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Richard Rastetter, a longtime harness racing member of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association and United States Trotting Association, passed away on June 11, 2016. He was 74.   Rastetter, of West Alexander, Pennsylvania, was a Standardbred horse breeder, owner and trainer for several decades.   His survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Ann, and his daughters Jean and Amy. The Rastetters owned their horses together as a family, with Jean handling the training in recent years.   Some of his top horses were Idadazzle, County Treasure and Zorgwijk Kingpin. Memorial contributions can be made to the Christian Harness Horsemen's Association, c/o The Meadows, 210 Racetrack Road, Washington, PA 15301. from the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

Arthur George Shaw, 77, of Jensen Beach, Fla., died June 5, 2016, in Stuart, Fla. He was born June 16, 1938, in Milwaukee, Wis., to the late Arthur (a harness racing driver) and Letty Shaw of Elkhorn Wis. Mr. Shaw graduated from Elkhorn High School then went on to Bradley University and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, where he graduated, and then on to Northern Illinois University with a law degree. He followed in his dad's footsteps and became a leading Standardbred driver, driving horses from New York to California. He was one of the top driver/trainers in the country. He was also one of the first single importers to import Standardbreds from New Zealand to the United States. Mr. Shaw met his wife DeDe and they were married February 21, 1971. In a few short years they brought a baby into the world their son, A.G. In 1980 Mr. Shaw was introduced to a company called Shaklee. He started building a Shaklee business with DeDe and together they exploded the business into the largest Shaklee business in the world. Later on in life he missed the racehorse environment so he ventured into Standardbred stallions. This is where he pioneered the dual hemisphere Standardbred stud service in the U.S. where in the off season he would fly the horses to New Zealand to stand for stud. This has now become common practice. He own and shuttled the great stallion In The Pocket to New Zealand and this stallion has changed the breed Down Under producing outstanding sires and racehorses and now broodmares. In The Pocket has produced the great stallions Christian Cullen and Courage Under Fire. In The Pocket and his son Christian Cullen have dominated the broodmare sires list in New Zealand over the last three years. In The Pocket is the current leading Broodmare sire in Australia. He and DeDe got into quarter horses and traveled the country together showing their horses, winning the top shows in the country including the NSBA World and Congress Championship. He was on the Board of Directors for the Florida Quarter Horse Association. He served on many boards over the years, including the Shaklee Masters Executive Committee as chairman multiple times. He was on the Nation Snaffle Bit Association. He was also on The Small Businessman board where he worked with Senator McCain. He was on the Illinois Harness Driver Association and he co-chaired the Heart Association for Martin County, Fla. His life was full of experience and he lived life. He also lived to make life better for others. He is survived by his wife, DeDe; son, A.G. (Maureen); and grandchildren, Tyler and Ella. USTA Communications Department 

