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Augustine 'Gus' Ratchford Passes

Published: December 23, 2017 3:41 pm ET

Last Comment: December 26, 2017 1:29 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

With sadness in their hearts, the family of Augustine 'Gus' Ratchford announced that the longtime horseman passed away on Friday, December 22, 2017 at the age of 75.

Gus was a horsemen's horseman. He trail blazed from coast to coast and everywhere in between. From his childhood days growing up in Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, training horses along side his father and many brothers, to moving his wife and five young kids and stable to California in 1979. Gus found much success and trained some fine horses in his time such as Dare You To, Game Girl N and Craig Del.


Gus Ratchford (L) pictured with Clarkie Smith in a photo taken during Charlottetown's Old Home Week in 2016. (Charlottetown Guardian)

Ratchford became the first driver in harness racing history to win at least seven straight races on one raceway program, a feat he accomplished at Sackville Downs in Halifax, Nova Scotia in February 1976. In later years he would go on to build Rabbits Horse Products Inc. from the ground up, developing many popular products that are used worldwide in the horse racing and show circuits today.

His tireless work on the road visiting sales and stables throughout North America would be some of his happiest times of his life with his wife Caroline at his side.

He is proceeded in death by his wife Caroline, his daughter Charlene, and brother Harold, sister Catherine, and brother-in-law Bill.

The family will hold a celebration of life at some point during Spring of 2018 in North Sydney, N.S.

"Please keep Gus in your thoughts and prayers. Rest in Peace our dear friend."

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Gus Ratchford.

December 26, 2017 - 1:29 pmMy condolences to Gus’ family

My condolences to Gus’ family A great guy and a lifelong friend. RIP Gus

December 24, 2017 - 8:05 amMy condolences to Gussie's

Wayne Macrae SAID...

My condolences to Gussie's family. He was a great family man and a wonderful friend, I remember the good times at Sackville Downs.
He drove many horses for me and my friend and partner his uncle Doug Ratchford.
It was wonderful to see him and his old friends at Old Home Week in 2016. RIP my friend.

December 23, 2017 - 5:09 pmGussie called me on Monday,

Gussie called me on Monday, from the hospital, not doing very well. I will miss my good friend dearly. I am so grateful that we were able to keep in touch over the years, good friends for the greater part of both our lives. He will be deeply missed by myself and my family as well as the Nova Scotia racing industry at large.

Rest in peace, my friend. Until we see each other again.


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