Vancouver, B.C. (April 10, 2017) – In the aftermath of being inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, it’s back to ‘business as usual’ for trainer Harold Barroby in the backstretch at Hastings Racecourse.
“I’ve been hearing from longtime friends all across Canada,” the spry 72-year-old says. “It’s been quite a ride this past week but now it’s time to get back to work with our season opening in less than two weeks.”
The start of the 2017 thoroughbred season at Hastings Racecourse was delayed until Sunday, April 23 due to inclement weather in February and March that interrupted this year’s training schedule.
Barroby was among 10 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductees named to the Class of 2017 and what made it even more satisfying was the fact he joins brother Frank in such elite company.
“We grew up in a family of 12 kids in a little town called Ravenscrag, a tough part of Saskatchewan,” Harold says. “Frank and I were – and still are – very close. I followed him to British Columbia in 1974 and we’ve never looked back.”
Both Harold and Frank are also proud members of the B.C. Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
Besides his brother, Harold credits legendary owners and breeders Jimmy Shields and John Franks for guiding him through the early years of his training career. Shields and his Canada West Ranches dominated the thoroughbred racing scene in Alberta in the early 1980s while Louisiana businessman Franks was a horse racing power with his leading North American stable from the mid-70’s to early 1990’s.
“When I worked for John he had 500 horses running at one time, including the great Delta Colleen,” Harold says. “I’ve been very fortunate over the years having trained 13-time stakes winner Love Your Host and multiple stakes champions Pampas Host and Delta Colleen.
Barroby remains the all-time leading trainer in terms of wins and stakes wins and was leading trainer a record 10 times. He was also honoured with a Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (HBPA) Backstretch Award for his tireless contributions in so many areas related to the horse racing industry.
HBPA Secretary-Treasurer Richard Yates notes: “Harold was president, vice-president and a director for the HBPA and has served as a director on the TBC board since it started. It was his presence on the benevolence, dental and scholarship committees that really made a difference in people’s lives. He never stopped thinking about the welfare of people who worked and in many cases lived on the backstretch.”
The 2017 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at the Mississauga Convention Centre on August 9.
AT THE WIRE: Track hours for training at Hastings are now 6:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. with breaks at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Racing Secretary Nichelle Milner reports that 514 horses are on site, up from this time last year … The first two of 42 stake races on the 2017 calendar are set for opening day on April 23: the $50,000 Brighouse Belles and $50,000 Swift Thoroughbred Inaugural …The Paddock Sale featuring 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age will be following the last race on Sunday, April 30. The Paddock Preview is set for 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 29, a non-racing date on this year’s calendar.