Clouthier Sr. elected as Canadian Hall Legend
April 25, 2018
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The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce Hector Clouthier Sr. and Frank McMahon as the 2018 CHRHF Legend Honourees. Originally launched as a millennium project in 2000, the Legends section of the Hall of Fame is dedicated to honouring the people and horses who significantly contributed to Canada's horse racing story over fifty years in the past. The ceremony takes place on May 16.
Born in Petawawa Feb. 1, 1916, Standardbred Legend Hector Clouthier Sr. began working full-time for his father's logging company in the Ottawa Valley at age 12 and by 14 was running his own operation. Known as the "Lumber King of the Ottawa Valley," his involvement in the family lumber business continued until his death 75 years later, in 2003.
He entered the Standardbred racing industry in 1952. Some of his most noted race horses included Barney Diplomat, purchased in 1953 for the then staggering amount of $10,000, and trained by Hall of Famer Keith Waples, as well as JJ's Metro who won purses totaling $350,000.
Clouthier established Northwood Stables and the nearby Northwood Hotel in the Pembroke, Ont. area. He began a breeding operation soon after with the first Northwood-bred foal registered in 1959. The farm expanded to include 40 broodmares and stood three stallions -- Mr. Dean, Mighty Billie and Macduff. The Northwood name frequently appeared in races programs in Ontario, Quebec, New York and New Jersey, often with Keith Waples as driver of choice for stake races.
Clouthier eventually became involved in racing industry associations, sitting on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Trotting Association, the Canadian Standardbred Horse Society, and the Ontario Harness Horse Association. It was said that he was one of the founding fathers of organized horsemen in Ontario, helping to negotiate contracts that enabled horsemen to make a career in the racing business. His support and promotion of the industry assisted in the development of Standardbred breeding and racing. Clouthier was recruited by the Quebec based United Harness Horsemen's Association, became the organization's president, and was soon thrust into contract negotiations with the powerful Jean Louis Levesque, owner of Montreal's Blue Bonnets Raceway, to resolve a horsemen's strike over purses.
An advocate of stake races for young horses in Ontario, Clouthier was instrumental in starting discussions for what would become the Ontario Sires Stakes program.
We remember Hector Clouthier Sr. as a pioneer and a winner on the track and in life. (Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame)