Standardbred driver/trainer John 'Sep' Gilmour passed away this holiday weekend at the age of 76 after a long illness. His passing is another window closing on the era when I cut my teeth on harness racing. Gilmour (brother of William 'Buddy', George, and Lloyd Gilmour) was a quiet man who was dedicated to his horses. If you arrived at the barns at 5 AM, Gilmour was already there working and he was always the last one there when the day was ending. Perhaps one of the things which was notable about him was the fact he was a quiet man, especially in his older years. He kept coming to the track to race the few horses he had or loyal owners who didn't rush off to the younger kids; he just went about his business.
He was so quiet that he retired from driving without anyone knowing ahead of time. One day when he won with his own horse, he announced in the winner's circle he was retiring, after 4,492 driving victories and as a trainer, 228 victories (remembering the USTA didn't start tracking training victories until 1991). After retiring from driving, he continued training his own stock with his last start as a trainer coming June 30 of this year.
In tribute to Sep, here is an article written by track Publicity Director John Manzi when Gilmour retired from driving.