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.