MANALAPAN, NJ -- June 13, 2016 -- Leo C. McNamara III, a third generation harness racing horseman and executive administrator of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) for the past 15 years, died early Sunday morning, June 12. Mr. McNamara died of complications following a hard fought battle with cancer, just two weeks short of his 61st birthday. Born June 30, 1955, in Carmel, Ind., Mr. McNamara was the son of Leo McNamara Jr., whose father, Leo, founded Two Gaits Farm in Indiana, where Adios was foaled and the pacing stallion Hal Dale stood at stud. Leo C. McNamara was also a founder of the U.S. Trotting Association, the Hall of Fame of the Trotter in Goshen, N.Y., and at one time an owner of The Red Mile. The McNamara family moved east in the late 1950s and Mr. McNamara III spent some time as a youngster at Hanover Shoe Farms, where his father served as farm superintendent. The McNamara family returned to Carmel before selling the family farm and moving east again when Leo McNamara Jr. joined Pine Hollow Stud Farm in New York. While living in Pine Bush, N.Y., Mr. McNamara III began working on the Pine Hollow Stud Farm. After graduating from high school in 1973, he continued on at Pine Hollow Stud Farm, becoming an assistant manager. Mr. McNamara III moved to Kentucky's Bluegrass horse country and worked at Dan Hollibaugh's Holly Lane Stud in Lexington, serving as manager there from 1981-1985. Mr. McNamara's next stop was Almahurst, where he served as farm superintendent of the breeding nursery's flagship farm outside of Lexington during the era when it was one of the sport's showcase operations. Mr. McNamara III left Almahurst in 1988 to run the new Dreamaire Farm nursery in New Jersey founded by Bob Boni and partners. Boni knew Mr. McNamara III from their days together at Pine Hollow Farm. Leo's family moved to New York in 1973 when I was the yearling manager at Pine Hollow Stud Farm and as a high school senior he became my weekend and then summer help, said Boni. We forged a great friendship over the next 40-something years, regardless of where our travels took us, and he will forever be one of the most special people I have ever known. Leo was a great advocate for the horsemen and horsewomen of New Jersey in so many ways and always with the fairness and decency that characterized his personality. He loved and adored his wife Cathy and his daughter Celeste and he will be missed by anyone fortunate to have known him. After Dreamaire closed its operations, Mr. McNamara III re-established Two Gaits Farm in New Jersey and bred and boarded horses. In 2001 Mr. McNamara III began working for the SBOANJ, becoming executive administrator in 2006. During his years with the SBOANJ, Mr. McNamara III worked with racetracks in the Garden State to keep tabs on the purse accounts, becoming an astute expert of analyzing handle from various sources with various percentages going to purses. I've been a director of the SBOA for 10 years, and Leo was invaluable, said Mark Ford, president of the SBOANJ. I don't think the horsepeople in New Jersey can realize how invaluable he was advocating for horsemen and horsewomen and protecting our interests. He always brought knowledge and commonsense to the table and could always come up with a commonsense approach or solution. Because of Mr. McNamara's knowledge of the purse account and percentages of handle earned, he played a significant role in Jeff Gural's acquisition of the Meadowlands from the state of New Jersey. Leo was a straight shooter and a great guy to work with, said Jason Settlemoir, CEO and general manager of the Meadowlands Racetrack. He's going to be missed from both an industry standpoint and as a friend. Mr. McNamara III is survived by his wife, Cathy; a daughter, Celeste, assistant professor of history at University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom; two stepchildren, Dr. Daniel J. Dooley and Katie Pidge Decker; his mother, Irene; one brother, Joe (Meg Booth); eight sisters, Anne Slosky, Coleen (Frank) Benedett, Bridget (Jeffrey) Fenessy, Kate (David) Smith, Mary Coleman, Kelly (Patrick) Kennedy, Celeste (Brian) O'Neill and Jane (Glenn) Taylor; 14 nieces and nephews; and more than 100 cousins. Visitation will be held Thursday, June 16, from 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. at Peppler Funeral Home, 122 Crosswicks St, Bordentown, N.J., 08505. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Mary's Church, 45 Crosswicks St., in Bordentown. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Harness Horse Youth Foundation, 16575 Carey Rd., Westfield, IN 46074. By Kathy Parker, The Horsemen and Fair World

It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Leo McNamara this morning Sunday June 12, 2016. Leo died of complications following a hard fought battle with cancer, just two weeks short of his 61st birthday. Leo was the SBOANJ's Executive Administrator for 15 years, this is a tragic blow to the racing industry as a whole. We not only grieve at the passing of a tremendous individual but also for the loss his family suffers. Service announcements will be posted when available. Courtney Stafford  

MANALAPAN, NJ – June 7, 2016 – New Jersey Racing Commissioner Anthony “Tony” DePaloa passed away Saturday June 4, 2016 of complications from surgery. Born in Newark, NJ on November 1, 1935, his family moved to East Orange, NJ where he graduated from High School in 1955. Upon graduating, he proudly served in the US Army. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Army, Anthony went on to work for the United States Post Office for 38 years before retiring. Throughout his life, he served as Athletic Director at St. Mary's High School, Perth Amboy Oratory Prep in Summit, NJ and St. Pius in Piscataway, NJ. He also coached Soccer, Baseball, and Pop Warner Football. He was a football referee, a baseball umpire and basketball official for many years as well as being involved in many local organizations. In 2014, Governor Chris Christie appointed Tony to the New Jersey Racing Commission. Tony was predeceased by his brother, Dr. Alphonse DePaola and his sister, Marie Giannone. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Dolores; his son, Dr. Anthony DePaola and his wife, Carla of NJ, his daughters; Antoinette DePaola of NJ and Gina and her husband, Joel Russo of NJ. Anthony is also survived by his grandchildren; Aria, Cristina, Anthony, Lauren, Alyse, Joseph, Alena, Gianna and Maria. He will be missed by all who knew him. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to the charity of your choice be made in Tony's memory. Visitation will be held at the Quinn-Hopping Funeral Home, 26 Mule Rd., Toms River, NJ on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 from 4:00-8:00pm. A Funeral Mass will be 10:30am on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at St. Maximilian Church, Toms River, NJ. Interment will follow at Brig. General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown, NJ. Courtney Stafford

