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Monday, May 23, 2011

Remembering Buddy Gilmour

William "Buddy" Gilmour has passed away last night at the age of 78. Buddy Gilmour was elected to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of fame in 1988, the Upstate New York USHWA Hall of Fame and was inducted in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen at the age of 1989, entering the Hall of Fame with Clint Galbraith.  Buddy was one of four Gilmour brothers who drove, Lloyd, George, and John being the other three.  John Gilmour still drives at Monticello Raceway.  But neither of the two had the success William Buddy Gilmour did.

Buddy started his career racing in Canada in the 1950s before moving to Buffalo and Batavia Raceway where he raced until 1962.  Then misfortune in the form of a barn fire which wiped out his stable at Batavia prompted the then thirty year old to seek his fame on the Yonkers-Roosevelt circuit and there indeed did he achieve the pinnacle of his career.  Driving on the Metropolitan New York Circuit did he race hores like Joie De Vie (of which he was part owner), On the Road Again, Follow My Star, Steinam, Millers Scout and countless others.  1984 and 1985 were perhaps his best years as he raced On The Road Again all over North America at countless tracks.  When the Meadowlands opened up he too drove there and while he may have not had he success he did at Yonkers and Roosevelt, he managed to be a respected driver there as well.  He was a winner of  5,381 wins lifetime with more than $44 million dollars in purse money.  He was one of the all-time greats. 

As for myself, Buddy was one of those great drivers who raced on the Yonkers-Roosevelt circuit before the Meadowlands opened and was part of one of the strongest driving colonies there were, competing against drivers like Del Insko, Carmine Abbatiello, Ben Steall, Herve and Henri Fillion and other top drivers.  His passing is a loss of another of a personality from perhaps one of harness racing's greatest periods and my youth.  My sympathy goes out to his family on their loss.

To read the comments posted in the Hall of Fames about Buddy Gilmour, you can click on this link

Let's take a look at some of Buddy's greatest races:

1985 George Morton Levy Memorial with On The Road Again

The 1982 U.S. Pacing Championship with Millers Scout

Buddy Gilmour with Joie De Vie in the Yonkers Trot

And lastly, since Buddy started his career in Canada, it is only fitting to end with a race in Canada.  Here is Buddy Gilmour and On The Road Again in the 1984 Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs.


Kate said...

Thank you for posting this. I am Buddy's granddaughter, and I truly appreciate all the memorials, memories and well-wishes. I feel blessed to have had such a wonderful man for a grandfather. I do have one favor to ask, though, can you please update your post to say that he was one of 4 brothers in harness racing? You mentioned George and Lloyd, but his brother John "Guy" Gilmour is still racing in Monticello. Thanks!

Pacingguy said...

My Sympathy on your loss. I don't know how I forgot John, being he is the one still active in the sport. Especially, when Monticello is not that far away from here.

Anonymous said...

Kate, my dad and your grandfather were very good friends. Buddy drove alot of my Dad's horses and I remember him well.I am sorry for your loss. The sport has lost a legend

John Treacy said... sincere condolences to you and the entire Gilmour family.I worked for Buddy from 1981 to 1984 and it is still one of the most favorite and exciting periods of my life.He is still in my mind one of the most amazing horseman there ever was.I saw him in 2003 up in Monticello for old timers day and shared a few great memories I will cherish forever and took one last picture with him that I have proudly hung in my den.

Anonymous said...

He was one of a kind a gentlemans gentleman.
And yes John or "Sep" as i know him still driving strong at Monti. Now buddy and George will be racing together.... RIP

Anonymous said...

Buddy drove a small stable for my partner and me. I will never forget this gentleman for his skill and for his character. I wish I could see him at least one last time. Pat @ Thunderhoof.

Anonymous said...

Belated condolences to the Gilmour family. Buddy was truly one of the greats. Happy memories of him and speedball Mirror Image handling the likes of Rambling Willie on the half mile track...