Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Famer Dr. John Findley dies

Mississauga, ON — Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Famer Dr. John Findley died at his Carlisle, Ont. home on Aug. 20, 2022, 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. 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. While his purse winnings of C$2.4 million and his 1,300 career victories may pale in comparison to more contemporary figures, the fiercely competitive Dr. Findley’s accomplishments — eloquently detailed here by SC Rewind columnist Robert Smith — left him well placed among other horsemen of his era.

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, a winner of $283,000, the flashy trotter The Black Douglas, who banked $273,000 before being exported to Holland, and the $234,000 winning Moon Magic.

Dalyce Blue was Dr. Findley’s favorite horse, having won all of her stake events as a 2- and 3-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 2-year-old and 2:05 as a 3-year-old. She later would produce the fine performer The Black Douglas.

Dr. 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. Findley will be laid to rest in Arnprior with a private family service.

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