Toronto, ON – The Ontario horse racing community mourns the loss of Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, standardbred builder, Robert (Bob) Burgess. Mr. Burgess was a lawyer specializing in equine law who achieved great success within harness racing as both a co-owner and breeder.
A longtime harness racing industry participant Mr. Burgess, Q.C. of Rockwood, ON passed away on Saturday (April 3) at the age of 85.
As the co-owner of Cantario Farms in Campbellville, ON., Mr. Burgess became one of Canadian harness racing leading breeders throughout the 1970’s, ‘80’s and early ‘90’s. Some of his most notable horses include 2007 North America Cup champion Tell All, 2003 Hambletonian winner Amigo Hall, along with 2006 Hambletonian, trotting Triple Crown and U.S. horse of the year award winner Glidemaster. As a prominent Canadian breeder, Mr. Burgess achieved phenomenal success by syndicating 2000 Canadian Horse of the Year Balanced Image, who produced more winners than any trotter in history.
In addition to being a past president of the Canadian Standardbred Horse Society, he served on the Woodbine Entertainment Board of Directors and was the council for the industry association that advocated for the formation of the Ontario Sires Stakes program.
“Bob had a tremendous enthusiasm for harness racing and worked hard to improve the areas of the industry he was passionate about,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. “On behalf of Woodbine Entertainment, we send our condolences to Bob’s many friends and family.”
Born in Peterborough, ON, Mr. Burgess’s family would also live in Quebec City before he journeyed to Toronto to practice law. In 2011 he was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame as a standardbred builder a year after winning an O’Brien Award for Canada’s top two-year-old trotting colt, his homebred Blue Porsche in 2010.