SC Rewind: Picture Parade

This week's Rewind is the monthly edition of Picture Parade.  It takes readers back to January 1990 when the very first O'Brien Awards were handed out.  Hopefully a number of the photos will spark your memory.  

The O'Brien Awards Are Born

The now famous O'Brien awards were formulated in 1989 and first presented on the evening of January 20th, 1990.  Shown below are pictures of a number of recipients of awards and their connections on that evening.  Since several photos have numerous people shown it is not necessary to attempt to identify more than one or two,  however name as many as you can. They are shown below in no particular order.  Please note that this is not a complete list as I did not have a picture of every recipient. (All Photos by Brian Smiley from The Canadian Sportsman)

Picture Parade

# 1 - The very first O'Brien Award was presented to the widow of the recipient.  Can you identify the presenter on the right and the recipient on the left?

Picture Parade

# 2 - Who are these fine looking folks who are receiving their award? On the far right is TROT editor Harold Howe who did the honours. 

Picture Parade

# 3 - The fellow in the centre was the O'Brien recipient from Tom Gorman representing the C.T.A. Who was that lucky man? 

Picture Parade

# 4 - The gent in the centre received the prestigious Horseman Of The Year award.  Mrs. O'Brien on the far right does the honours.  Who is he along with his wife? 

Picture Parade

# 5 -Smiles abound as Wilma Jansen of the Canadian Sportsman (centre right)  makes the presentation to this trio of owners whose two-year-old colt was the O'Brien winner.  Can you name them?

Picture Parade

# 6 - Heather MacKay representing the Harness Writers group presents the award to this group of seven.  If you can name a couple you get full marks. Don't forget to take a look at the young gent on the far right. 

Picture Parade

# 7 - This is a big group and their horse won a "big" award.  Ray Veeneman, race secretary at Windsor does the presenting job.  Name a few and you'll get high marks.  

Picture Parade

# 8 - Tracey Lang (centre) of TROT magazine is the presenter to a smiling foursome in this one.  Can you name a few in the picture? 

Picture Parade

# 9 - Ralph Sucee representing The Standardbred magazine hands out an O'Brien to this duo. Their trotting colt was the best that year in his category. Can you identify them? 

Picture Parade

# 10 - Kathy Wade in the centre, no stranger to awards nights, hands out the top prize to the proud owners of a very fine trotting colt.  If you can name the owners you just might know the horse as well. He always went back to get his picture taken! 

Picture Parade

# 11 - The couple receiving the award had a pretty nice two-year-old trotting filly.   Carolyn Jackson of The Sportsman does the presenting. Who are they? 

Closing Note - I see a lot of wonderful people pictured in this grouping.   I know that with the passage of over 30 years a number of them are no longer with us but they are still fondly remembered.  

Quote For The Week - From his shedrow at Ben White Raceway in Orlando, Fla., Ned Bower kept a sign that read, “A man who is the master of patience is the master of everything else.”  Ned was a well-known trainer for many years and best remembered for his 1956 Hambletonian victory behind The Intruder. 

A Bit Of History 

Almost 45 years before the first O'Brien Award was handed out,  the following piece appeared in the Sept. 5, 1946 issue of Hoof Beats magazine. 

"There is one driver on Prince Edward Island who, though only 29 years old, is considered one of the best anywhere. He is Joseph O'Brien of Alberton, P. E. I., and at the Charlottetown Old Home Week meeting he stuck out like a sore thumb. He led the drivers and at the conclusion of the meeting was given the handsome trophy donated by the British Consuls. Joe, who is skinny faced and does not tip the beam at over 125 pounds, is fearless. He races into the turns like Ralph De Palma used to rip into the turns at old Sheepshead Bay. He does not throw the reins away in a close finish, but guides the trotter or pacer cleverly and gives his mount a lot of help. Much will be heard about O'Brien in the future and if he goes to any of the tracks in the United States he will be a great favorite, for he never gives up on a horse and can rate one as good as anyone in the sport. "

Joe O'Brien

Joe O'Brien at Old Home Week in Charlottetown, P.E.I.  1946 (Photo and text courtesy of Hoof Beats) 


The correct answers to this week's Picture Parade "O'Brien Awards" photos are shown below:
#1 -   Stan Bergstein presenting to Eileen O'Brien wife of Joe O'Brien 
#2 -   L-R - Roger Hie, Carman Hie, Kim Kozlo, Stew Cockshutt and Harold Howe 
#3 -  Tom Artandi (centre ) with his wife. Tom Gorman is the  presenter 
#4 -   Bud and Ethel Fritz receiving award from Mrs. O'Brien 
#5 -   L-R - Dan Thompson, Vera Burgess, Wilma Jansen, Bob Burgess - connections of Road Machine.
#6 -   Dr. Glen Brown, Susan Reid, Anne Law, Chas. Armstrong, Isabel Burkhart, Helen Southgate and John Kopas. Heather MacKay presenter holding certificate.
#7 -  Co-owners of Matts Scooter Margaret and Chas. Juravinski with trainer Harry Poulton and wife Cheryl .
#8 -  L-R - Gus Schickedanz, Wm. Wellwood, Tracy Lang presenter, Betty Fasken, Chas. Armstrong. Peach Pit won the award .
#9 -  Ralph Sucee in the centre presents an award to Bob and Debra Waxman for their Demilo Hanover.
#10 -  Kathy Wade centre presents to Doris and Dr. Joe Johnston owners of A Worthy Lad.
#11 - Clarence and Norma Varcoe with Carolyn Jackson - Thanks Marv for the update on the co-owner of Cajala, nice to hear.
Thanks to those who took a moment to respond! 

1. Irene O'Brien, Stan Bergstein 2. Roger, Carmen, Gary Forrester 3. Tom Artandi 4. Bud, Ethel 5. Bob, Vera 6.Glen, Charles, John 7. Harry,Cheryl, Charles 8. Woody, Charles 9. Bob Waxman 10. Clarence, Norma.

#6 John Kopas far right Armbro Feather?
#7 center Shane Arsenault?
#9 Francis MacNeil’s long lost twin brother(haha)

My former neighbours " The Varcoes". Clarence and Norma. NV Norma is still with us.

#1 Mrs O'Brien Stan Bergstein
#2 Roger and Carmen Hie
#3 Tom Artandi
#4 Bud and Ethel Fritz
#5 Robert and Vera Burgess
#6 Glenn Brown Charlie Armstrong
#7Charles and Margaret Juravinski
#8 Bill Wellwood Charlie Armstrong
#9 Francis McNeill
#10 ? Joe Johnson A Worthy Lad
#11 Clarance and Norma Varcoe