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Harry Rutherford, breeder of Elegantimage, dies

June 11, 2020

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Standardbred Canada's Trot Insider has reported that Harry Rutherford, longtime harness racing industry participant and one of Canada's most successful Standardbred breeders, passed away on June 11,. He was 85.

Rutherford operated Cool Creek Farm in Mount Pleasant, Ont., with partner Diane 'Joey' Ingham for decades and produced a number of notable trotting stars including Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Famer Elegantimage as well as O'Brien Award winners Pure Ivory, the dam of 2019 Horse of the Year Forbidden Trade and Casual Breeze. Ingham and Rutherford were honored as Canada's Breeder of the Year in 2009 when their 19 starters, including O’Brien winner Il Villaggio, averaged $64,528 for a total of $1.2 million in earnings.

Mr. Rutherford got involved in harness racing in the 1960s while working with the Brantford police department. His neighbor was noted participant Max Webster, and he obtained a mare with Max's son Brian Webster when Max was upgrading his stock. That foray into racehorse ownership gave Mr. Rutherford his first taste of the business, but he found the breeding side more to his liking.

Mr. Rutherford and Ingham started out in the breeding business in the late 1970s with a mare by the name of Hurricane Honey, who was purchased in Lexington and didn't pan out as a racehorse. Hurricane Honey definitely excelled as a broodmare, producing a pair of divisional champions in the 1980s, Cosmic Storm 3, T1:57 ($338,506) and Ride The Wave 2, 2:00f ($276,260). Mr. Rutherford retired from the police force in 1988 to focus on the breeding farm.

That focus produced a parade of champions over the next three decades that also included breeding stakes winner Raising Rachel, while also owning a piece of 2008 Hambletonian winner Deweycheatumnhowe.

Mr. Rutherford served on numerous industry boards over the years and he was honored along with Ingham by the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association in 2013 with the Chris Van Bussel Memorial Award, an honor is awarded to persons of integrity who have who served the SBOA and industry. (Standardbred Canada)

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