I read in the latest edition of Harness Racing Update that you have not made up your mind if you are going to return to the sulky or retire after your latest injury in the accident at Chester Downs this past weekend. While the ultimate decision is up to you and your family, allow me to offer my opinion.
It is time to retire.
No, it's not that you can't return to the racing wars, I am sure you can and still have a good career. The question is why do you want to this to yourself? Yes, I understand how once you get racing in your blood it stays with you. I know a man of your integrity is important to harness racing, but it is time to think about what is good for John Campbell and your family.
As you know, as a driver it is not a question of if you will get into a racing accident; it is a question of when. So far you have been able to bounce back from your injuries. How many times are you going to dip into the well before it comes up empty, especially now that horses are racing faster than their natural ability which makes them prone to accidents? Do you want to end up like the late Stanley Dancer who was riddled with arthritis in his later years? Worse yet, do you want to find yourself in an accident like William Haughton at Yonkers years ago which ended up in his death? You can say these things won't happen to you, but I am sure these Hall of Fame drivers thought the same thing.
You're young. You have your family and you have your grandchildren. Perhaps this latest spill is the sign to say it's time to hang it up and spend more time with your family and appreciate what you have. You certainly don't owe racing anything especially when compared to being around your family.
This is not to say you can't continue your involvement with harness racing. I understand you have been buying some horses with no intention of resuming a training career, but if you feel the call of the horses too much, train a couple of your own horses or help out your brother Jim.
Want to help harness racing? Become a full time ambassador for the sport. Become a television analyst for harness racing, write an autobiography and travel to the various harness tracks as part of your book tour, drawing people to the tracks, if only for a day. Get involved in racetrack management, become a judge or a member of a racing commission. Get involved in the USTA and become a director as a precursor to becoming the President or CEO of the USTA where hopefully you will have the gravitas to influence a dysfunctional industry and if the day comes an office of commissioner of harness racing is created, who better than you to be the commissioner?
The point is you are important to your family and harness racing. However, at this time, you could contribute more to the sport out of the sulky than in the sulky. It is time to retire while you can. You owe it to yourself and your family.