On Thursday night the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame welcomed its 2012 class at an induction ceremony and dinner held at the Mississauga Convention Centre. There were 10 new members voted into the Hall this year, six equine and four human. In addition there were four new members inducted in the Legends category, trotting mare Dalyce Blue, jockey John Dewhurst, trainer Patrick MacMurchy, and driver-trainer Mildred Williams.
The Hall of Fame was founded in 1976 with an inaugural class of 44 members, but went 20 years without a home until August 1997 when Woodbine provided a permanent site without cost, located at the west end of the building. Along with the panels on the walls dedicated to each member, visitors can see unique, rarely seen memorabilia, including trophies, antique racing programs, winning jockey silks, bronzed horseshoes and a multi-wall mural that shows how this exciting sport has become what is today. A statue of Northern Dancer with Bill Hartack in the irons greets visitors just entering the doors.
Before the ceremonies began, arriving guests participated in a silent auction to support to Hall of Fame, followed by a live auction with driver Jody Jamieson serving as the auctioneer. I'll Have Another's halter (in the above photo) sold for $450. The highest priced item to sell was a breeding season to Langfuhr, purchased by trainer Reade Baker for $5500.
After being introduced by master of ceremonies Jim Bannon, inductees were invited on stage to be presented with Hall of Fame rings for the humans and crystal trophies for the horses. Honorees on stage are flanked by two members of the Fort York Guard, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.