New York, June 1- Morton Finder, 82, a prominent Standardbred horse owner and harness racing breeder, passed away in his sleep earlier today in the VA Hospital in New York City. He was a native of Brooklyn and a former Coast Guard officer during World War II. A legendary owner and breeder, Mr. Finder raced horses on the New York circuit at Yonkers Raceway, the now-defunct Roosevelt Raceway, The Meadowlands and other leading harness racetracks throughout the country dating back to the 1950's, and was part of the ownership group of 1966 Triple Crown champion Romeo Hanover. Mr. Finder was an astute and successful handicapper during harness racing's heyday.   He also co-owned leading Standardbred breeding farm, Pine Hollow Stud Farm, with Monticello Raceway founder Charles Slutsky, and syndicated world renowned harness racehorses including Triple Crown champion Niatross.   In later years, Mr. Finder owned and bred many stakes horses as a partner with the late Lou Guida, racing under the Finder-Guida Enterprises banner.   Mr. Finder was known for his philanthropy, supporting such charities as Henry Street Settlement.   He is survived by three adult children, Robin Arnold, David Finder, and Jeffrey Finder, and four grandchildren.   by Michael Weitz, weitzcomm@aol.com

The Raceway at Western Fair District was saddened to learn of the passing of Wall of Fame member Norm Hardy of Lucan this past Monday, May 16 - just three weeks short of his 90th birthday. The Hardy name has been synonymous with harness racing in the London area and the legendary John Campbell, who grew up next to the Hardy clan, called Norm one of the pioneers of Ontario racing. Son Ken and grandson Glen both remain active in Ontario racing. Norm, along with his brother Jack, was inducted to The Raceway's prestigious Wall of Fame in 2000. More details will be posted when available. Please join The Raceway in offering sincere condolences to the Hardy family.                     Greg Blanchard Raceway Manager Tel: 519-438-7203,239Toll Free: 1-800-619-4629Fax: 519-438-2388Email: gblanchard@westernfairdistrict.com             900 King Street London ON N5W 2X6     Please consider the environment before printing this email message.     Disclaimer: This message contains confidential information. If you are not the recipient, you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify gblanchard@westernfairdistrict.com immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Harness Racing New South Wales was saddened to learn of the passing of horseman Lyle Jones over the weekend, aged 80. Born in Queensland, Lyle grew up in shearing sheds watching his father and quickly earned himself a reputation as a top shearer before moving to Sydney. While in Sydney he didn't have a lot to do with harness racing, but always enjoyed a trip to the trots. Lyle and his wife Janet moved to Young and bought a property adjoining the showgrounds and it was during this time he became interested in becoming involved in the sport as a trainer. Lyle was a very good horse breaker and "Mr Inter Dominion" trainer Brian Hancock sent him a number of yearlings over the years during his golden run. Lyle trained Four Penny Dark in her two and three year old seasons and won races like the Bathurst Gold Tiara, the NSW Sires Stakes and the Raith Memorial. The mare was subsequently sent to Hancock and retired with earnings of more than $300,000. Lyle is survived by his wife Janet and will be sadly missed by his children and grandchildren. Greg Hayes

