Courtesy of Standardbred Canada
Bill Robinson worked at a local Firestone factory before going in on a $1,500 claimer with some buddies in 1974. At age 28, he met Tony Chiaravalle and the pair ventured to the horse sales where Tony purchased Dream Maker for $80,000 U.S. Dream Maker would develop into one of Robinson's early signature horses and went on to win almost $750,000 and the Canadian Pacing Derby before retiring to stud duty.
Lime Time followed and he would win over $600,000. In the early 80's the Robinson stable was based at the Ancaster Fairgrounds until 1983 when he erected his present training facility on the outskirts of Hagersville.
Precious Bunny was the horse that catapulted Robinson into the limelight, as he was the first horse to win two $1 million races in one season - The North America Cup and The Meadowlands Pace. "The Bunny" followed that up with numerous stakes wins including The Little Brown Jug and went on to be Canada's Horse of the Year while Robinson took Canadian Horseman of the Year honours in 1991.
In 1993, Riyadh, winner of two legs of the Triple Crown, and North America Cup champion, Presidential Ball helped the Robinson stable to an unprecedented $10 million in season's earnings. Robinson was the unanimous choice for the Glen Garnsey Trainer of the Year award and won an O'Brien Award as Trainer of the Year in Canada.
In '94, Robinson trained Cams Card Shark who earned Horse of the Year honours in the U.S. and divisional honours in Canada, and broke Presidential Ball's single season record which marked the third time a Robinson trainee had shattered that record. Robinson shattered his previous earnings record of $10 million with $13 million in stable earnings and again was voted Canada's Trainer of the Year.
In 1996 Robinson trained three year old pacing colt, Stout , who finished second by the slimmest of margins in two million dollar events - The North America Cup and The Meadowlands Pace. Stout was honored with an O'Brien Award as three-year-old colt pacer of the year, and his stablemate, Riyadh collected two O'Briens, as he was honored as Older Pacing Horse of the Year and Horse of the Year.
Robinson trained sophomore pacing colt Western Dreamer, to a Triple Crown championship in 1997 and was Robinson's fourth horse in the 90's to take Horse of the Year honours in Canada. 1998 marked the fourth time a Robinson trainee would win The North America Cup as he sent Straight Path out to victory. Other stable stars for '98 included millionaire Native Born who won the Gold Cup & Saucer in Charlottetown, P.E.I., and rookie Barnett Hanover.
1999 was the first season Robinson's earnings were below $2 million. The stable leaders included O'Brien winner Dragon Again who won the Canadian Pacing Derby, the late blooming Royalflush Hanover who captured the Provincial Cup, Seven Card Hanover and Artistic.
Robinson has passed along his affection for harness racing to his sons, Brett and Shawn who both take an active role in the stable.
Shawn Robinson 2001 Trainer Report - Click Here to View
Shawn Robinson Trainer Summary Report - Click Here to View
Monte Gelrod 2002 Starts - Click Here to View
Monte Gelrod Trainer Summary - Click Here to View