The name of Shorty Lockhart must have top billing when Collingwood harness racing
history is written Horsemen like Paddy Stone, Joe Welch and Paddy Neville were
big names in the sulky game at the turn of the century but Shorty completed dominated the scene for thirty-five years. Born in Honeywood, Shorty farmed in the Osprey district before he took to harness racing seriously in his early twenties. His
first good horse Dorothy Peters, was an instant success and he always likes to
talk about Make Believe, a handsome trotter that won him forty races in a
As implicated by his nickname, “Shorty” is small of stature but his courage and determination offsets the size handicap. He needs nobody to run interference for him because the little man from the Osprey Hills has always been on his own.
One of his greatest triumphs was a victory with Sonny Creed against top drivers
like Keith Waples, Dell McTavish and Harold McKinley. Three outstanding match
races stand out in his memory; Two against his old rival, Honourable Earl Rowe
at Greenwood with Make Believe and at Grand Valley with Dorothy Peters. His match race with Sonny Creed against Dr. Morrish’s – Lochlinvar King was staged before the largest crowed ever to witness a harness race at London Raceway.
Shorty has trained and owned more than one hundred trotters in his days. His ace
pacers, Sonny Creed and Single Chips have carried him over the mile at 2.03 at
one time ore another and A.W. Chips and McCarr Hanover have stepped it in 2.04
with Shorty in the sulky.
He has fine memories in the racing exploits of such fine horses as Dorothy Peters,
Make Believe, Dr. Fleet, Laurentide, Prince Demon, True Spencer, Frisco Van R.,
Alex Hardy and Collingwood Boy.
Clarence “Shorty” Lockhart has left his mark on the big tracks like the Blue Bonnett and Richelieu in Quebec, Greenwood, Mohawk, Garden City, the old Thorncliffe and Dufferin in Ontario and Batavia and Hamburg across the border.
He just had to be No.1 in the harness racing section of Collingwood’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Robert Stewart, secretary-manager of the Canadian Standard bred Horse Society, died suddenly after collapsing while playing in an Oldtimers’ hockey game. He was 38.
A native of Collingwood, Stewart had a lifelong involvement in almost all facets
of harness racing and served as the Society’s chief executive officer for
almost 16 years.
In his early teens he trained horses owned by his parents, Ray and Edna Stewart,
including Spencer’s Pride, Muddy Heel, If, Success Curl and Trivia. During the summer school breaks he worked as a groom at the raceways for Clarence Lockhart and Pat Crowe and also trained horses for Jack Smith and Russ Irwin. He was licensed as a driver in 1969 and drove primarily in races at “B” tracks such as Owen Sound and at fall fair meets in the Collingwood and Barrie area.
Stewart was also licensed as a starter and associate judge from 1970 to 1978 and
officiated in these capacities at various non-extended meetings. In recent years, his Adanac Farms co-owned such outstanding racehorses as Happy Little B, Mon View, Saunders Alpine Label and Trojan Leroy, all winners of more than $165,000.
Stewart was widely known and highly respected throughout the standard bred industry in both Canada and the U.S. He was primarily responsible for making the
three horse sales conducted annually by the Society among the most successful
in North America and was a strong advocate of having all horses’ blood typed and foals identified by freeze branding to ensure their identity and to verify their parentage.
After receiving his early education in Collingwood, Stewart graduated in Business
Administration from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto and then from
the Akron School of Business Administration where he made the Dean’s List both
His father and grandfather earned a spot in the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame for their efforts on the hockey rink.
John Burns has earned the same honour for his prowess in a different sport,
Harness Racing John was born in Collingwood January 27, 1949, leaving
Collingwood in 1970. He has two sons John Derek and Rodney Willis. He was
educated at Victoria Public School and Collingwood Collegiate. He has been in
Harness Racing since 1967, throughout Canada & United States.
A four time Ontario Jockey Club trainer-of-the-year-award recipient, John has
received a half-dozen O’Brien awards for his horses. He purchased and owned two
world champions in Towners Image and Hardie Hanover, adding to the lengthy list
of his major stakes’ champions, selling both of them in one afternoon for a combined
Among John’s ownership partners today are former Montreal Canadians’ enforcer John Ferguson and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ pitcher Dan Plesac, who played last season with the Toronto Blue Jays. Presently John has a stable of 26 horses that race at Mohawk and Woodbine Raceway. John also played hockey in the Collingwood Minor Hockey system from 1956 to 1967.
This evening June 9, 2000 marks the induction of John Burns into the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame in the Builders’ category.