Day At The Track

Hall of Famer Keith Waples dies, age 97

02:03 AM 09 May 2021 NZST
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Keith Waples, harness racing Keith Waples, harness racing Keith Waples, harness racing
Keith Waples
Keith Waples
Keith Waples
Courtesy Of Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

Keith Waples, one of the greatest horsemen in the history of harness racing, has passed away at the age of 97.

Waples was born December 8, 1923 in Victoria Harbour, Ontario. In 1959, Waples became the first driver to record a sub two-minute mile in Canada and the first to win a $100,000 race in Canada.

In 1962, Keith Waples drove Tie Silk to victory in the International Trot at Roosevelt Raceway, and in 1972 with the colt Strike Out, he won the Little Brown Jug, the Adios Pace and Prix d'Été.

Keith Waples was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1973, the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1978, and the United States Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2008, Waples was an inductee (Athlete category) of the Midland (Ontario) Sports Hall of Fame.

 He will be sadly missed by Eileen, his loving wife of almost 75 years, and his four children, Barbara Lennox, Donna Galbraith (Mac), Karen Hauver (Maurice) and Gord (Denise), as well as his 9 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Keith was the son of the late Jack and Bertha Waples and was predeceased by sisters, Jean Swan and Annabelle Caffry, and by his grandson Jason (Jay) Waples.

He is survived by sisters Dorothy Rumney of Wasaga Beach, Peggi Diebel of Squamish, B.C. and Mary Jane Burnett of Orangeville, and brother Murray of Barrie.

As per his wishes, his body has been cremated and a small private funeral will be held at the Gilbert MacIntyre and Son Funeral Home in Guelph, Ont., Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. The service will be live streamed and a link is available on the funeral home website. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

As an expression of sympathy, donations to the Guelph General Hospital would be appreciated by the family in recognition of the excellent care that he and Eileen have received there over the years. Donations/online condolences can be made through the Funeral Home at gilbertmacintyreandson.com.

by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

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