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John Campbell named Grand Circuit president

October 06, 2012

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The Grand Circuit, at its annual officers and stewards meeting on Saturday morning in Lexington, Ky., named John Campbell as its president.
The 57-year-old Campbell replaces the late Tom Thomson, who served as Grand Circuit president for 21 years before his death this past January.

"Certainly it's an honor and something I'm very proud of,” said Campbell. "To be thought of to lead the Grand Circuit is a little bit humbling, to tell you the truth.

"I think we have to go in a little bit different direction. I think the Grand Circuit brand still has a lot of panache to it. It means something to our industry and I think we just have to rebrand the Grand Circuit in the future. Having this meeting this morning was very encouraging and to that end I think you'll see some changes in the future.”

Campbell is North American harness racing's all-time leading driver in purses with more than $280 million. He was elected into the Living Hall of Fame in 1990 at the age of 35, the youngest individual to be so honored.

Campbell got his start in racing from his late father Jim, a respected horseman in the western Ontario region. John had made a reputation for himself at the Detroit area tracks and at Windsor when The Meadowlands opened during the mid-1970s, luring Windsor Raceway's racing secretary Joe DeFrank east. DeFrank remembered the talented Campbell and urged him to come to the Jersey miler, and now Campbell is the winningest driver in the history of the track.

Although Campbell has driven many world champions in his career, his accomplishments behind a trio of trotters are his most noteworthy. The colts Mack Lobell and Pine Chip and the filly Peace Corps are among the best of all time in their respective sex and gaits.

John supports numerous charitable organizations and his wife, Paula, is one of the founders of the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. In the fall of 2000, John was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal for his commitment to the sport of harness racing by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada. (Grand Circuit)

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