Richard D. Taylor, 88, of Westfield, Indiana, died on Friday, March 25, 2016 at his home. (Richard is the father of our Executive Director,Ellen Taylor) Richard served his country as a member of the United States Army with the Occupation Forces in Japan where he chauffeured for the staff of General Douglas MacArthur. He earned his Bachelor's degree from Purdue University in 1952. Dick began his training and driving career with his father at their training headquarters at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. He traveled county fair circuits throughout the Midwest and shipped to pari-mutuel racetracks on both coasts. Dick's gift came in the form of developing young horses, particularly 2-year-old trotters. His undeniable patience resulted in considerable success as he developed champions including Dauntless Ann, Matann, Majestic Cliff, Allot, Will Sikes, Gold, Isaac C, Home Court, and Spinning Ranger. His summed up his nine decades of experience by saying: "I want to know more about a horse tomorrow than I do today." Dick served as president and director of the Indiana Trotting & Pacing Horse Association, member of the Indiana Standardbred Board of Regulations, and assistant to the director of Harness Racing at the Indiana State Fair in the early 1970s, as well as working tirelessly in the fight to legalize pari-mutuel wagering in Indiana. He also received the Sagamore of the Wabash from former Governor Robert Orr. In 2014, he was inducted into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame. He is survived by three children: Jo Barbara Taylor (George Greason), Robert Taylor (Tammera), and Tara Ellen Taylor; sister Sue Ann Smith; four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. In addition to his parents Donald and Mabel Taylor and brother James, he was preceded in death by his wife Margot Marlatt Taylor. His life will be celebrated on April 10, 2016, at Parlay Farm, 16565 Carey Road, Westfield, Indiana, from 4 to 7pm. Memorial contributions may be made to the Harness Horse Youth Foundation, 16575 Carey Road, Westfield, Indiana 46074 or through the website www.hhyf.org. Keith Gisser

A 'Celebration Of Life' for Gary Maciejewski, who died suddenly last Friday at the age of 67, will be held this Thursday, March 24, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the race office building on the Warren County Fairgrounds, home of old Lebanon Raceway. A longtime harness horseman, as well as a paddock security guard at nearby Miami Valley Raceway, Mr. Maciejewski was born in Toledo but migrated to Lebanon after receiving his driver-trainer license from the USTA in 1985. From just 15 sporadic county fair sulky starts, Gary guided one winner in 1998. As a trainer, he enjoyed considerable success harnessing 89 winners in 871 starts for total earnings of $281,366. His lone horse at the time of his passing was Atoka Millionaire, who has been trained and driven to 11 victories over the past two years by close friend Roy Wilson. Mr. Maciejewski was liked by all who came in contact with him over the years. His friendly demeanor and constant smile were perfect for his role as 'greeter', checking horses in and out of the Miami Valley Raceway paddock every day since the track opened in January of 2014. Previously, he was the gate guard at Lebanon Raceway congenially greeting owners, trainers, drivers and caretakers as they entered the backstretch area. The family invites all of Gary's friends to gather Thursday and bring a favorite Gary Maciejewski story to share prior to a short memorial service. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Wounded Warrior Fund, a favorite cause of Mr. Maciejewski. Gregg Keidel  

The Southwest Ohio harness racing community is saddened today (March 18) to learn of the sudden death this morning of Gary Maciejewski, a longtime horseman who was currently employed as a paddock security guard at Miami Valley Raceway. Maciejewski, age 67, was born in Toledo, but migrated to Lebanon before securing his driver-trainer license in 1985. Gary only used his driver's license on 15 occasions at Ohio county fairs over the years, with his lone win coming in 1998. As a trainer, he enjoyed considerable success with 89 registered wins from 871 lifetime starts. He currently owns one horse, Atoka Millionaire, who has been entrusted to his longtime friend Roy Wilson since the beginning of the year. A security guard at Lebanon Raceway prior to the opening of Miami Valley, Maciejewski has checked horses in at the MVG paddock entrance since the track's inception in 2014. Gary was his jovial self, busy checking in horse's at Miami Valley's qualifying races on Wednesday afternoon, and was reportedly readying for work at MVG today when he collapsed. Funeral details will be posted as soon as they become available. Gregg Keidel        

