One of our favourite people in the Ontario racing business has left us.
Coming back from a short trip and finding out that one of your cohorts, acquaintances, friends, has passed away is always a shock.
Dr. Mike Colterjohn was an ace in our business, managing Gardiner Farms for that family for decades and bringing it forward once again so that it received a nomination for a SOVEREIGN AWARD this year for top breeder.
Gardiner actually closed down 2 years ago and since then, Mike formed Paradox Farm on the property with his wife Moira and Sherry McLean, his long time assistant and friend.
It was fun last year tro see Mike cheer on his star 2yo filly KITTY’S GOT CLASS as she became a stakes winner at 2. We knew Mike was battling illness so everyone was thrilled to see him at the races in the fall and he was having a whole lot of fun!
Kitty won 2 stakes last year for Mike and his friend Denny Andrews, who owns Gardiner bred star Pender Harbour.
When it came to the business, Mike had tons of insight and ideas. It was fun interviewing him about Ontario racing, or vet issues or the Gardiner stallions. He kept up to date on every statistic and knew the breeding of the zillions of horses, old and young, on the farm.
He was always welcoming, even when your truly needed to do a story about the closing of Gardiner. Or how the Gardiner yearlings get rated each year for the sale.
Hey, Mike was even a super proofreader!
Missing you already Mike. Not enough of good guys like him in this business.
More from Blood-Horse:
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Colterjohn lived in Malaysia, England, and Zambia before his family emigrated to Canada when he was 11. His father, Duncan, had accepted a position as a family physician.
Colterjohn grew up around horses, fostering a passion for jumping and fox hunting that inspired a career as an equine reproductive veterinarian. He joined Gardiner Farms in 1987 and helped the nursery maintain its status as one of Canada’s leading outfits.
Gardiner Farms Limited has bred numerous stakes winners including Kitty’s Got Class, who won last year’s Franfreluche Stakes and Victorian Queen Stakes, both at Woodbine, for Colterjohn and Denny Andrews. Gardiner Farms Limited’s other stakes winners as breeder include Are You Serious, Bear It’s Time, Cocney Lass, Legal Move, London Snow, Midnight Shadow, Rare Friends, Top Ten List, and Pender Harbour, who won last year’s classic Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine.
Gardiner Farms formerly stood Bold Executive, who topped the Canadian sires list on numerous occasions. Bold Executive died last September.
Colterjohn was highly active outside of work, competing in numerous marathons and triathlons, including the Ironman USA in Lake Placid in 2001.
In addition to his wife, Colterjohn is survived by his mother, Libby, and a son, Duncan.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Juravinski Cancer Centre at www.jccfoundation.on.ca/.
All visitors will be welcome at the Egan Funeral Home, 201 Queen Street South (905 -857-2213), in Bolton. Visitation hours are April 1, from 2 to 4 p.m. and Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. A service for friends and family will be held at the Egan Funeral Home Chapel April 3 at 4 p.m, with a reception to follow from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Northern Dancer Room at Woodbine.
TODAY – RALLIES IN ONTARIO FOR ONTARIO HORSE RACING
Today, the horse racing community across the province gets together to stand up for the business. Pressure by the opposition could result in ultimately a rejection of the budget and thus, an election. An election likely means horse racing’s slots-at-racetracks
Events beginning at 1pm:
Hon Christopher Bentley, London West, 11 Baseline Road East, London
Rally Contact: Tammy McNiven, 519-318-8882, email@example.com
Hon Laurel C. Broten, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, 701 Evens Avenue, Etobicoke
Rally Contact: Julie Coulter, 416 679-0741, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Craitor, Mount Carmel Plaza, 3930 Montrose Road, Niagara Falls
Rally Contact: Lorrie Scott, 800-295-3770, email@example.com
Hon Dwight Duncan, Windsor–Tecumseh, 2825 Lauzon Parkway, Windsor
Rally Contact: Brian Tropea, 519-257-0332, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Leal, Peterborough, 236 King Street, Peterborough
Rally Contact: Dave Gibson, 705-930-4292, email@example.com
Hon Dave Levac, Brant, 96 Nelson Street, Brantford
Rally Contact: Jim Wellwood, 905-648-0198, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon Ted McMeekin, Ancaster–Dundas–Flamborough–Westdale, 299 Dundas Street East, Waterdown
Rally Contact: Cathy Boughton, 905-536-6728, email@example.com
Hon John Milloy, Kitchener Centre, 1770 King Street East, Kitchener
Rally Contact: Dr. Ted Clarke, 519-465-7884, firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Sandals, Guelph, 173 Woolwich Street, Guelph
Rally Contact: Bill O’Donnell, 519-823-6669, email@example.com
Joe Dickson, Ajax Pickering, 50 Commercial Avenue, Ajax
Rally Contact: Bob Broadstock, 905-626-8487, firstname.lastname@example.org
Events beginning at 2:30pm
Hon Deborah Matthews, London North Centre, 242 Piccadilly Street, London
Rally Contact: Ann Straatman, 519-319-8530, email@example.com
HANDICAPPING DUBAI AND FLORIDA DERBY
UNION RAGS has his eye on the Florida Derby tomorrow.
Check back with Thoroughblog early tomorrow as the handicapping and reporting begin in earnest early in the morning.
You can also FOLLOW ALONG DUBAI RACING ON THOROUGHBLOG, as I will updating with notes and quotes as the races go along.
Canadians will be eyeing MARITIMER in the UAE DERBY – how he fares will give us a hint as to whether he is a Kentucky Derby hopeful or a Queen’s Plate contender or both!
Post Time Race Purse Race Name
9:10 a.m. ET 2 $1 Million Godolphin Mile
9:45 a.m. ET 3$1 Million Dubai Gold Cup (T)
10:25 a.m. ET 4 $2 Million UAE Derby
11:00 a.m. ET 5 $1 Million Al Quoz Sprint (T)
11:35 a.m. ET 6 $2 Million Dubai Golden Shaheen
12:25 p.m. ET 7 $5 Million Dubai Duty Free (T)
1:00 p.m. ET 8 $5 Million Dubai Sheema Classic (T)
1:40 p.m. ET 9 $10 Million Dubai World Cup
Champion older mare of 2011 ROYAL DELTA gallops at Meydan with LUCKY CHAPPY – Vanessa Ng photo
PAST PERFORMANCES FOR DUBAI RACING – http://www.amwestentertainment.com/pdfs/racing-calendar/ccfcbd84-7b31-e111-97ea-0019d1035314/pps-20120031.pdf
Saturday, Gulfstream Park, post time: 5:40 p.m. EDT
FLORIDA DERBY-GI, $1,000,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY TRAINER WT
1 Fort Loudon Awesome of Course Jurado Gold 122
2 News Pending K Harlan’s Holiday Maragh Romans 122
3 Take Charge Indy K A.P. Indy Borel Byrne 122
4 Neck ‘n Neck Flower Alley Prado Wilkes 122
5 Z Camelot K Smart Strike Bravo Romans 122
6 Union Rags Dixie Union Leparoux Matz 122
7 Bartolome K Toccet Castanon Garoffalo 122
8 El Padrino K Pulpit Castellano Pletcher 122
9 Reveron K Songandaprayer Trujillo Bezara 122