Three-time Trainer of the Year Jimmy Takter was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame on Sunday night (July 1), on the lawn adjacent to the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY.
The 51-year-old Takter, a native of Sweden, came to the United States to work as a caretaker in 1978 and 14 years later won the Hambletonian as the trainer of Malabar Man. "I'm extremely honored to be here," said Takter. "It's a long road but I've met so many great people in this sport. I was fortunate to come to this country 30 years ago, with my wife, Christina, she was just 19 and I was 22, and our little daughter Nancy. It's a big sacrifice when you leave your family. But by the same token, we're glad we did. Now, 30 years later, getting inducted in to the Hall of Fame, it's such an honor.”
Takter was introduced by Bob "Hollywood" Heyden, longtime statistican at the Meadowlands. Heyden reeled off facts and trivia about Takter's career and said "Jimmy is all over; his imprint is on seemingly every horse in racing."
The son of successful Swedish horseman Bo William Takter, Jimmy Taker left home in 1978 to work for Continental Stable in the U.S. He returned to Sweden to marry his childhood sweetheart, Christina, and to start a family, then they permanently moved to the U.S. in December 1982. Today Takter, who is now a U.S. citizen, trains a large stable at his farm in central New Jersey.
Since going out on his own as a trainer in 1985, Takter has trained the winners of more than $62 million, including two Hambletonian winners (Malabar Man and Muscle Massive); the accomplished international star Moni Maker, who won the Prix d'Amerique in Paris and Elitlopp in Stockholm; Oaks winner Gleam; 12 Breeders Crown champions, plus winners of the Yonkers Trot, Little Brown Jug, and Jugette, and such accomplished notables as the pacing fillies Cabrini Hanover, See You At Peelers and American Jewel, trotting fillies Pampered P rincess and Passionate Glide, and 2002 Trotter of the Year Kadabra.
Others honored on Sunday night in Goshen were Communicators Corner inductees Jean Emerson, a veteran writer and publicist from Maine, and Moira Fanning, the longtime publicist for the Hambletonian Society and Breeders Crown.
In addition, the induction of the pacers Rainbow Blue and Rocknroll Hanover into the Living Horse Hall of Fame brought their owners to Goshen for recognition, while the broodmare Arterra was also inducted.
Two deceased breeders and a deceased horse were inducted as Immortals. Lucas Broadhead, who died in 1914, was the farm manager of Woodburn Farm and became one of the most distinguished figures in the horse breeding world—both Standardbred and Thoroughbred. William H. Wilson, who died in 1892, established Abdallah Park, a breeding farm in central Kentucky, and bred Immortal McKinney. The great trotting filly Classical Way was a major stakes winner who earned the distinction of beating the boys in the Kentucky Futurity, American Classic at Hollywood Park, and Prix de France. She retired as the fastest trotting filly of all time.
The newest members of the Communicators' Hall of Fame, Jean Emerson, founder and publisher of Northeast Harness News, and Moira Sullivan Fanning, director of Publicity and Event Operations at the Hambletonian Society, were inducted as well.
"To be honored because I've had the extreme good fortune to work for the kind of extraordinary people I have while participating in the kind of championship racing I have seems backwards,” said Fanning. "I should be doing the honoring because I'm not worthy."---harnessracing.com