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  Prairie Gold:
Sports Heroes From Saskatchewan
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Stanley Harrison

Saskatchewan's most distinguished builder of the sport of Thoroughbred Racing, Captain Harrison is recognized for his contributions as a breeder, trainer, writer and race official.

Capt. Harrison had his first winner racing in 1913 and Harrison-Breds were still winning in 1976.

A sculptor, painter and writer of note, Captain Harrison used his talent to capture the spirit of his thoroughbreds for the enjoyment of countless followers of the Equestrian arts. As an expert on bloodstock, his articles appeared in racing and breeding journals throughout the world. Harrison's volume of verse and drawings "Gentleman - the Horse" is now a collector's item. Captain Harrison judged at horse shows throughout the west, spent many years as Saskatchewan's director of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, served as a steward at Assiniboia Downs in 1958. He was a founding director of the Prairie Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

July 1, 1976 at Marquis Downs in Saskatoon, the first running of "The Captain Stanley Harrison Stakes" took place. It was a fitting tribute to a man whose accomplishments stand as an inspiration to all of us.

Installed in the Hall of Fame on April 1, 1978.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 2 of 4. | | |

Ray Remmen

Ray Remmen was born in Saskatoon on May 28, 1947, was raised in Hanley but returned to make his home in Saskatoon in 1967.

By the time he was eight years old, Remmen was jogging and training horses with his grandfather, Art Hunter of Hanley. He drove his first race at the age of 16 at Ladner, B.C. By the late 1960s, Remmen was training and driving at Marquis Downs in Saskatoon and also campaigned on the Alberta circuit. His brothers, Larry and Gord, were also involved in the family racing business. Remmen won the Western Canadian pacing derby three times. At Edmonton in 1975 with a horse, Stormin' Stephen, he posted the first-ever sub two-minute mile in Western Canada.

He later shipped his stable to Windsor, Ont. and in 1976, landed on the scene at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. He has won just about every honor possible in New York.

He won the Hambletonian with Shiaway Pat in 1981; the $1.3-million Woodrow Wilson Stakes with Grade One in 1985; and had a remarkable 1990 with a horse called Beach Towel.

Remmen and Beach Towel won the 45th edition of the Little Brown Jug, which is harness racing's equivalent of the Kentucky Derby. They also won the Breeders Crown at Pompano Beach, Florida; the Molson feature at Montreal Blue Bonnets; and the American-National Stakes at Chicago in the fastest mile ever recorded on a Chicago track. He is the only driver ever to win the Woodrow Wilson, Peter Haughton Memorial and Hambletonian, three of the major stake races in the United States.

He was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame in 1991.

In Remmen's career, he has driven more than 2,600 winners and his purse earnings have gone over the $30-million mark.

He and his wife, Shirley, have two daughters, Kati and Tammy, and they lived in Westwood, New Jersey.

Text courtesy of Ned Power

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Photo 3 of 4. | | |

Walt Riddell

Walt was born in Coburg, Ontario and came to Saskatoon in 1922. He joined the Star-Phoenix as a reporter in April 1928, and in November was added to the Sports staff. His love of sports was too strong even though he attained a law degree from the University of Manitoba in 1919. He worked in several editorial positions before retiring in 1962. He continued with the Star-Phoenix, supervising provincial news copy and writing sport columns. His last column appeared in 1974. Four years later, Riddell died on Feb. 3rd at the age of 80.

Golf, curling and horse racing were his favorites. It was through his efforts that Saskatoon was selected to host the Canadian Men's curling championship in 1946. In 1953 when Saskatoon hosted the Canada schoolboy championships Walt was its chairman. In golf he launched a high school competition and for 17 years was the drawmaster at the Lobstick tournament at Waskesiu. Walt was a member of the Saskatoon Exhibition Sports Committee from 1929 to 1968.

In 1968, Riddell was the Kinsmen Sportsman of the Year. He was named to the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1976 and in 1989 was named to the Saskatoon Hall of Fame.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers.

Born in Coburg, Ontario, Walt Riddell came to Saskatchewan in 1922. He joined the Star-Phoenix as a reporter in April, 1928, and joined the sports staff in November of the same year.

Golf and curling are his main fields of interest and it has been through his efforts that both sports have experienced amazing growth not only in Saskatoon but throughout the province.

In 1946, he was a member of the brier publicity committee when the national curling championships were held in Saskatoon.

In 1953, he was chairman of the committee in charge of the National School Boy curling championships.

When the brier returned to Saskatoon again in 1965, Walt was co-chairman of the committee.

Walt was one of the driving forces behind the Saskatchewan Golf Association Junior Development program and served as the first secretary of the Saskatchewan branch of the Canadian Golf Association..

He was named the Saskatoon Kinsmen's Club sportsman of the year in 1968. In 1972, he was made an honorary life member of the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club and the Dairy Pool's Fitness Foundation award winner.

At time of installation citation read March 27,1976.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

Date: May 14, 1951.

Photographer: Hillyard, Leonard A.

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Photo 4 of 4. | | |

We hope that you have enjoyed reading about some of Saskatchewan's sports heroes.

If you have a photograph of someone or a team listed in Prairie Gold that we do not have a photo for and are willing to donate it, please contact us.

Due to their nature and sometimes ambiguous origin the photographs seen here and those on file at the Local History Room are continuously being updated with new information. Some of this information comes from dedicated research done by Local History staff. However some of the biggest 'breaks' have come from the public... Those that remember the people, places and events in the photo are our biggest informational resource and we ask that if you have any information about the photos to contact the Local History Room at or phone (306) 975-7578.

Come and visit the Local History Room the next time you are at the Frances Morrison Library.

Thank you.

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