and Hall of Fame drivers, trainers and builders change on a yearly basis. Trophies, drivers jackets, helmets, etc., are either loaned or donated to the Hall and add significantly to the archives and the history of racing while providing interesting exhibits for visitors to the Hall at Woodbine. Such contributors are acknowledged. So search those libraries, attics, basements, closets and albums and share your pleasures with other racing enthusiasts.
To contact us, please click here.
Support the Hall of Fame by Becoming an Associate Member
We see the future of The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame as the opportunity to present racing’s legends in tandem with new ideas and new insights that will connect people with their passion for racing. We need your support to connect the past with the future.
To learn more about becoming an Associate Member, please click here.