Michael P. McDonald of Batavia, NY, died peacefully Friday morning (Mar. 4) at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY after a lengthy illness. Mr. McDonald was born October 28, 1964 in Rochester, NY; son of the late Paul McDonald and the late Barbara (Provenzano) Samberg. Mr. McDonald graduated from the Aquinas Institute in 1982 and moved quickly into the family business. In 1984, he took over as the publicity director of Batavia Downs Racetrack, which was then owned by his mother Barbara Samberg (who was the first female Director of the USTA) and his Aunt Donna Warner, after the passing of their father Pat Provenzano, who founded the track in 1940. For fourteen years, Mr. McDonald publicized and organized the activities of the top names in the industry and managed many high level racing events held at Batavia Downs that included Grand Circuit races, New York Sire Stakes and a Breeders Crown in 1988. When the track was eventually sold to Western Regional Off Track Betting (WROTB) in 1998, Mr. McDonald stayed on staff and became the facilities operations manager and inter-track wagering (ITW) manager and served in both capacities until 2006. A member of Resurrection Parish in Batavia, Mr. McDonald was an avid sports fan (in particular of the Minnesota Vikings) and was very active in local youth sports. He was also very involved with his two sons and their activities. He enjoyed playing golf and participated in the local men's hockey league. He was a youth football coach, little league baseball coach and a volunteer for Notre Dame High School football. Mr. McDonald is survived by his step-father Jim Samberg of Webster; his pride and joy, sons Cam and Aaron McDonald both of Batavia; loving sisters, Martha Smith of Rochester, Margo Conheady of Rochester, Meghan (Scott Boone) McDonald of Scottsville and dear brother, Mark (Jacquie) McDonald of Atlanta, GA; his former wife, Kelly McDonald and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. The McDonald family will be present from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday (Mar. 9) at the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel located at 4120 West Main Street Road Batavia, New York. Prayers will be recited at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday (Mar. 10) followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. celebrated by the Rev. Bill Donnelly at Resurrection Parish (St. Joseph's Site). Memorials can be made in his honor to Notre Dame High School, 73 Union Street Batavia, New York 14020. Please share your words of comfort with Mike's family at www.tomaszewskifh.com or for more information please call (585)343-7500. By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Duane Louis Stivale passed away peacefully after a courageous battle with cancer at 9:55 PM Tuesday March 1st 2016 in Boynton Beach, Florida. Duane was born in Montclair, NJ on August 13, 1958. He was very active in the harness racing community, he enjoyed racing cars when he was younger and in the late 70's he ventured into horse racing. He enjoyed working with the horses until the very end. He is survived by his loving wife, Michele Stivale; brother Craig Stivale of Nevada; sister Fawn Stivale of New Jersey; beloved children Sheila Riley of Colorado, Nicole and Ryan Latham of Texas, Alex Stivale, and Samantha Lyman of New York; grandchildren Arianna, Lyric, Mia, and one expected; and many incredible friends. He was predeceased by his parents Sonny and Arlene Stivale. Services are to be determined. Courtney Stafford

Columbus, OH --- Walter L. “Boots” Dunn, 85, a horseman since the 1940s and USTA Director since 1987, died Feb. 3, 2015. Mr. Dunn was president of W.L. Dunn Construction Company of Cochranton, Pa., founded by his late father, Wilbur “Cubby” Dunn. He trained and drove his own horses, maintaining his amateur status and competing across eight different decades. He is believed to be the leading amateur driver of all time, with 1,152 wins to his credit. He was a five-time national leader in UDR for his category of starts. Mr. Dunn learned to train and drive from his late father, who started the family construction business in 1919, building bridges and roads and operating a gravel plant, with a team of oxen and later horses. The younger Dunn had his own equine business as a child, charging local kids a nickel for a ride on his pony. Cubby bought a race horse in 1946, and father and son hit the road to compete, most frequently in neighboring Ohio at Northfield Park, Painesville Raceway and Grandview Raceway. They largely competed at The Meadows when that track opened in the 1960s, as well as the Pennsylvania Fair Circuit. With the help of his daughter, Lisa Dunn Adams, he operated a private training center in Cochranton with two tracks and a farm for his racehorses, broodmares and young horses. Over the years Mr. Dunn raced many good horses, almost all of them homebreds, among them the top-class Meadows pacer Justassuming during the late 1970s; Dark Magic 3,1:57.3f ($193,570), a winner of 36 races; Yourworstnightmare 3,1:56.3f ($154,339), a winner of 19 of 34 races at ages two and three; and Classicality 1:52.4f ($299,237), who took his mark last year at Pocono while trained by Mr. Dunn's daughter Lisa. Mr. Dunn was active in leadership of the Crawford County Fair Board and served as their speed superintendent and race secretary. He was a member of the 4H Horse and Pony Hall of Fame and the Meadville Area Sports Committee Hall of Fame. Mr. Dunn shared a 2003 award with his late wife, Donna, from the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association for their support of the fair program. In 2016 that group awarded the inaugural Walter “Boots” Dunn Rising Star Award, which goes to an up-and-coming Pennsylvania horseman, to Brady Brown. "Boots was an individual unlike any other," said USTA President Phil Langley. "He loved harness racing and he loved the fairs. "I last saw him on Jan. 23 at the USTA banquet in Bedford, Pa. He was surrounded by a lot of friends and relatives and he was in good spirits. He was tough. We’re going to miss him." Mr. Dunn is survived by his daughters, Debbie Dunn Sheatz (Ike), Lisa Dunn Adams, Kathy Dunn Harvey (Leo) and Leslie Dunn Zendt (Bill); and grandchildren, Cortney Sheatz, Wade Sheatz, Alex Sheatz, Shawn Harvey, Ryan Harvey, Wyatt Adams and Garrett Adams. He was preceded in death by his parents, Iris and Wilbur; and a daughter, Dinah. Funeral arrangements will be posted when available. USTA Communications Department

