Page 8 - The Donald Rankin Family and Harness Racing
ISSUE : Issue 45
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/6/1
I guess Dad is really so interested in it. It's not a'job or a way to earn a living. He loves it, he really likes it. For exam? ple, we have a satellite dish. And there's races from The Meadowlands. Now The Meadow- lands is sort of the big time. It's the big track in New York. That is where the racing takes place during the winter--the best in the United States, the best in Can? ada. So they have a program that comes on at 1 o'clock in the morning. So now I set the VCR, and I tape those races for him. And we drop them off on the way. He'll get up and have breakfast, and watch those races. He's really, really interested. And I can remember being a little kid and looking up horses, The old yearbooks. You would have a horse's name and then you would have numbers, like a code. He'd read off the code. And I can remember writing down the different codes. And then going back and looking them up, and reading them to him. Where a horse raced, and what did they get, and who else was in the race. If you were interested in buying a horse, you could look up and see what they did last year. And I suppose I wasn't, you know, 7 or 8 or 10, doing that. So I think that's where the interest came from, from him. He was very good to foster the interest in all of us, I guess. I can remember when Donnie was young, he had a pony. So then (Dad) went to a horse sale. I don't know how old Donnie would be--a- bout 12. So Dad came back. And here he'd bought a little racehorse, but she was quite petite and beautiful--just like a little miniature horse. He unloaded her-- all the excitement of unloading the new horses. And Donnie went up to the barn. And when he came down, he had traded his pony for the racehorse. Then that became his racehorse--he owned her. And he did all the training, and she eventually raced. He was only 12 or 13 doing that. So that sOrt of switched him from riding horses to getting into racing horses and training horses. So then when he came home from school, he had his own horse to look after. He looked after her, and he ended up training her. It's a whole learning pro? cess, because you ask questions about what to do. She ended up racing in Inverness. He got Sonny to drive her. Sonny's the old? est. And Donnie's the youngest. So I think Dad fostered that. (You have 8 brothers and sisters.) Sonny's the oldest. Joe is next. He raced in Syd? ney a fair bit. And right now he's down in Pennsylvania. He's a (horse) farm manager. Teresa is in Halifax, and she's the gam? bler of the family! She enjoys races. She likes to buy tickets, I'm fourth. I was sort of interested in the breeding part of it when I was younger. And then Callie is next. Callie is in Tor? onto. Callie raced some in Sydney, and then he moved to Saint John. Dad sent horses to Foxboro (Massachusetts) one year, and he took them up there. And then they came back from Foxboro to Saint John, New Brunswick, and he raced there. He was there for, he must have been there for 5 or 6 years. Then he moved home. So he was home until 2 years ago. But he could see the writing on the wall, that it, was hard? er to make a living in Cape Breton, racing. So he moved to Toronto. He's up outside of Hamilton, racing. Getting along really well. Like, he's racing at Flamboro Downs. He's had several wins just in the last few nights. Dad will call him. We hear all about it within a day or so, because Dad keeps tabs. He keeps in very close contact. After Callie's Darlene. Darlene was really involved, very much involved. In fact she had (her own) public stable up until last LEVATTE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY / CONSTI LEVATTE CONSTRUCTION CO. LTD. SYDNEY RIVER, N.S? GENERAL CONTRACTORS Specializing in Heavy Machinery Cranes and Aggregates PHONE 564-6465 564-6445 564-8296 1185 Kings Road, P. O. Box 417, Sydney, N. S. B1P 6H2 HELPING BUILD CAPE BRETON A BETTER FUTURE
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