By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport
SCENE & HEARD: One of the highlights of the annual Thoroughbred Industry Awards Dinner is the official introduction of the latest inductees into the British Columbia Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
This year’s dinner date is set for Thursday, December 5 at the Newlands Golf and Country Club which leaves ample time for the selection committee to submit its final decision but as chairman Randy Goulding was saying last week: “We’re down to five finalists and each one of them is worthy of the recognition. It’s a tough call.”
Every year as the racing season is winding down the call goes out to the volunteer group of selectors to submit in writing a list of nominees for each of the five categories that include owners/breeders, builders, trainers, jockeys and horses.
Following a series of meetings of the 14-member selection committee and a process of elimination, Goulding and David Milburn, president of The Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association of B.C., are tasked with the challenge of deciding on one – or possibly two – successful inductees.
“I can’t mention names but at this time the short list includes two trainers, one owner and two horses,” Goulding says. “There are years when we name one new member and there are years like this one when things are so close we go with two.” (That’s the only clue he would offer).
At the 2018 awards ceremony owner/breeder Leif Nordahl was admitted into the builders category along with the Dittloff family – Ed, Gladys and Karen for their contributions to the industry dating back to 1947.
Over a 30-year period Nordahl served as president (2009-2014) and long-time board member of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (CTHS) and was founding vice-president and treasurer of the BC Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association (BCTOBA). He was also an HBPA board member.
The Dittloff clan’s skillful breeding program produced some of the most outstanding champion runners in Hastings history, including Summer Lil, Fleet Reserve, Racing For Gold and Lord Rosberg, to name a few.
The eventual winner or winners this year will be joining a distinguished roster of Hall of Fame members who have been honoured for their outstanding contributions to the thoroughbred industry in British Columbia racing over the years.
Jot down the date: Thursday, Dec. 5, Newlands Golf and Country Club.