Before Dr. Ted Clarke became one of the sport’s great builders in Ontario as general manager of first Elmira Raceway and now Grand River Raceway, he had a flourishing veterinary practice based in Elmira. That’s where not just one, but many, horses changed the life of the 2014 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee.
He couldn’t possibly pick just one because, while working in the backstretch at Elmira Raceway, Clarke said he took tremendous pride in any horse that managed to go on to be success in the sport’s big leagues.
“I worked with lots of B-circuit horses and when one of those local horses reached up to do something better, it was always noticeable,” Clarke said. “I don’t know whether it was the horse doing well or the trainer or owner having success. All three combined, probably, and the good feeling that comes from that.”
Such is the pride of a veterinarian that helps horses overcome injuries and sickness to get to the winner’s circle.
“I think it was more that lots of days I was exposed to them at the track in Elmira and, of course, there was a backstretch then,” Clarke said. “It was probably as much the cumulative effect of the horses and the people in the backstretch that drew my interest.”
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