Carmelo J. Sabatino, a retired senior executive with Delaware North Co. and former general manager of Batavia Downs, died Sunday (Jan. 10) in Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He was 95. Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Kenmore High School and the University of Buffalo, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration. Mr. Sabatino served in the Army during World War II and was stationed in the South Pacific. Upon returning home, he married the former Josephine Marino in 1946. That same year, he joined the Delaware North Co., which he helped to build under the direction of L.M. Jacobs. Following his retirement from the company in 1976, Mr. Sabatino joined the management staff at Batavia Downs, where he continued to work until 1999. Sabatino held a number of positions during his tenure at Batavia Downs including general manager in the early 1980's, and then a variety of executive capacities after that. Near the end of his career there, he was in charge of mostly special projects. He traveled extensively during his term with both Delaware North and Batavia Downs and met several celebrities. Even after his last retirement, Mr. Sabatino continued to help manage a private family business. Todd Haight, GM/Director of Live Racing at Batavia Downs said "Mr. Sabatino was always a well-dressed and reserved man, yet certainly was capable of getting the job done. He was at Batavia Downs for two of the tracks biggest races, 1980 Niatross and 1988 Breeders Crown Armbro Flori and helped to insure those marquee nights went off without a hitch. He was all business, all the time and garnered the respect of everyone who worked with and for him". Sabatino is survived by a daughter, Carolyn Sabatino Liarakos; two sons, Thomas C. and David G. and three grandchildren. Mr. Sabatino was predeceased by his wife, who died in February 2007. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Raymond (Ray) Lowndes, the author of the wonderful trotting book “From Kedron to Albion Park” passed away last week in Brisbane, aged 70. Ray single-handedly recorded the long and colourful history of harness racing in Queensland in a series of captivating books. Many a racing writer has referenced Ray's works which provide a great insight to the history and characters in Queensland trotting. Ray’s books took us back to the golden era of trotting in this state when it boomed between  1950 – 1970 and he brought the sport's history to life going right back to the start in the 1880’s when horses were the main form of transport, through to the depression and the war years when trotting also flourished in our suburbs. He wrote that trotting tracks were once dotted throughout the Brisbane suburbs and before trotting was popular at Albion Park there with ovals all around the city at Coorparoo, Wynnum , Cleveland, Redland Bay, Lawnton, Virginia, Mt.Gravatt, Rocklea, Redcliffe and Amberley. John Wren's Kedron Park wias the main event and night racing starting at the Gabba and later at the Exhibition grounds.  The books were certainly very absorbing to read with obscure facts about colourful trotting personalities combined with some wonderful photos of races and venues. Ray’s promotion of trotting was recognized by Racing Queensland with a "Service to the Industry Award". His son Chris, one of three children and the child who usually accompanied Ray to his beloved Rocklea trots said he was proud of his father’s achievements and recalls him receiving the racing award. “We would discuss the characters and horses in trotting and one thing that I came to realise quickly was the respect that dad had from the people in the industry,  he has a deep passion for the sport and he had an photographic memory for horses and trainers names, dates and racing colours,” Chris said. “He loved Rocklea, and that was the track that we most attended together, he was quite shattered when that track closed, he also loved the exhibition trots and getting out and about the little country tracks and meeting the people. “The last trot race he saw was on my mobile phone, I went to the (2015) Exhibition and recorded the show trot final and replayed it to him, he was thrilled that the trots were back at the Exhibition.” Late of Western Suburbs, Brisbane, Raymond Bruce Lowndes passed away at the Wesley Hospital five days ago. A funeral service for Ray will be held in the Chapel of Centenary Memorial Gardens, corner of Wacol Station Road and Wolston Road, Sumner on Thursday (21/01/16) commencing at 2.00pm. by David Aldred

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