Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Famer Dr. John Findley passed away at his Carlisle, Ont. home on Saturday, August 20, less than two weeks from his 98th birthday.
More often than not playing the percentages has been the key to success in harness racing, and no one played that game better than Dr. John Findley. This Ottawa Valley native of Arnprior, Ont., born on Sept. 2, 1924, enjoyed an auspicious career that spanned four decades as a breeder, trainer/driver and veterinarian, and began with his first lifetime win at the Arnprior Fair at the age of 13.
One of the highlights of his professional life came in 1975 when he emerged as the leading percentage driver in North America. He also captured 13 different driving titles at various racetracks during his career.
Under the name of Madawaska Farms, Dr. Findley bred and raced a number of memorable performers over the years. Among the most notables that bore his green, red and white colors were free-for-all pacer Canny Choice, the flashy trotter The Black Douglas, and Moon Magic.
Dalyce Blue was Dr. Findley’s favourite horse, having won all of her stake events as a two and three-year-old and was named Canadian Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year. She was the first Canadian-bred to beat 2:10 as a two-year-old and 2:05 as a three-year-old. She later would produce the fine performer The Black Douglas.
Findley competed into his 80s, notching his final training and driving wins in 2004 before retiring from active competition. He continued to follow the sport with devotion up until his passing.
Survived by his wife Mary Jane, Dr. John Findley will be laid to rest in Arnprior with a private family service.